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The Economic Rationale for Agricultural Regeneration and Rural Infrastructure Investment in South Africa

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  • N G Meyer
  • M C Breitenbach
  • T I Fenyes
  • A Jooste

Abstract

This paper informs government policy insofar as it relates to the agricultural and rural development sectors and infrastructure investment within these sectors. The paper first quantifies the role of agriculture in the South African economy. This is done within the context of, inter alia, food security, agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), economic linkages and multipliers with respect to the agricultural sector, as well as agriculture’s employment creation and external stabilisation capacity. Investment in the agricultural and rural sectors are then analysed with a view of supporting the argument that agriculture’s role in the economy is sufficiently important to warrant regenerative strategies, including renewed emphasis on agricultural and rural infrastructure investment by South African policy makers. The quantification of the agricultural sector in relation to the total economy and that of agricultural and rural infrastructure investment are investigated against the backdrop of declining government support, increasing production risks due to a variety of exogenous events like climate change, and increasing dynamic trade impacts. In this paper, the authors offer both supporting arguments in terms of current economic policy and recommendations for more decisive policy measures aimed at agricultural regeneration and rural infrastructure investment.

Suggested Citation

  • N G Meyer & M C Breitenbach & T I Fenyes & A Jooste, 2009. "The Economic Rationale for Agricultural Regeneration and Rural Infrastructure Investment in South Africa," Working Papers 117, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Pollin & Gerald Epstein & James Heintz & Léonce Ndikumana, 2006. "An Employment-targeted Economic Programme for South Africa," Country Study 1, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    2. Johann Kirsten & Julian May & Sheryl Hendriks & Charles L. Machethe & Cecelia Punt & Mike Lyne, 2007. "South Africa," Chapters,in: Beyond Food Production, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
      • Nick Vink & Gavin Williams & Johann Kirsten, 2004. "South Africa," Chapters,in: The World's Wine Markets, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    4. Pinstrup-Andersen, Per & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul, 1997. "Food Security: A Global Perspective," 1997 Conference, August 10-16, 1997, Sacramento, California 197029, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Goldsmith, Peter D. & Gunjal, Kisan & Ndarishikanye, Barnabe, 2004. "Rural-urban migration and agricultural productivity: the case of Senegal," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 33-45, July.
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