South African Agriculture

By: Devon Truitt

Basic Facts

In South Africa, farmers produce almost all the food they need. Both whites and blacks farm, though for opposite reasons. Whites farm because they can sell all their crops for money, while blacks farm just to survive. However, they often cannot meet their families demands due to the poor quality soil they recieved during apartheid from white men. However, since 1994, the government has redistributed some land so it is equal (World Book 18). It is estimated that around 8.5 million people are in some way, shape or form dependent upon agriculture for employment or income (southafrica.info.).

The Major Crops

The major crops produced by South Africa yields a long list: Apples, Bananas, Corn, Grapefruit, Grapes, Lemons, Oranges, Pears, Potatoes, Sugar Cane, and Wheat. (World Book)

Other Products

Products that are not fruits and vegetables include: Cattle, Chickens, Eggs, Milk, Sugar, Sunflowers, Wine, and Wool (World Book).


South Africa is also responsible for over half of the world's protea cut flowers (southafrica.info).

Limitations

There are many limitations to farming in South America. The big one is the lack of good land. While only 12% of the land is used for farming, only 22% of that 12% is actually high quality! Another major limit is the lack of rain. Rain is the easiest way to water the crops, but rainfall in South Africa is uneven and unreliable. And as it is, half of South Africa's water is used for agriculture (World Book). It is estimated about 1.3 million hectares of land is irrigated (southafrica.info).

Role on the Global Market

South Africa has a very profound effect on the global market regarding agricultural production. The top quality infrastructure, the fact that it is always in an opposite season to Europe, and great biodiversity and marine resources gives South Africa a big presence on the market. In fact, if they played their cards right, they could be in the top 10 for exporters in high value agricultural crops. The wines, rooibos and honeybush teas, and higher end fruits would be a huge support to the country if they did pursue such an accolade (southafrica.info).


(The picture is a picture of honeybush tea.)