Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza has welcomed the positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the agricultural sector.
GDP results for the fourth quarter of 2020, released by Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke on Tuesday, showed that the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry increased by 13.1% while general government increased by 0.7% in 2020.
This surpassed the initial expectation of 10% by analysts in the sector.
Didiza said that the positive number for the agricultural sector are a good testimony to the collaborative efforts that government, farmers, industry captains, and other value chain players embarked on in 2020 in the midst of worse pandemic in recent history.
The Minister said the COVID-19 regulations, which recognised agriculture as an essential service, also provided a needed policy support for the sector.
“We are also thankfully to the farmers who capitalised on good rainfall and effectively utilised the land and produced food that was not only good for us as South Africans, but also boosted food supply for the African continent and the global community.
“This year, 2021, also started with good footing and the department’s analyst are looking at another year of growth of agricultural fortunes. I look forward to us as a collective maintaining this positive growth while also ensuring that there is inclusivity in the sector,” Didiza said.