Agriculture the beacon of hope for South African economy: economists

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JOHANNESBURG 21 June 2017 - Economists say agriculture is the beacon of hope for South Africa's declining economy. ?

PRETORIA - Economists say agriculture is the beacon of hope for South Africa's declining economy.

The sector contributed 12.8 percent to the Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of the year, despite poor output in the Western Cape due to the ongoing drought.

While the country has fallen into a technical recession because of two consecutive quarters of contraction, this years maize production is expected to produce a record crop.
 

ABSA Agricultural Economist Concie Moraba said, “Consumer-wise, white maize production is very good for the consumer, because South Africans like to consume white maize. We usually don’t prefer yellow maize, it goes into the feed industry. That will help to alleviate costs in the feed stock industry and pork industry. The consumer will appreciate and enjoy lower maize meal prices.’

Experts say government should make agriculture development a national priority. Overall, agriculture plays a crucial role in the broader economy, constituting about five percent of SA's total labour force.

This percentage is double that of mining and almost on par with the transport industry.

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