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Agriculture records good year of income, jobs growth in 2022

Sugar beet field

Photo by Bloomberg

29th November 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) finds in its latest Agriculture Survey for 2022 that the sector generated R450-billion in income for the year, compared with R404-billion in income generated for 2021.

This 11.2% increase in income was driven by the animals and animal products industry, which generated R172-billion of sales, followed by horticulture generating R109-billion and field crops generating R95-billion.

Large enterprises contributed 69%, or R310-billion, of the sector’s total income in 2022, while small enterprises contributed 17.2%, or R77-billion.

Medium-sized and microenterprises contributed 7.8%, or R35-billion, and 6%, or R27-billion, to total income, respectively.

Collectively, small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) accounted for 31% of the agriculture sector’s income.

In turn, the most SMME activity is in the hunting, trapping and game propagation industry, comprising 71% of the industry’s R3-billion income generated in 2022. 

In turn, the agriculture sector incurred R424-billion in total expenditure, compared with R379-billion in 2021, of which “purchases” comprised 54% of total expenditure, followed by salaries and wages at 12.6%, repairs and maintenance at 4.9% and depreciation at 4.7%.

Notably, farmers incurred capital expenditure mostly on motor vehicles, plant machinery and transport.

The agriculture sector recorded an increase of 30 773 jobs between 2021 and 2022, reaching 814 518 in 2022, which is 6% of the national workforce.

The gender distribution has remained stable in the sector’s workforce, with men occupying 59% of positions.

Although agriculture contributed 3.2% to gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, Stats SA economic statistics deputy director-general Joe de Beer says the sector has many spillover effects on other sectors such as manufacturing and trade, which are not evident in its direct contribution to the economy.

In recent years, the agriculture sector contributed 2.5% to GDP in 2018,  2.2% in 2019,  2.9% in 2020, 2.8% in 2021 and 3.2% in 2022.

Stats SA’s Agriculture Survey for 2022 is based on the period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, with the majority of enterprises having had a financial year ended in February 2022.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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