Question NW3173 to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

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26 October 2023 - NW3173

Profile picture: Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN

Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Whether her department has taken any steps to contribute towards the efforts to create employment; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) how will the agriculture sector contribute to job growth and (b) what number of jobs were created in the sector since 1 January 2023?



a) The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) is responsible for creating an environment that is conducive for businesses in the sector to thrive and grow. Growth in employment numbers is among others a factor of investments made in the sector, which include expansions of areas under cultivation/production, farming equipment, and machinery as well as access to markets. The conducive environment created by DALRRD for the sector to grow includes policy development and support provided through various programmes. Some programmes provide finance (the Blended Finance Scheme, AgriBEE Fund, etc.), farm access roads to ensure that the produce gets to markets, production inputs, machinery and other equipment. In recent months, the Department has been successful in the expansion of markets for agricultural produce to China (avocado) and Saudi Arabia (livestock).

The AAMP, is a social compact between the government and its social partners, including business. It sets out a series of immediate, medium-term and long-term actions needed to enable inclusive growth, sustainable jobs, and a transformed agricultural sector. The strategy adopts a “Commodity value chain approach” to attain growth, which will mostly come from currently underdeveloped areas, mostly in rural areas. In essence, the strategy points to attracting investments into the sector and looking at the expansion of production.

b) The general employment trends indicate that employment in the agriculture sector has hovered around 850 000 over the years and reflects seasonality associated with the sector. The phenomenon is depicted in Figure 1 below, released by STATS-SA.

Figure1: Agriculture Sector Employment numbers (STATSSA)

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), the number of people employed in the agricultural sector increased by 0.8%, from 888 000 in the first quarter of 2023, to 894 000 people in the second quarter of 2023. However, on a year-to-year basis, the number of people employed in the agriculture sector increased from 874 000 in the second quarter of 2022, to 894 000 people in the same quarter of 2023, which represents an increase of 2.4%. The sector was among nine industries that have a positive contribution to job creation year on year.

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