Wandile Sihlobo
3 minute read
20 Dec 2021
10:00 am

Why 2021 was a (rare) bumper year for SA agriculture

Wandile Sihlobo

The year combined ample crop harvest with higher prices, thus boosting farmers’ incomes.

There is a growing demand for agricultural products, specifically oilseeds in China and India. Photo for illustration: iStock

The year 2021 can be characterised as one of the rarest, yet possibly most beneficial, for South African farmers, particularly in grains and oilseeds. The year combined ample crop harvest with higher prices, thus boosting farmers’ incomes. Ordinarily, a year of large harvests tends to lead to lower commodities prices and farmers’ profits are squeezed. But for 2020 and 2021, commodity prices have remained elevated, both in South Africa and globally. The growing demand for agricultural products, specifically oilseeds in China and India, combined with lower palm oil production in parts of Asia and a poor harvest in South America,...