South Africa agriculture statistics year 2022-johannesburg-capetown-durban-pretoria


South Africa’s agricultural economy is known to be diverse, productive and modern. There are about 32 000 commercial farmers in South Africa, 12 000 of which produce about 80% of agricultural output. The country has over 96 million hectares of agricultural land, and 12.5% of arable agricultural land, but only amounts to 2.4 % of total agricultural GDP which is among the lowest in Africa. The sector’s export earnings amounted to $12 billion, while it imported about $7.2 billion in agricultural and food products. It is predicted that South Africa’s economic growth will face uncertain pressures, due to economic contraction, high inflation rates of the past years, Covid-19, weak global growth, policy uncertainty and domestic input costs. The article below will highlight South Africa’s agricultural statistics 2022.

1. People employed in the agricultural sector

South-Africas-agricultural-statistics 2022

There are about 848 000 people in South Africa working in the agricultural sector, this number pertains to the first quarter of 2023. Out of the 848 000, the Western Cape province ranked higher with 251 000 people employed in the agricultural sector, KwaZulu Natal province came in second with a total of 143 000 people working in the agricultural sector followed by Limpopo province in third place, with 124 000 people working in the agricultural sector.

2. Crop Production

South-Africas-agricultural-statistics 2022

In 2021 crops that were harvested amounted to 18 million metric tons. The most-produced agricultural crop in 2021 was sugar cane, followed by maize which added about 14.7 million metric tons, potatoes came in next, producing about 2.6 million metric tons, and lastly, it was wheat, with 2.23 million metric tons.

Free State province produced the most maize out of all provinces, making up 42% of the overall maize production in the country, in 2021/2022. In contrast, the Western Cape province produced the least amount of maize, which amounted to 38 000 metric tons. 

3. Total agricultural GDP

South-Africas-agricultural-statistics 2022

South Africa’s agricultural, fishing and forestry GDP was reported to be 2.47% in 2021 and increased to 2.5706% in 2022. While services contributed 63.02% and industry contributed 24.5% of the total value added. 

4. Exports and Imports

Total South African export earnings at the end of the Financial Year of 2021 (FY2021) added up to $12 billion, which meant that the agricultural sector contributed 10 % of total export earnings. The largest exports were grapes, wine, citrus, apples, corn, pears and wool. Other agricultural export products include sugar, nuts, mohair and others.

While South Africa’s total agricultural import value amounted to $7.2 billion by the end of the 2021 financial year (FY2021). The 2021 Financial Year saw an increase of 14% in agricultural imports. This increase was because of the return to normal economic activity after Covid-19. The main imported products were whiskies ($148 million), cane sugar ($200 million), soybean meal ($213 million), poultry ($350 million), wheat ($451 million), palm oil ($474 million), and rice ($520 million).

The United States’ agricultural exports to South Africa by the end of the 2021 Financial year amounted to $318 million, an increase from the previous Financial Year. Their major agricultural exports into South Africa were dairy products, poultry meat, planting seeds, animal feed, distilled spirits, and tree nuts. Soybeans and wheat were also some of the products imported by South Africa from the United States.

5. South African households involved in agricultural activities (Farming)

South-Africas-agricultural-statistics 2022

Household agricultural activities in South Africa in 2021 added up to 17.2%. Limpopo Province and the Eastern Cape were the largest contributors to household agricultural activities, with Limpopo contributing 37.9% and Eastern Cape contributing 33.4%. This is due to the fact that these two provinces have large portions of rural land. While urbanised provinces were seen to contribute less, such as the Gauteng province, mainly in Johanessburg, which contributed 6.4% and the Western Cape province, mainly in Cape Town, contributed 2.9%. But 2021 saw a decrease in the share of households involved in agricultural activities in most provinces, except for Limpopo, Gauteng and North West, in contrast to 2020.

Frenchside Translations

Frenchside is a translation company with a strong track record of success, having retained 90% of its clientele as proof of excellent customer service. Our staff members have been enthusiastically and tirelessly translating business, medical, legal, agricultural and personal documents. We are one of the most trustworthy translation service providers you will ever come across. Our certified, native translators have been translating tirelessly for more than 10 years; one can only imagine the experience and competence the company has accrued during this time.

Call us at +27 (0) 12-348-3134 or +27 (0) 81 347 6060 for more information about our agricultural export and import document translation services, or visit our website at You can also contact us via email as well at We would be delighted to hear from you, and we will happily address any inquiries you might have.

South Africa's agricultural statistics 2022
Article Name
South Africa's agricultural statistics 2022
The agriculture industry in South Africa is renowned for being diversified, effective, and contemporary. The nation boasts more than 96 million hectares of agricultural land, 12.5% of which is arable, yet its 2.4% share of the continent's overall agricultural GDP is among the lowest in Africa. The sector imported around $7.2 billion worth of agricultural and food products while earning $12 billion in export revenue. The article will highlight South Africa’s agricultural statistics 2022.
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *