To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

February 01, 2011

South African farm employment plummets 27.1%

by South African Institute of Race Relations

The number of people employed on commercial farms has dropped by 271%, according to the latest South Africa Survey, published by the South African Institute of Race Relations in Johannesburg last week.

Between 1993 and 2007, the number of people employed on commercial farms dropped from 1.1 million to 796 806. The data, which was sourced from Statistics South Africa, showed that all provinces, with the exception of Gauteng, saw a decrease in the number of people working on farms.

In Gauteng the number of people working on farms in 1993 was 34 302, increasing to 34 936 in 2007, or by 2%. In 2007 farmworkers in Gauteng accounted for only 4% of all commercial farmworkers in the country.

The biggest drop in the number of farmworkers was in Mpumalanga, where it declined by 45%. The number of farmworkers declined by 39% in both the Free State and KwaZulu- Natal between 1993 and 2007.

A similar phenomenon was seen with regard to the number of farms, which declined from 57 987 in 1993 to 39 982 in 2007, a decrease of 31%.

All provinces saw a decline in the number of farming units. The biggest decline was in Limpopo, which saw the number of farming units drop from 5 053 in 1993 to 2 657 in 2007, a decrease of 47%. The smallest drop was in Gauteng. In that province the number of farming units decreased from 2 500 in 1993 to 2 378 in 2007, a decline of 5%.

A researcher at the Institute, Marius Roodt, said that the change in the number of employees on farms and the decline in the number of farms, was probably an indication that agriculture was becoming more specialised, with successful farmers having to be highly skilled.

‘It is likely that there is increasing mechanisation on farms leading to a decline in the number of farmworkers. Economies of scale leading to farms merging is probably another reason for the decline in the numbers of farms,’ Roodt said.

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP