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farming thumb medium80 84Nehru Pillay, general manager for Research and Intelligence at the Land Bank, writes that, even though SA has slipped into a technical recession, last week’s announcement by Statistics SA showed positive GDP growth in two sectors, namely agriculture and mining.  

While this growth was not enough to offset the overall contraction in the economy, it underscored the potential of agriculture to become an anchor for positive economic growth.  The agricultural sector GDP growth was particularly impressive in the first quarter of 2017, at 22% quarter-on-quarter annualised.  This was the first sign of positive growth following eight consecutive quarters of negative growth, which was largely driven by persistent drought conditions across the country.  On the employment front, the agricultural sector noted increases during the third and fourth quarters of last year, which indicate the jobs potential that the sector holds.  Land Bank, for example, is working to create partnerships between established commercial players in the sector and emerging farmers to drive economic transformation and social inclusivity.  As more partnerships are forged and more sector players become aligned, the outlook on employment can only improve.

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