According to StatsSA's latest report, South Africa's economy increased by an adjusted quarterly growth rate of 4.6% in the first quarter of 2021. The same report also indicated that the agricultural sector's performance declined by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2021. However, the year-on-year quarterly growth rate approach, which compares the first quarter of 2021 to the same quarter in 2020, shows that agricultural economic output increased by 7.5%.
Western Cape Department of Agriculture economist, Tshepo Morokong, highlights that an analysis of the data of some of the horticultural products important to the Western Cape shows a year-on-year quarterly increase in the first quarter of 2021.
Morokong: "The nominal agricultural gross income from deciduous and other fruits (16%), vegetables (6%), flowers and bulb (24%) shows an increase when compared to the same quarter in 2020".
South African export volumes of a few selected agricultural products essential to the Western Cape economy from January to March 2020 and this same period in 2021 also show positive growth. Export volumes show an increase in prunes and sloes (115%), peaches & nectarines (prepared) (67%), peaches & nectarines (fresh) (34%) and berries (2%).
Allafrica.com quoted Morokong as saying: "With the continuing good rains, agricultural performance is expected to improve in the quarters to come.“