Publishing Details

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Authored by:
Liebenberg, Frikke; Pardey, Philip G.
Publication Date: 
October 2012
Journal Title: 
African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Journal Volume: 
Journal Issue: 
Page Range: 


Here we present and discuss newly constructed long-run data on agricultural input and output aggregates for South Africa spanning most of the 20th century. Updated multi-factor productivity (MFP) measures for South Africa for the last half of the 20th century are also presented. For the period after 1961, land and labor productivity trends for South Africa are compared with partial productivity developments in the rest of Africa. The general tendency has been for labor productivity to grow at slower rates throughout subSaharan Africa than in South Africa (and Nigeria). We also detect a fairly widespread slowdown in the growth of both these partial productivity measures in more recent years. MFP growth for South Africa has also slowed, as has aggregate agricultural output growth, which has now slipped well below the country’s corresponding rate of population growth. A failure to revitalize the rate of productivity growth and sustain that rate over the long run will have far-reaching economic development consequences for South Africa and the continent generally.


Liebenberg, Frikke; Pardey, Philip G. (2012) "A Long-Run View of South African Agricultural Production and Productivity," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, vol. 7, 1.

Additional Attributes

Primary Contact: Frikkie Liebenberg
Geographic Coverage: South Africa, Southern Africa
Keywords: Africa, Agricultural Production, Agricultural Productivity, Farm Inputs, History, Multifactor Productivity, Productivity, South Africa, Southern Africa