This chapter reassesses agricultural productivity growth in South Africa. It finds that the statistical reporting of South African agriculture was heavily influenced by the country's past racial policies: agricultural data largely focused on white-owned commercial farms and gave inconsistent coverage of semi-subsistence black-owned farms (which were restricted to certain areas of the country). Thus, past measures of productivity performance mostly refer to the commercial sector, and could give a distorted view of the country's agriculture as a whole. The chapter also finds evidence of stagnation in South African agricultural total factor productivity (TFP), which is attributed to reduced public investment in the sector, particularly in agricultural research.
Liebenberg, Frikke (2012) "South African Agricultural Productivity and Investment Patterns," Productivity Growth in Agriculture: An International Perspective, CABI.