SA agro-processing 'needs investment'
6 November 2012
South Africa has a world-class agro-processing sector but its potential is not fully
recognised and requires investment, says Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
"South Africa has a world-class agro-processing and marketing infrastructure that
provides for local needs as well as limited exports of a range of dairy products -
largely to countries on our continent," Joemat-Pettersson said at the World Dairy
Summit in Cape Town on Monday.
"We also supply a wide range of dairy equipment from global companies to other
countries on the continent."
Despite this, the potential of the country's sector remained unexploited, she said.
'Addressing unemployment and poverty'
South Africa's dairy industry is the third-largest livestock sector in the country, with an estimated total turnover of R10-billion at producer level. The total number of milk producers in South Africa is
at 2 347.
"They produce more than 2.6-billion litres of milk and employ more than 30 000
workers. This important sector assists government in addressing some of our
challenges, particularly unemployment and poverty," she said.
The dairy industry plays a critical role in ensuring global food security through the
diverse range of its product offerings, including fresh milk, cheese, cream and
It also ensures employment and income generation for millions of men and women
across the globe. In this way, the sector ensures that basic needs of people are
met, and their standard of living is increased.
Sharing experiences and best practice
The 2012 World Dairy Summit, organised by the South African National Committee of the International Dairy Federation, brings together producers, processors, technical experts and various other stakeholders to deliberate the challenges of the sector, and also to share experiences and best
South Africa supports a range of milk farming systems, from intensive total mixed
ration to grass-fed and dairy ranching.
A group of dairy farmers from Mozambique will soon be attending a course at the
agricultural development centre outside George as part of a bilateral cooperation
programme between South Africa and Mozambique.
This effort has been highly successful, with the Consumer Education Project of Milk SA last year receiving the award for best campaign in the world from the International Dairy Federation and Dairy Standard Agency.