During the Agriculture Budget Debate in Parliament, Dr. Pieter Mulder, deputy minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that the value of South African agricultural exports to Singapore has increased with 78% in comparison to the same period last year. This includes products such as grapes, apples, pears and avocado’s. Similar exports of agricultural produce to Malaysia have increased with 20% and to Hong Kong with more than 5%.
In the light of the economic problems in Europe and the problems which South African producers are experiencing to gain greater access to agricultural markets in Europe, new market opportunities, for example the East, should be sought. This should be done without the current European markets being lost, according to Mulder. Against this backdrop he welcomed the larger market distribution as a healthy marketing strategy with the future in mind.
He also pointed out that South Africa cannot afford to lose any agricultural expertise. In this regard he referred to South African farmers who move to other countries.
“It is important that the South African population starts to realize the value of our own commercial farmers. Only then everybody will work together to stop the losses of these agricultural expertise to other countries,” Dr. Mulder said.