Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza and United States Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, have agreed to establish a technical task team that will work on facilitating market access for agricultural products.
Minister Didiza and Ambassador Marks made the agreement at a virtual meeting held on Tuesday. During the meeting – where agricultural trade relations of mutual interest to both countries were discussed - Didiza noted the increase in exports of citrus from South Africa to the US market.
Such an increase was encouraging, she said, while also expressing hope that other agricultural products would also gain access.
“Increasing agricultural production is important for food security as well as contributing to the economy through trade,” Didiza said.
The Minister said she believed that the transformation of the sector, as envisaged through the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan, would ensure that “as a country we can increase our volumes for trade, which will bring great benefits for the country’s economy”.
She also noted the 15% contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the agricultural sector, and attributed part of this to continued growth in exports.