South Africa’s forestry sector might operate on just a small fraction of the country’s surface area but don’t be fooled, this sector sure packs a mean punch generating quite generously to Mzansi’s agricultural GDP.
This week on the Farmer’s Inside Track weekend edition, we take a closer look at the Master Plan for the Commercial Forestry Sector in South Africa. We’re joined by the executive director of Forestry South Africa, Michael Peter, who paints an intriguing picture.
According to Peter, forestry is a fairly small sector in terms of its footprint. It operates on less than 1% of SA’s surface area and uses less than 5% of the water used by the agricultural sector.
Punching far above their weight
“But [as a sector we] punch way above our weight. We generate about 27% of agricultural GDP and about the same percentage of jobs. So that’s sort of an overview of the sector.”
Further on in the episode, he unpacks where most of the country’s forestry by-products derive from and you won’t believe it.
Mzansi’s forestry sector is a very big contributor to South Africa’s foreign exchange earnings. Peter details where the forestry sector ranks compared to others when it comes to foreign exchange earnings for the country.
On the employment and development front, Peter tells us why he believes the forestry sector is one of the most successful in the country.
Full marks for transformation
Pointing to increased economic power for black people he says, “If you look at the industry scorecard and the individual scorecards of companies in South Africa, our two largest members probably make up about 60% of SA’s forestry output between them.”
In the episode, he also explains how the availability of additional resources can lead to further black empowerment in the sector.
Other things to listen out for are:
- The massive impact Covid-19 had on the forestry industry;
- The department of forestry, fisheries, and environment, and the Project Preparation Grant for forestry commitments; and more
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
Option 2: Click here listen on any Apple device.
Option 3: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
Sign up for Farmer’s Inside Track: Join our exclusive platform for new entrants into farming and agri-business, with newsletters and podcasts.