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The effects of macroeconomic factors on South African agriculture

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Significant research efforts have been devoted to understanding the effects of macroeconomic factors on the agriculture sector. Analysing the sources of volatility in the industry is critical for designing appropriate policies to stabilize agricultural markets, reduce poverty and increase economic growth. Agriculture is a competitive sector with prices that are more flexible than those in nonagricultural sectors. This article uses annual data over the 1957-2004 period and a vector error-correction model in investigating the dynamic effects of exchange rates, money supply and other macroeconomic variables on the agricultural sector in South Africa. Overall, real exchange rates, interest rates, inflation and money supply (M3) shocks have significant and persistent impacts on agricultural output, prices received by farmers and farm input prices. M3 and interest rate shocks tend to put agriculture in a cost-price squeeze. Agricultural price movements are a source of macroeconomic instability in the country. Real exchange rate shocks shift relative prices in favour of agriculture in the long-run, thereby, boosting farm incomes and accelerating poverty reduction in the country.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Falls Church, Virginia 22041, USA

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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