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Free Content The Cash Cows, Dogs, Stars and Problem Children of the South African Agricultural Sector1

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This paper investigates the development path of different agricultural sectors over the past 10 years in order to identify those subsectors that can contribute significantly towards reducing poverty and increasing national & household food security. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix was used to analyse growth patterns for different agricultural subsectors and classify them as cash cows, dogs, stars and question marks. The results show that the real average growth for the agricultural sector over the last ten years was 5.64 %. Of the 44 agricultural subsectors, 9 subsectors show a negative growth. The BCG matrix indicates one cash cow industry (sugar cane), eight dogs'(sisal, cotton, tobacco, tea, chicory, mohair, fry peas, dried fruit), fourteen stars (fowls slaughtered, maize, cattle & calves slaughtered, milk, vegetables, deciduous and other fruit, eggs, citrus fruit, wheat, potatoes, hay, viticulture, sheep and goats slaughtered, pigs slaughtered) and twenty one question marks. Institutional intervention by the public‐private sectors are therefore necessary to unlock the potential of the problem children, maintain the momentum of the stars, extent the life of the cash cow and decide on the future of the dogs.
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Keywords: Development path; South Africa; agricultural industry; cash cow; growth patterns

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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