Briefing Paper

Climate-smart Agriculture in South Africa

The effects of climate change on agriculture are severe, and one of the most significant emerging challenges to household livelihoods in Africa. As such, it is imperative that efforts to address
agriculture in the context of food security and rural development need to take climate change into consideration. South Africa has a dual agricultural economy, with both well-developed commercial farming and more subsistence-based production in rural areas. Agricultural activities range from intensive crop production and mixed farming in winter-rainfall and highsummer-rainfall areas, to cattle farming in the bushveld, and sheep farming in the arid regions. Maize is most widely grown, followed by wheat, sugar cane, and sunflowers. Citrus and deciduous fruits are exported, as are local wines. This policy brief recommends that policy efforts should focus on integrating CSA priorities into cross-sectoral mechanisms, to identify strategies to address landlessness and poverty among smallholder farmers, to coordinate CSA, integrate CSA into educational curricula and prioritize funding to implement CSA approaches in South Africa.