Until very recently, agricultural economists made little impact on agricultural policy in South Africa. This contributed to the present serious problems. The causes appear to have been twofold: Antipathy or apathy among political and bureaucratic decision-makers and lack of proper professional conduct among agricultural economists. The agricultural economist's task is to analyse and monitor progress. The decision-maker must decide, act and bear responsibility. The problems agriculture is faced with will probably increase in magnitude and intensity. More attention should be given to the proper integration of agriculture in macroeconomic models and broadening them, proper focus on international agriculture, farm labour policy, social benefit/ cost analysis and monetary and fiscal affairs. The challenge is comprehensive.