The KwaZulu-Natal agricultural sector is a dynamic and livelihood sustainable sector. Approximately 3.9% of the KwaZulu-Natal value added gross domestic product comes through agriculture and 2.5% of the population in KwaZulu-Natal is working in this sector. There is thus a need for macro-economic research in order to investigate potential and current challenges and opportunities. This paper examines several of these challenges namely demographic compositions, unemployment, income distribution, poverty and inequality. It will provide results from the Labour Force Surveys from 2000 until 2007 with a more in-depth look into 2007. Population and labour force statistics provide the foundation for further analysis. This paper indicates that unemployment is being dominated by the African individuals and that employment in the KwaZulu-Natal agricultural sector is on an increasing trend since 2003. It shows further that income distribution is highly skewed which leads to high levels of poverty and inequality. Agricultural incomes are lowest across all races compared to non-agricultural incomes. Poverty is extremely high for African workers in the KwaZulu-Natal agricultural sector but has decreased since 2000. One of the principal concerns is that of inequality. It shows an improvement since 2000, but there is still high in-between race inequality in the KwaZulu-Natal agricultural sector. Throughout the report the KwaZulu-Natal agricultural sector is compared to the non-agricultural sector, KwaZulu-Natal overall and South Africa for a better understanding of the KwaZulu-Natal agricultural sector’s position. This report indicates that the KwaZulu-Natal agricultural sector could benefit from intervention and support to correct the present state of decreasing employment, low income, and high poverty and inequality levels.


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