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19 August 2022

South African agribusiness innovation survey kicks off

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Friday, 19 August 2022 – South Africa’s official Agricultural Business Innovation Survey (AgriBIS) 2019-2021 gets underway today, with fieldworkers reaching out to commercial farming, forestry and fisheries businesses in the coming months.

Performed by the Human Sciences Research Council’s (HSRC) Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) on behalf of the Department of Science and Innovation, the survey will be taking place for the second time in South Africa.

Covering a three-year period, 2019 until 2021, the survey takes stock of activity in a stratified random sample of 1700 large, medium and small or micro enterprises.

The AgriBIS project aims to monitor innovation performance in the agricultural sector in South Africa, using an internationally comparable methodology to generate statistics.

Information about each business’s innovations, which may include new products, new processes, as well as improvements to existing products or ways of working, is collected.

HSRC fieldworkers will contact businesses and the survey can be self-completed online or via a telephonic interview.

According to the head of CeSTII, Dr Glenda Kruss, global challenges of climate change, and pandemics like COVID-19, reinforce the importance of innovation. Countries are best placed to solve wide-ranging social and economic challenges when innovative products and processes are adopted, and technological capacity is built.

“The performance of South Africa’s agricultural sector, as a source of food security, job creation and the sustainable use of natural resources is critical for South Africa’s growth and development, to address goals of sustainability and inclusion,” says Dr Kruss.

“Understanding the nature and volume of innovation provides the insight government and industry actors need to fine-tune policy instruments and expand innovative solutions to diverse challenges across the agribusiness sector, including small and emerging businesses.”

“We thank the agricultural business sector in advance for contributing their time and insight when approached to participate in this important research, and we look forward to sharing the findings with government, industry and civil society stakeholders,” says Dr Kruss.

The survey results will be analysed in 2022/23 and published in 2023.


–About the Centre for Science Technology and Innovation Indicators

–Contact the HSRC survey management team: Dr Yasser Buchana

–Previous results of the South African Agricultural Business Innovation Survey, 2016-2018:


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Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration, and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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