This paper reflects on the standing and impact of the work of agricultural economists in South Africa to
illustrate the critical decisions faced by the profession as it contemplates its future. The focus is on the
agricultural economic scholarship per se and not on the policy and practice issues of the discipline.
Following the review of agricultural economic research output in South Africa the paper then also raises
questions about relevance and impact of the discipline and the quality of training. Given these concerns
the paper makes the case for improved coordination and perhaps consolidation of the discipline and
presents a proposal for the establishment of a national institute that will consolidate and improve training
at the various universities as well as adequately fund and direct research.