South Carolina’s largest economic sector

SC’s Growing Agribusiness Sector

Agribusiness continues to grow in South Carolina. As the state’s largest industry sector, agriculture is a vital part of the state’s economy, contributing to the $51.8 billion-dollar annual economic impact of agribusiness in the Palmetto State. From poultry to agriculture technology, and everything in between, SC is perfectly positioned for new agribusiness opportunities.

And, that’s exactly why the Office of Agribusiness Development was established – to support our existing industry while also encouraging sustainable, continued growth for agribusiness in the Palmetto State. So, whether you’re in food processing, packaging, cold storage, or any other ag-related business seeking to expand or relocate, South Carolina is built around you.

According to a 2022 study from the University of South Carolina, agribusiness in South Carolina encompasses both the agricultural and forestry sectors, which represent about 55 percent and 45 percent of agribusiness, respectively. The largest industry sectors within the agricultural component of agribusiness are those related to poultry and poultry-related products. Within the forestry sector, paper and paper product manufacturing represents the largest industry sectors.



  • Annual impact of $51.8 billion
  • Directly employs 259,215
  • Includes food processing, livestock and produce, wood, paper and forestry-related companies

The table above is excerpted from a 2022 report prepared by Joseph C. Von Nessen, Ph.D., Research Economist at Darla Moore School of Business University of South Carolina for the Department of Agriculture. View the entire report.

Did you know?

Chief Executive magazine named South Carolina among the Top 10 best states in which to do business.