OVERVIEW tackling drought, the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has had to put a strategy in place to fight Fall Army Worm. The percentage contribution of Limpopo agriculture to national agriculture is 7.6% although its contribution to provincial GDP is just 2.3%. Agri-processing has enormous potential to expand in every subsector. The establishment of agri-parks and co-operatives and support for youth in farming are key provincial government initiatives. Limpopo’s fruits and vegetables form an important part of South Africa’s export basket. Companies like ZZ2 are major contributors to the country’s annual production of 120 000 tons of avocadoes. Of the current crop, about half is currently produced in two Limpopo regions, Letaba and Tzaneen. Exports are rising exponentially. In response to this demand, and the potential of the Chinese market, almost 1 000ha per year of new land is being planted with avocadoes in South Africa. The same amount of new macadamia planting is underway every year, according to the Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC), adding to the existing 19 000ha. The other big sellers are mangoes and tomatoes. Limpopo grows three-quarters of South Africa’s mangoes and two-thirds of its tomatoes. The Waterberg District produces large quantities of red meat, Capricorn has potatoes in abundance, Vhembe in the north specialises in citrus and subtropical fruits, Mopani has those fruits too – and the Mopani worm. The Sekhukhune region in the south-east produces grain and Amarula cream liqueur. Through the provincial government’s Letsema programme in financial year 2017/18 (to the end of Q3), 98 projects comprising 2 579 smallholder farmers, 5 096 subsistence farmers and 26 black commercial farmers received supported. In terms of the Provincial Red Meat Cluster Development as a catalyst towards sustainable rural livelihoods development through livestock farming, an Nguni cattle loan project saw a total of 350 livestock breeding animals distributed in 2017/18 to 16 farms. The
ONLINE RESOURCES Agro-Food Technology Station, Limpopo University: www.ul.ac.za ARC-Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops: www.arc.agric.co.za Citrus Growers Association: www.cga.co.za Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust: www.dfpt.co.za Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: www.lda.gov.za South African Macadamia Growers’ Association: www.samac.org.za South African Subtropical Growers’ Association: www.subtrop.net
scheme, a partnership between DARD, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the University of Limpopo, aims to improve the quality of breeding stock. It also forms part of the development of a provincial Red Meat Cluster.
Vegetables and crops The Vhembe District in the far north and the Letaba Valley in the eastern Mopani District are major contributors to the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market, with Limpopo growers as a group contributing about 45% of the produce sold at Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market, Africa’s biggest market. ZZ2 is the major brand of Bertie van Zyl (Pty) Ltd, which produces 160 000 tons of tomatoes per year. Westfalia is another huge enterprise, part of the Hans Merensky Group, and it is world’s largest avocado grower. It also produces significant quantities of mango, litchi, citrus and macadamia and has three agri-processing plants in the province. Greenway Farms supplies about 45% of the fresh-market carrots consumed in Southern Africa under the Rugani brand. The two most active agricultural companies in Limpopo are NTKLA (with its headquarters in Modimolle) and Afgri, South Africa’s biggest agricultural company, which has its headquarters in Centurion (Gauteng). NTKLA is a shareholder in Venda Roller Mills in Thohoyandou and operates 10 grain silos, 23 retail outlets, 28 flour depots and one cold-storage facility. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2018/19
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