OVERVIEW The estimated cost of the drought to the wine and fruit industries is about R1.2-billion.
Drought A severe drought has had an effect on all agricultural enterprises throughout South Africa. For some time now, most regions have not received the rainfall they expected. Rainfall recorded in September 2016 in the Central Karoo ranged between 0mm and 2mm. This will affect grazing for animals in summer. Irrigation in most areas has been affected and in some places has had to be stopped. Although the Western Cape’s winter grain crop regions received some timely rain, a long-term “climate response action plan” has been introduced called Smart Agri. This is a partnership between the provincial government, the private sector and academic institutions. Among the recommendations for the way forward is conservation agriculture, which is being tested at the provincial research farm, Langgewens. Minimum tillage and crop rotation are among the strategies being adopted. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017
Zeder Investments is the agricultural arm of investment holding company PSG Group (which has become well known to the general public through Capitec Bank and Curro schools). Zeder has been very active in increasing its stake in agricultural companies in recent years, most notably Capespan, where it is now the holder of 98.1%. Capespan has a turnover of R7.6-billion across three divisions: farms, logistics and fruit. Brands include Cape and Outspan, Capespan Logistics (known as FPT for Fresh Produce Terminals) and Groot Gariep Koelkamers. Zeder has a similarly large stake in the holding company that controls three seed companies, Zaad Holdings (turnover R1.2-billion), and it has further shareholdings in egg and grain companies. Zeder is a 39.6% shareholder in Kaap Agri Ltd. Kaap Agri has more than 200 operating points stretching from its headquarters in Malmesbury in the Swartland to Namaqualand and beyond. What started out as a farmers’ co-operative is now a large enterprise with eight business units covering everything from grain (Wesgraan), to packaging (Pakmark) and retail (Agrimark). Zeder also owns 27.2% of Pioneer Foods, which makes and distributes many big food and drink brands across Southern