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OVERVIEW

Agriculture Seven of the Cape’s biggest exports are agricultural.

SECTOR INSIGHT Agriculture is attracting foreign investors. • A conference to promote halaal exports has been held.

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he long-term drought which was lifted for most South Africans in late 2016 persisted well into 2017 for farmers and residents of the western part of the Western Cape. An official told parliament in October that as many as 50 000 jobs might be lost and production levels of deciduous fruits were expected to be down by 20%. A tomato purée factory in Lutzville closed down for the season for lack of product. Many grain farmers will allow cattle to graze in the fields rather than take in the meagre harvest. Despite these setbacks, the agricultural sector remains a vital component of the provincial economy, not only in its own right (4.2% of regional GDP) but as the provider of the products that are exported as fruit or vegetables or as juice or wine. Nearly 40% of exports from the Western Cape derive from fruit or agri-processing, which makes this a vital sector all along the value chain. Interest in the sector from foreign investors has also been lively. The Agri-business Investment Unit (AIU) within investment agency Wesgro has helped to generate investment into the agricultural sector totalling R1.5-billion in the three years to 2017. The AIU attended nine conferences or sector events in 2017/18 and received a mission from WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018

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Vietnam investigating ostrich meat and nuts. Seven of the 10 biggest export earners are either agricultural products or agri-processed goods. These are citrus, wine, apples and pears, grapes, fruit juice and tobacco. The Breede River Valley is an especially fertile area for fruit. The Western Cape specialises in apples, plums, pears and cherries. Peaches and nectarines can be found in most parts of the province. Raisins are a speciality of the Vredendal area on the West Coast. The Sandveld region on the West Coast is known as South Africa’s Potato Pantry. Citrusdal unsurprisingly does a strong line in citrus and, with nearby Clanwilliam, is also famous for rooibos and buchu. Strawberries do well in the George area. The Stellenbosch and Swellendam districts are also good for berries, and several farmers are branching out into raspberries and blueberries. The

Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

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