5 years ago

Free State Business 2017 edition

  • Text
  • Infrastructure
  • Development
  • Province
  • Investment
  • Business
  • Network
  • Bloemfontein
  • Municipality
  • Manufacturing
  • Economic
  • Province
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  • Industrial
Free State Business 2017 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2008 established itself as the premier business and investment guide to Free State Province. Supported and utilised by the Free State Development Corporation (FDC), Free State Business is unique as a business journal that focuses exclusively on the Free State.

OVERVIEW Agriculture The

OVERVIEW Agriculture The grain-rich Free State is investing in poultry operations. Any event that attracts 448 helicopters and light aircraft must have something worth seeing. The 50th edition of the NAMPO Harvest Day was held in 2016 – and it is now regarded as one of the biggest agricultural festivals and exhibitions of its kind in the world. Transactions worth R50 000 were recorded at the second event in 1968. With 75 116 visitors and 685 exhibitors, the 2016 Harvest Day undoubtedly did rather better than that. Apart from the trading and the festivities, there is an annual Farmer Patent Competition, sponsored by Grain SA and Omnia, the fertiliser company. Bothaville, the host town, is located in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality on the western boundary of the Free State. So far west is Bothaville, that Senwes counts it as part of its North West region. SECTOR INSIGHT Large percentages of South Africa’s agricultural produce comes from the Free State. • The NAMPO Harvest attracted 75 000 visitors. • A record maize supply deal has been signed. The giant agricultural company, with its headquarters in the North West city of Klerksdorp, has three FREE STATE BUSINESS 2017 42

OVERVIEW separate regions for the rest of the Free State (east, north and south) as the province forms a vital part of the group’s portfolio. The company deals with no less than 20% of the country’s oilseeds and grain through its 68 silos. At the NAMPO event, Senwes’ commodity trading company, TradeVantage, signed a deal with Meadow Feeds to supply the animal feed supplier with 800 000 tons per year until April 2018. This is said to be the largest single maize contract to be signed in Southern Africa. Meadow Feeds, a subsidiary of Astral, will use the maize to feed 37-million chickens on a daily basis. The national feed industry has an annual turnover of R50-billion and if this money has to be spent in dollars to buy the raw materials, it becomes a very expensive business. VKB Agriculture, another of the province’s large agricultural companies that used to be farmers’ co-operatives, has invested heavily in the Grain Field Chicken abattoir in Reitz (together with the broiler houses in Tweeling). The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which has a 23% stake in the project, intends to help develop the Free State as the poultry hub of South Africa. The VKB headquarters are in the town of Reitz in the northeastern part of the province and the group has nine brands in sectors such as fuel, grains, animal feed and foods. The financial division held information sessions with emerging farmers in 2016 to explain how farmers can benefit from the partnership between VKB and the Land Bank. VKB has development programmes with 51 emerging commercial farmers (cultivated area 5000ha) in the Free State and data on 140 developing farmers on its Free State database. During the course of 2016, the IDC lent R400-million to the Land Bank to help farmers deal with the multi-year drought, which only broke in late July. Grain SA reported that more than 3.5-million tons of maize would have to be imported to South Africa for the 2016/17 season. The drought has had the effect of reducing the agricultural sector’s influence on provincial GDP (from 8% to 5%) but the province still supplies almost all the country’s cherries and about half of the country’s maize and sunflower seed. In addition, a third of South Africa’s wheat comes from the Free State. About 24% of South African beef and 17.4% of sheep (mutton and wool) is produced in the Free State. A recent development has seen the province increase its share of the soya bean market. It 43 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2017

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