6 years ago

Mpumalanga Business 2017 edition

  • Text
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  • Mpumalanga
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  • Mbombela
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Mpumalanga 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 Mpumalanga Province. Supported and utilised by the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), Mpumalanga Business is unique as a business journal that focuses exclusively on Mpumalanga.

OVERVIEW Agriculture and

OVERVIEW Agriculture and agri-processing Mpumalanga's macadamia nut sector is cracking on. The agricultural sector accounts for 3.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Mpumalanga and for nearly 12% of employment. Separate overviews of the sugar and forestry sectors appear elsewhere in this publication. Mpumalanga is one of South Africa’s most productive and important agricultural regions and plays a key role in the export profile of South Africa, primarily in fruit and nuts. Big companies cultivate maize, sugar, timber, vegetables, fruit and tea on a large scale and are active in the raising of poultry and cattle. Large commercial farmers account for the bulk of crop and livestock production. Macadamia nuts have grown in popularity as a crop for export exponentially in recent years. The drier Highveld region with its cold winters supports crops such as cereals, legumes and nuts. There is extensive irrigation in the Loskop Dam area. Ermelo in the centre of the province is one of South Africa’s main centres of sheep-farming and wool-production. Standerton in the south-west is a dairy centre and Piet Retief in the south-east concentrates on sugar and tropical fruit. SECTOR INSIGHT The provincial government supports agricultural entrepreneurs. • A public-private partnership aims to ensure delivery of chickens to market from small-scale producers. • Macadamia plantings are growing by more than 1 500 hectares every year. Subtropical fruit flourishes in the Lowveld and the capital city Mbombela (formerly called Nelspruit) is a major citrus pro- MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017 34

ducer. Mangoes, avocados, pecan and macadamia nuts, bananas and papayas also thrive in the area. The Subtropical Fruit Growers’ Association represents about 400 avocado growers. The subtropical fruit sector has a combined turnover of R950-million and employs about 13 000 people. Mixed farming and potatoes, sweet potatoes and beans are mostly found in the southern and western parts of the province. Between them, the high-lying areas of Mpumalanga and the Free State account for 40% of South Africa’s potatoes. A land rehabilitation project is underway with the provincial government, in partnership with mining company BHP Billiton. This will release more land for agricultural use. The provincial government of Mpumalanga has instituted a support programme for farmers in terms of its Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). The Masibuyele Esibayeni Programme distributes animals in order to improve the breeding stock throughout the province. There is also a cropmassification programme. In terms of the CRDP, small-scale farmers will have the opportunity to supply the food to be used by schools in the nutrition programme. Each village and town covered by the CRDP will also have an opportunity to have its produce taken up to be displayed at the main provincial fresh produce market. Emerging farmers can sell their goods at the International fresh market near Mbombela. The Mpumulanga Fortune 40 Young Farmer Incubator Programme aims to support young agricultural entrepreneurs as well as the commercialisation of 20 farms specifically for young people, which will boost agricultural production. Another public-private partnership will allow easier access to market for the chickens produced at the eight poultry houses, which the provincial government is to construct at a cost of R11-million. An agreement has been signed for distribution to the following private companies: Early Bird Chicken, Afgri and Super Grand Distribution. This scheme forms part of a larger effort to integrate the poultry value chain, which is being led by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in partnership with the Mpumalanga Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. Mbombela is the location of one of South Africa’s premier research institutions, and the Agricultural Research Council – Institute for Tropical and Sub-Tropical Crops (ARC – ITSC) in Mbombela is a leader in the field of research. Specialising in crop varieties and research into the origin and cure of diseases, the ITSC has had a number of successes with avocados (new root stock), coffee yields and banana cultivars. The Lowveld Agricultural College offers a range of diplomas in Mbombela. A new satellite facility is being developed in the 35

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