6 years ago

Mpumalanga Business 2017 edition

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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 Nkangala District Municipality on the site of the old Marapyane College of Education near Siyabuswa. The college offers three-year diplomas and two-year certificate courses in crop production and animal husbandry. Some students go on to study further aspects of agriculture at the University of the North West. The Buhle Farmers’ Academy near Delmas runs successful training for existing farmers. Trainers like Mposa Agricultural Consultants provide SETA-accredited courses and the academy claims that just 8% of its graduates have remained subsistence farmers, with 53% producing at a commercial level. Funders include Monsanto Fund (USA), the Maize Trust, Standard Bank, Tongaat Hulett Starch and Omnia. Companies Fresh fruit and nut supplier Halls has developed a countrywide reputation since it was incorporated as a company in 1921. Halls’ Mpumalanga operation (Mataffin) produces an avocado crop of about 1 300 tons, 37% of the company’s output. Europe buys most of Halls’ 1.6-million cartons of exports (4kg equivalents) and this represents about 60% of production. The company is one of South Africa’s biggest exporters of litchis, with a total production of about 850 tons in a good year. Halls cultivates 375 hectares of its own land and has another 1 400 hectares under management. The Matsafeni Trust is the company’s biggest outgrower and it exports in the region of 300 000 cartons every year. Westfalia is a diversified agricultural group that runs extensive operations in the province. The group’s South African operations regularly sell more than five-million cartons of avocados (50% of the country’s export volume) and seven-million cartons of mangoes. Westfalia is a subsidiary of the Hans Merensky Group and most of its holdings are in the neighbouring province of Limpopo. Umbhaba Estates is one of the biggest banana growers in the province. An idea of the size of the operation can be gauged from the fact that Umbhaba runs its own rigs and trailers – 36 of them – and four LAND USAGE AREA Commercial dry land 1 088 209 square kilometres Commercial irrigation 110 734 square kilometres Subsistence agriculture 99 710 square kilometres (20% of this land is suitable for crop production) Total 6 530 390 square kilometres Land statistics in Mpumalanga SOURCE: MPUMALANGA PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT 70-seater buses for staff transport. About a quarter of South Africa’s tobacco crop is cultivated in Mpumalanga. British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) has about 65% of the legal domestic cigarette market and its factory in Heidelberg (in neighbouring Gauteng) makes about 26-billion cigarettes every year. South Africa’s annual production is in the region of 15-million kilograms of tobacco. While downstream production facilities exist in the province, much more can be done to beneficiate the region’s rich natural resources, including fruit juice blending, sugar byproducts, processing of sauces, oils, confectioneries, canned products and cattle feed. Excellent returns on investment are anticipated given the close proximity of the province to the economic heartland of South Africa to the west and the international port of Maputo to the east. Crops South Africa’s production of macadamia nuts-in-shell (NIS) has grown from about 35 000 tons in 2012 to an estimated 46 000 tons in 2015. International production of the nut has been expanding by 20% year-on-year for some time, and this trend is expected to continue for at least another five years, driven by strong demand from Asia, although drought, hail and high temperatures are expected to adversely affect the 2016 harvest. There are more than 500 farmers growing the nuts and there are 14 cracking factories in South MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017 36

OVERVIEW Africa. The sector employs about 4 500 people, of which 1 500 are permanent employees. The South African Subtropical Growers’ Association manages the business of four growers’ associations, including macadamia growers. About 21 500 hectares are planted with macadamia in South Africa, most of which is in Mpumalanga (Barberton/ Hazyview), Limpopo and coastal KwaZulu-Natal. More than 95% of the annual crop is exported. Mpumalanga produces onemillion tons of maize that is cultivated on 291 788 hectares. About 53 000 tons of wheat and 33 000 tons of sorghum are produced annually. Soya bean is another major crop, and more than half of South Africa’s soya bean crop is produced in Mpumalanga’s Highveld areas. National annual production levels are between 400 000 and 500 000 tons of soya bean. Mpumalanga accounts for about 21% of South Africa’s citrus production and a third of its export volumes. Valencia oranges are the province’s most popular varietal. Hazyview is an important source of bananas, with 20% of South Africa’s production originating in this district. About 110 000 tons of avocados are produced in South Africa every year, with a high proportion of those coming from Mpumalanga. About 45% of the crop is exported. Deciduous fruits are cultivated in smaller quantities. The village of Tonteldoos north of Dullstroom hosts an annual peach festival that includes liquid marvels such as peach mampoer (the South African version of moonshine). About 15 000 tons of table grapes are produced in the province annually and Mpumalanga produces its own wine. A specialist fruit that does well in the province is the marula. The marula fruit makes a popular beer and is used in the production of a liqueur that has done well on the international market. Potatoes and potato seed thrive in Mpumalanga’s fertile soil, with one operation in the higher reaches of the Drakensberg range producing more than 2 000 tons of seed every year. Tomatoes, onions and cabbage are also farmed profitably. Mpumalanga is a relatively minor producer of cotton, but there are areas of the province where the crop is important. It is grown

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