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Northern Cape Business 2018-19 edition

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Officially supported and used by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the Northern Cape Province. In addition to comprehensive overviews of sectors of the economy, this publication has several special articles which focus on transformative projects, such as the solar and wind farms rapidly coming on line and the massive potential represented by the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, a multi-billion rand international project already taking shape in the vast open plains of the Karoo. Updated information on Northern Cape is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces as well as our flagship South African Business title.

OVERVIEW Agriculture

OVERVIEW Agriculture Pecan nuts may be the next big thing. The Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme (pictured above) is one of the biggest systems of its kind in the world. Ranging over more than 38 000ha, it has transformed a semi-desert zone into a productive area that sustains cotton, wheat, maize, lucerne, citrus, peanuts, fruit, grapes, olives and pecan nuts. Some analysts believe that the Northern Cape could become a global centre for pecan nut production. Figures released by the South African Pecan Nut Producers Association (SAPPA) suggest that huge increases in production and the extent of land planted to nuts is already underway. SOURCE: SAPPA SECTOR INSIGHTS The province has a Climate Change Adaptation Response Strategy. • Trout fishing has great potential in the province. Production of pecan nuts grew from 5 000 tons in 2010 to 10 500 tons in 2015, and the figure continues to rise as world markets react positively to the South African product. At one time it was thought that pecan nuts were better suited to tropical and subtropical climates, but the consensus is now that the Northern Cape is ideal for the cultivation of the versatile and healthy nut. Hot summers and short, cold winters are perfect, together with the dry air which has made areas NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018/19 34

OVERVIEW like Prieska, Upington, the Orania district and the Vaalharts area the site of many new groves. SAPPA says that 90% of the new plantings in South Africa are happening in the drier, western parts of the country. Farmers have to be patient, however, because the nut takes a long time to grow. Consulting firm Aurecon was involved in doing a feasibility study and compiling a business plan for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the irrigation scheme and agribusiness development in the Vaalharts and Taung areas, a major concern of the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD). The aim is to anchor the project in Ganspan. Another goal is to establish black pecan nut farmers in the area. Another new area where the DALRRD is involved is issuing permits and licences for trout production at the Vanderkloof Dam. This would open up a new stream of food production, reduce anxiety related to food security, and create jobs. Other priority projects include: • implementation of Agri-parks across the five districts of the province. Business plans are with municipalities for their approval. R33.9-million was set aside for this project in the 2017/18 budget • Fetsa Tlala Food Production programme, which supports smallholder farmers in growing their production volumes • the Namakwa Irrigation Development project with Onseepkans as the anchor • rooibos development project using rooibos extract and aroma as value-added products • development of the ostrich industry in the Pixley ka Seme District. The Agri-parks initiative is designed to promote inclusivity in agriculture and to grow agri-processing, particularly closer to where farmers farm. The concept brings together farmers, traders and agri-processors (such as abattoirs) in convenient sites within each district municipality. Within these parks, support for rural smallholders will be available in terms of equipment hire from a central source, storage facilities, packaging of produce and getting products to market. The Agri-park intends to provide a network for farmers and manufacturers. There will also be training available. The provincial department has a programme to place unemployed agricultural graduates at land reform farms in the province to make sure that the farms are run well, at the same time giving the graduates hands-on experience. Overview Long-term thinking underpins the adoption by the provincial government of the Northern Cape Climate Change Adaptation Response Strategy. This allows for a framework to tackle drought and other climate change issues. Occupying 36-million hectares, the Northern Cape is the largest province in the country, almost a third of South Africa’s total land area. Although the province is a predominantly semi-arid region, agriculture is a major component of the economy of the regional economy and the province’s farmers contribute 6.8% to South African agriculture. The agricultural sector also plays a vital role in the broader economy of the Northern Cape, employing as it does about 45 000 people. This represents about 16% of employment, a much higher figure than the national figure of 5.5% Agricultural development takes place along defined corridors within the province: In the Orange River Valley, especially at Upington, Kakamas and Keimoes, grapes and fruit are cultivated intensively. High-value horticultural products such as table grapes, sultanas and wine grapes, dates, nuts, cotton, fodder and cereal crops are grown along the Orange River. Wheat, fruit, groundnuts, maize and cotton are grown in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme in the vicinity of Hartswater and Jan Kempdorp. Vegetables and cereal crops are farmed at the confluence of the Vaal River and the Orange River in the vicinity of Douglas. Of the nearly 40-million 10kg bags of onions produced in South Africa (outside of linked production chains set up by supermarkets), about 10-million 10kg bags come from the Northern Cape. 35 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018/19

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