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Northern Cape Business 2022-23

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Since 2009, Northern Cape Business has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the region. It is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector focused infrastructure development.

OVERVIEW Agriculture

OVERVIEW Agriculture Agricultural logistics is in the spotlight. SECTOR INSIGHT The Russian invasion of Ukraine is affecting farmers. The Vaalharts-Taung irrigation scheme is being expanded. Credit: Experience Northern Cape The Provincial Government of the Northern Cape has announced that the Upington Industrial Park will act as a services centre for road, rail and air transport, agriculture, agro-processing and manufacturing. In a similar vein, the Namakwa SEZ in Aggeneys will become an industrial cluster for mining and agriculture services, beneficiation and manufacturing. Farmers and agro-processors are increasingly drawing attention to the need for good roads for the delivery of their products to market and they will be hoping that these parks will help to provide the necessary infrastructure. This issue came under the national spotlight with the release in April 2022 by Agri SA of a report on the effect of bad roads on the agricultural sector. The report noted that 94% of the produce created by the farmers surveyed was conveyed by road and that 69% of farmers had at some point tried to fix roads themselves. The report described as “untenable” for small-scale farmers the costs associated with road repair. In 2020, the combined value of South Africa’s agricultural exports to Russia and Ukraine was R4.1-billion. Those exports include citrus, grapes and wine from the Northern Cape. Most of this income will dry up completely as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As the two combatant countries jointly supply about 14% of the world’s fertiliser, prices are expected to rise. The Northern Cape’s sunflower farmers, however, can expect increased demand because of the huge dependence on those two countries for sunflower oil; nearly 60% of global exports. Unfortunately, 33 sunflower farms in the Northern Cape were hit by locust outbreaks at about the same time as the Russians invaded. A new Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform has been created. This revamped department is part of the provincial government’s reorganisation process, known as the Provincial Macro Organisation of Government (PMOG) process. One of the items on the agenda of the new department is the expenditure of R32-million for project preparation through the Budget Facility for Infrastructure for the Vaalharts-Taung irrigation scheme. The money will be spent on finalising the master plan and the feasibility process. Agriculture contributes about R6.8-billion towards the Northern Cape’s provincial GDP of R96-billion. Although the bulk of agricultural activity occurs through large commercial enterprises, there are moves to broaden the sector’s reach and to diversify it. Two-year mentoring and training programmes are available for young people interested in taking up farming. At the moment, 75 young graduates are employed on farms or in agro-processing firms and will develop skills in many aspects of the agricultural value chain which will stand them in good stead for a future in the sector. This was made possible by the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP), which provides grant funding to cover the payment of stipends, training and protective clothing for the graduates. A programme NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022/23 16

OVERVIEW to empower black farmers supported six farmers in 2020. The Commercialisation of Black Producers Programme targets farming and agriprocessing in the expectation that graduates will mentor young people and create employment. The commercialisation of the goat project which was successfully extended to Namibia has now been further expanded to include Botswana. Small-scale farmers are being given access to market and further expansion is expected. 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. Agricultural assets Agriculture company KLK holds regular auctions. Credit: KLK 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. The Vaalharts irrigation scheme is one of the biggest systems of its kind in the world. Ranging over more than 30 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. 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. Wool, mohair, karakul, Karoo lamb, venison, ostrich meat and 17 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022/23

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