The forecast of an increase in fruit export Is good news for the Western Cape
The Western Cape has received good rainfall since 2018 following a prolonged period of limited precipitation. It is expected that the increased water availability will boost agricultural production.
Commenting on the expectation for a good harvest Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Ivan Meyer said:
“In light of many disruptions to international trade due to Covid-19, trade facilitation bottlenecks continue to threaten the reliable supply of key agricultural products. These, among others, relate to trade infrastructure, e.g. capacity of ports and tariff and non-tariff barriers. In addition, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in a sharp increase in some commodity prices, e.g. fertilisers and wheat, due to limited supply and growing uncertainty for future supply. Despite this, agriculture is pushing forward, as evidenced by projected harvests for various products.”
According to the deciduous fruit organisation, Hortgro’s exports estimates report, apple exports are projected to increase by 6% in 2022. Likewise, pear exports estimates for 2022 show an increase of 12% for this season compared to the previous season.
Nectarines exports are projected to grow by 26% compared to the previous season. Regions showing positive growth are Ceres, Berg River, Klein Karoo and Stellenbosch.
Overall, the peach exports are projected to show positive growth of 2% this season compared to the previous one. In addition, positive growth for the inspection region was reported for Ceres and Berg River at 7% and 10%, respectively, compared to the previous season.
Wheat production estimates from GrainSA project an increase of 4% (41 900 tonnes) in the province for the 2021/2022 season compared to 2020/2021. This growth can be attributed to the favourable rainfall received and 34 000 (10%) ha increase in the area under production.
“This is good news. The Western Cape agricultural sector is export-orientated and contributes 53% to national agricultural exports. In 2020, the Western Cape Province exported R78.68 billion worth of combined agricultural and agri-processing products. Eight of the ten biggest export products from the Western Cape have an agricultural foundation. So agriculture is pushing forward,” concludes Meyer.