People are at the heart of agriculture, and it is thanks to the hard work of residents in rural communities across the province that our sector continues to flourish in the face of prolonged drought.
Figures from Statistics South Africa show jobs in the Western Cape’s agriculture sector have increased by 17% in the past year. In 2016, primary agriculture jobs grew from 214 000 to 250 000.
Although the drought persists in regions across the province, the numbers prove we’ve had a good harvest. This is due to our decision to prioritise conservation agriculture, as part of the Smart Agri climate change response framework. Conservation agriculture includes crop rotation and minimum tillage.
By adopting conservation agriculture principles, our Langgewens Research Farm in the Swartland is currently producing nearly double the amount of wheat on less than half of the area previously allocated to this crop. A recent study has shown that 98.8% of farmers in the middle Swartland are implementing crop rotation. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to implement the various strategies of Smart Agri in the period ahead. In the Western Cape, we are joining hands to build a strong and sustainable agriculture sector, better together.
Minister Alan Winde, MEC
of Economic Opportunities.