Agri-business is critically important for Africa’s future economic growth.
In Cape Town, the sector is one of the most important components of the economy. It leads regional exports, second only to the petroleum sector, and lies at the heart of the region’s ability to drive economic development, contributing billions to the regional GDP.
Food and beverages exports from Cape Town and the Western Cape accounted for 41% of all provincial exports, valued at ZAR45 billion in 2014. This equates to 47% of South Africa’s total ZAR94 billion in food and beverage exports.
In addition, the region exports 70% of all South African beverages and spirits, and 96% of its wine.
The region produces 11 different commodities. Fruit, poultry, eggs, winter grains, viticulture and vegetables comprise more than 75% of total output.
The Western Cape also hosts many businesses that operate at various points along the agri-business supply chain, including inputs, production, processing, marketing and distribution of agricultural, forestry and fishing products.
With winter rainfall in the Boland and year-round rainfall in the Southern Cape, the Western Cape’s unique climate offers a diverse crop mix and year-round production potential.
The sector also benefits from the excellent road, rail, sea and air transport and cold chain infrastructure and processing facilities. In addition, two universities offer advanced programmes in cereal science, fruit technology, plant biotechnology and viticulture, offering a pool of talent and news skills for any operator in the sector.