In climate and topography
South Africa is a land of extremes. These extremes vary from semi-desert areas
to sub-tropical rain forests; from floods to severe droughts; from rain and snow
in the winter to heat-waves in the summer; from winter to summer rainfall and
from barren sand-dunes to deep fertile soils. But it is this very variety
in climate and topography which enables the country to produce almost every kind
The capriciousness of the climate and the widely differing kinds of
soil, however, also make heavy demands on the producer: knowledge of the land
and its possibilities and shortcomings is essential to the success of farming
operations. Over the years the knowledge of the South African agricultural
research specialist and an excellent extension service, combined with the
practical experience of the farmer, have enabled South Africa, in spite of its
natural disadvantages, to become largely self-sufficient in its agricultural
production and have even made surpluses available for export.
The South African farming community has over the past three centuries learned to
overcome setbacks caused by plant and animal diseases which at times threatened
to destroy agricultural production completely, but through these same problems
knowledge and experience were gained which now allow the South African
agricultural scientist to compete with leading experts throughout the
An agricultural tour to South Africa grants one an opportunity to share some of the agricultural
expertise and experience gained over the past three centuries. Naturally the
South African farming community also welcomes visitors from abroad who are
willing to share some of their answers to problems which have plagued them in
their respective countries - truly a win-win situation.
Regional agricultural breakdown
South Africa's diversity of climates, ranging from semi-arid
and dry to subtropical, means that a wide range of crops,
livestock and fish can be farmed effectively. The largest land
area is planted with maize, followed by sugar cane, wheat and
Field crops - found in the northern and
north-western parts of the country. Maize is the major field
crop. Others include wheat, sugar, barley, soya, canola,
sunflower, groundnuts and cotton.Deciduous Fruit -
found in the Western and Eastern Cape. Citrus is found in the
northern part of the country, and from the southern coastal
areas up to the east coast province of KwaZuluNatal.
Wine - the Western Cape is the primary wine producing
Cut flowers - found in the Western Cape and Gauteng
Province. The Western Cape boasts a host of indigenous flora
and fauna. South Africa’s national flower, the protea, hails
from this region. The major cut flowers grown in Gauteng
Province are roses, dendranthemas and carnations.
Livestock - almost two-thirds of South Africa’s land
is suitable for natural grazing, and supports cattle, sheep,
goats, donkeys and wildlife. Milk is the fourth largest
agricultural industry in value terms.
Fish and other catch - the country boasts a wide range
of fish, including hake, sole, monk, pilchards, mackerel, tuna
and yellowtail. Amongst the crustaceans, there are rock
lobsters, prawns and abalone. Squid are also found.
Aquaculture and mariculture - these emerging sectors
produce rainbow trout, tilapia, African catfish, abalone and
South Africa’s competitive advantages
The South African agroprocessing industry has a number of
competitive advantages, making it both an important trading
partner and a viable investment destination.
South Africa has three deep-water ports, three international
airports, a network of roads and railways, well-developed cold
chain facilities, and a well-developed financial sector.
Counter-seasonality to Europe,
the primary South African export market for horticultural and
floricultural products, is in itself a competitive advantage.
South Africa is the closest major southern hemisphere producer
of horticultural and floricultural products to Europe, and has
significantly shorter shipping times.
The diversity of climates to be found within South Africa
allows for a vast and varied array of agricultural products
available. Tropical, subtropical and desert climates are all
South Africa has a 3000km coastline which is commercially used
both for conventional harvesting as well as mariculture and
Ag Shame - poor thing
Biltong - dried beef
(similar to jerky)
Just now - anything from
10 minutes to 1 hour
Lekker - really nice
Now now - under 10
Nice - really
Robot - traffic
Totsiens (Afrikaans) - goodbye
TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS (PTY) LTD trading as AGRICULTURAL TOURS WORLDWIDE
(Registration No 2001/003247/07)
www.agritoursandtravel.com & PDQdesign - WebDesign by