Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, accompanied by Executive Mayor Sakkie Franken of the Overberg District Municipality and Mayor Paul Swart of the Cape Agulhas Municipality recently visited grain farming enterprise, Agri Dwala (Pty) Ltd in Napier in the Overberg region. The visit comes off the back of the news that the Western Cape is expecting one of the largest winter grains and oilseed crop in recent history, shattering previous records.
Commenting on the forecasted bumper year, Minister Meyer said: “The Western Cape Department of Agriculture expects a record grain harvest this season. We are grateful as this will increase the value of our agricultural production in the Western Cape as well as revenue from the grain industry.”
Agri Dwala (Pty) Ltd is one hundred per cent owned and operated by farmworkers turned farmers.
The enterprise owns 580ha of farming land on which it farms with wheat, barley, oats, canola and lupines.
Manager and shareholder, Daniel Pieters says that after a few tough years they are excited by the prospect of a record yield.
Pieters: “We have been keeping record of our harvest performance. All the indications are that we are going to have an exceptional year. A good crop and a good price mean that we will be able to re-invest in our business.”
According to Western Cape Department of Agriculture economist, Louw Pienaar, the latest estimates from the Crop Estimates Committee, released on 28 October 2020, are forecasting the Western Cape wheat harvest at 1 million tons.
Pienaar: “Apart from a bumper harvest in 2016, this is the largest harvest in more than two decades. In terms of the national barley and canola harvest, the majority produced in the Western Cape, the harvest will exceed any other harvest in the past, with 520 thousand tons barley and 126 thousand tons of canola expected.”
Pienaar continues: “The excellent yields come as a result of rain and weather conditions being right for winter grain production across both the Swartland and the Overberg regions. Aside from the good harvest, current prices are also at levels higher than the past several seasons, which will boost economic growth in rural areas.”
Minister Meyer concurs:
“The Western Cape has seen many years of drought in recent years. We should view the good news in the context of farmers having had to deal with successive years of drought. The expected record harvest will assist the economic recovery of the Western Cape.”
“Safety, jobs, dignity and wellbeing is the Western Cape Government’s priority. Successful farming enterprises such as Agri Dwala enhances the realization of these goals,” concluded Meyer.