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The national Crop Estimate Committee kept its estimate for South Africa’s wheat crop unchanged from last month at 1.86 million tonnes. This is a 21 percent increase from last year – a drought period. Also, this means that the heavy rain and wind in the Swartland region of the Western Cape a few weeks back had minimal impact on the harvest but might have affected crop quality. We will get more information form farmers in the coming weeks.

Overall, this means South Africa’s wheat imports could fall by roughly a third from last season to 1.4 million tonnes in the 2018/19 marketing year. This is good for the country’s agricultural trade balance.

On the positive note, the production of barley is expected to exceed 400 000 tons. This implies that barley production has nearly doubled over the past decade. Similarly, with production expected to come it at 115 000 tons, canola’s production has increased by almost 300 percent over the past decade. This is a robust performance by the South Africa agricultural sector increasing crop diversification towards sustainable farming practices.

Anyway – here is beautiful photo outside the conference venue we are in — see image below (Zanzibar, Tanzania, 28 November 2018).

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Zanzibar, Tanzania, 28 November 2018. Picture by Wandile Sihlobo

With editions by Prof Ferdi Meyer, BFAP.


Follow me on Twitter (@WandileSihlobo). E-mail: wandile@agbiz.co.za

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