Western Cape Agriculture Minister Ivan Meyer this week said he was pleased with the forecast of an increase in fruit exports from the province, following the good rainfall in the province since 2018.
In a statement, he said it was expected that the increased water availability would boost agricultural production.
“In light of many disruptions to international trade due to Covid-19, trade facilitation bottlenecks continue to threaten the reliable supply of key agricultural products.
"These, among others, relate to trade infrastructure, such as the capacity of ports, and tariff and non-tariff barriers," he noted.
"In addition, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in a sharp increase in some commodity prices, such as those of fertilisers and wheat, due to limited supply and growing uncertainty for future supply.
"Despite this, agriculture is pushing forward, as evidenced by projected harvests for various products," Meyer said.
According to deciduous fruit organisation, Hortgro’s export estimates report, apple exports are projected to increase by 6% this year, while pear exports are expected to increase by 12% year-on-year.
Nectarine exports are projected to grow by 26% compared with the previous season.
Regions showing positive growth are Ceres, Berg River, Klein Karoo and Stellenbosch.
Overall, peach exports are projected to grow by 2%.
Wheat production estimates from Grain SA project an increase of 4% (41 900 t) in the province for the 2021/22 season, compared with 2020/21.
“This is good news. The Western Cape agricultural sector is export-orientated and contributes 53% to national agricultural exports.
"In 2020, the Western Cape province exported R78.68-billion worth of combined agricultural and agri-processing products. Eight of the ten biggest export products from the Western Cape have an agricultural foundation. So agriculture is pushing forward,” said Meyer.