By Cue Sibiya
According to Brand South Africa, a research organisation which markets and promotes South Africa, the most important economic sectors in Gauteng are financial and business services, logistics and communications, and mining whilst agriculture is a relatively small sector as it only contributes about 1% to the provincial GDP.
We take a look at the high potential agribusinesses that SMEs can consider venturing into in Gauteng.
This is the most widely cultivated crop in Gauteng and is grown over 105 000 hectares of land. This is because a large part of the province falls within South Africa’s Maize Triangle (Sedibeng, Metsweding and West Rand District Municipalities). The Maize Triangle project activities included maize planting, distribution of crop inputs like seeds, fertilisers, pest control and diesel, and the distribution of tractors to local communities.
- Livestock farming
Livestock is one of the agricultural cornerstones in Gauteng. Livestock farming presents a greater success opportunity since it comprises 40% of the country’s agricultural output, with approximately 80% of agricultural farm land that can be used for the farming of livestock.
- Food processing
According to Brand South Africa, food processing and beverages make up a significant part of the province’s economy, with half of South Africa’s agroprocessing companies operating in Gauteng. New and competitive niche products under development include organic food, essential oils, packaging, floriculture, medicinal plants, natural remedies and health foods. Agroprocessing deals with packaging facilities, grain silos, milking parlous, milling plants and abattoirs.
- Veterinary services
This is defined as primary animal health and clinical services to small holder livestock farmers. According to GDARD, opportunities exist to offer mobile veterinary services especially in previously underserviced areas. Veterinary services help with improving public health by combating foodborne disease and diseases spread from animals to man, disease surveillance and outbreak control capacity.
It will help with the creation of biodiesels and will improve demand for oil seeds. Biodiesels has the potential to lower farmer’s input costs by using it to meet their energy requirements. Sugarcane-based renewable energy could assist Eskom with cogeneration of power.