Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape is the second largest province (after the Northern Cape) and accounts for 9.7% of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019). With plentiful grassland and (usually) good rainfalls, the Eastern Cape hosts the largest percentage of the country’s livestock – 38% of its goats, 29% of its sheep and 25% of its cattle (DAFF, 2019). It is the most important province when it comes to wool and mohair production. It has 15% of the country’s milk producers (MPO, 2018). It has 7.4% of the country’s broilers (SAPA, 2016). After Limpopo and the Northern Cape, this province hosts the most number of game farms (DEA, 2018).

The broken surface of the land precludes large scale agronomy, yet a wide variety of crops are cultivated. These include:

  • Maize, lucerne, dry beans, sunflower, chicory, sugar beet, olives, hemp, flax, tea and sugar cane
  • Cabbage, tomatoes, onion, spinach and carrots pumpkins, watermelons and potatoes
  • Pineapples, peaches, oranges, lemons, apricots, guava, bananas and avocado

The shoreline lends itself to fishing. Squid forms the basis of the province’s fishing industry. There is some recreational and commercial fishing for line fish, the collection of marine resources, and access to line-catches of hake.

Potential agribusiness opportunities are fruit processing, maize milling, meat processing, juice/milk processing, tanneries and taxidermy.

The district municipalities

District/Metropolitan MunicipalityWebsite
Joe Gqabi
Nelson Mandela
OR Tambo

Provincial Department of Agriculture

Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform

  • Tel: 040 602 5000 Fax: 040 636 3462
  • Postal: Private Bag X0040, Bisho, 5605
  • Website:

Head of Department (acting): Heathcoat Jongile Mhlomi

  • Tel: 040 602 5013 Fax: 040 635 0604

The “Programmes” option on the website introduces the visitor to the departments and provides contact details. Contacts for this department across the Eastern Cape districts are provided under “Contact us”.

For more information on the province:

Free State

A quarter of the country’s arable land is in the Free State, and so it is understandable that agriculture is central to the well-being of the province. The province accounts for 15.2% of the country’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019). It is a principal producer of summer and winter crops.

Major grain and oilseed crops are given here followed by the percentage that the Free State contributed to national production: maize (39%), grain sorghum (17%), groundnuts (33%), sunflower (57%), dry beans (40%) and soy beans (34%). Some 21% of the country’s wheat came from this province too (DAFF, 2019).

The eastern part, which is mountainous and has a temperate climate, is home to the country’s cherry and asparagus sectors. Other deciduous fruit – apples, berries, peaches, plums and apricots – do well here. Some 28% of the country’s commercial potato producers live in this province (Potatoes SA, 2018). The south consists of karoo/semi-desert vegetation.

Sheep (20%), cattle (17%), pigs (7.8%) and other livestock are farmed (DAFF, 2019). The province has 15% of the country’s milk producers (MPO, 2018) and its hens come up with 13.8% of the country’s eggs (SAPA, 2016).

The province has a dedicated Free State Stock theft helpline: call 086 199 9300 or write to vee [at]

The district municipalities

District/Metropolitan MunicipalityWebsite

Provincial Department of Agriculture

Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Head of Department: Dr T Masiteng

  • Tel: 051 861 8509
  • Office Manager –  051 861 8363
  • Communication & Information Services –  051 861 8311

The “Service Delivery Centres” option at gives contact details of agricultural offices in towns across the province.

For more information on the province:


The province’s agricultural sector is mostly geared to providing the cities and towns with daily fresh produce including vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, dairy products and flowers. Gauteng accounts for 4.7% of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019). Almost a quarter of the country’s egg production happens in Gauteng (SAPA, 2016).

Gauteng has about 3% of the country’s arable land. Maize (5%) and soybeans (5%) are the major crops (DAFF, 2019). Some 4% of the country’s commercial potato producers live in this province (PSA, 2018). The province has over 10% of the country’s pigs (DAFF, 2019), and 17% of South Africa’s commercial pork producers (SAPPO, 2019).

Provincial Department of Agriculture

Department of Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment

Head of Department:  Ms Matilda Gasela

Randfontein – 011 411 4300
Pretoria – 012 316 1804/14
Germiston – 011 411 7700

Email contact details for the following services are available on the website:

  • Animal Health Care – 011 240 2500/526
  • Animal Health – 011 240 2500
  • Veterinary Public Health and Export Facilitation – 011 240 2500
  • Food Security – 011 240 2500/721
  • Farmer Support – 011 240 2500/730
  • Female Entrepreneur Programme – 011 240 2500
  • Agro-processing – 011 240 2500/521
  • Agriparks – 011 240 2500/719
  • Nguni Cattle Development Project – 011 240 2500/325
  • Compliance and Enforcement – 011 240 2500

NICD Human Rabies helpline – 082 883 9920

Information on the following is available on the website:

  • Regulatory Animal Health
  • Export Facilitation
  • Primary Animal Health
  • Veterinary Public Health

Also find forms (Nature Conservation Permits, ​​​​​Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)​, Compliance and Enforcement), documents, annual reports etc.​

For more information on the province:


The province is home to a significant percentage of South Africa’s small-scale farmers. It has good rainfall, fertile soils and three different geographic areas: the lowland region along the Indian Ocean, plains in the central region, and two mountainous areas—the Drakensberg and the Lebombo mountains. This translates to a range of agricultural activities. Of the 6.5 million hectares of farming land, 18% is good for crops and 82% suitable for livestock activities. KwaZulu-Natal accounts for 8.5% of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019).

The province’s trademark agricultural commodity is sugar cane, with soybeans (8%) and maize (6%) being other major field crops (DAFF, 2019).  Subtropical fruit and vegetables are grown, while the areas around Vryheid, Eshowe, Richmond and Harding are used for forestry. Larger than the province’s maize sector and with an annual trade worth around R62-million, indigenous medicinal plants is a commodity flying below the radar.

Livestock does well in this province. The midlands area is known for its dairy farms and 16% of the country’s milk producers live in this province (MPO, 2018). KwaZulu-Natal has 19% of the country’s cattle, 13% of its goats and 10% of its pigs (DAFF, 2019). Interestingly, KwaZulu-Natal has the highest number – 36% – of South Africa’s commercial pork producers (SAPPO, 2019). It has 10.3% of the country’s layers (eggs) and 10.3% of its broilers (SAPA, 2016).

Provincial Department of Agriculture

KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)

  • Tel: 033 355 9100
  • Fax: 033 355 9122
  • Website:
  • Private Bag X9059 Pietermaritzburg 3200

Head of Ministry: Mr Sibusiso Nzimande

  • Tel: 033 355 9690
  • Fax: 033 355 9293

A full list of contact details for all local and district offices, research stations, veterinary services and extension and advisory services and more can be found on the website.

For more information on the province:


Included in the areas of opportunity in this, the most northern province, are agribusiness and eco-tourism. It shares borders with three neighbouring countries – Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique – which opens the province to further possibilities. The Limpopo province accounts for 9.2% of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019)

The province is known for its fruit industry and is the major producer of the country’s avocados, mangoes, papayas and tomatoes. Other fruit includes bananas, litchis, pineapples, oranges and table grapes. Limpopo is the country’s top producer of potatoes. Macadamias and a variety of nuts are grown, and the area has also been known for tea and coffee plantations.

Limpopo, with 10% of South Africa’s arable land, produces a wide range of agricultural produce. Chief among this province’s contribution to field crops nationally: grain sorghum (43%), dry beans (22%), soy beans (4%),  wheat (7%) and sunflower (10%) (DAFF, 2019). Cotton, groundnuts and maize are also produced.

Half of the country’s game farms are in the Limpopo province (DEA, 2018). Amongst the other livestock, it hosts 18% of the country’s goats and 7% of its cattle (DAFF, 2019). It also produces 6.8% of the country’s eggs (SAPA, 2016).

Provincial Department of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Head of Department: Ms Ramatsimele Jacqueline Maisela

  • Tel: 015 294 3147
  • Fax: 015 294 4512

Other contact details:

  • Restitution – 015 294 3301
  • Veterinary – 015 294 3608
  • Soil Resource Management – 015 294 3157
  • Agribusiness – 015 294 3104
  • Transformation – 015 294 3283
  • Land – 015 294 3068
  • Economic/agribusiness – 015 294 3449
  • Food Security – 015 294 3592
  • Risk – 015 294 3214
  • Engineering Infrastructure – 015 294 3366

Contact details of other Directorates (Human Resources, Communication etc) are available on the website, as are contact details for agricultural offices at all the municipalities within the districts.

The district municipalities

District/Metropolitan MunicipalityWebsite

For more information on the province:


Lying in the east of South Africa, the province’s name means “Place of the rising sun”. The land swells to mountain peaks and breath-taking escarpment, and dropping down to the low-lying area known as the Lowveld. Mpumalanga accounts for 13.1% of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019)

Mpumalanga produces 45% of the country’s soy beans, 22% of its grain sorghum and 25% of its maize (DAFF, 2019). Other major crops include cotton, potatoes and onions. The Lowveld region is renowned for its sugar, citrus and subtropical fruit (bananas, avocados, mangoes). Litchis, guavas and pineapples are also grown.

Mpumalanga is a major poultry producer: 20.3% of the country’s broilers and 7.7% of its layers come from here (SAPA, 2016). Cattle (10%) and sheep (7%) are included amongst the livestock kept (DAFF, 2019).

The province borders Mozambique and Swaziland.

Processing options in Mpumalanga:

In the highveld region:

  • Milling and processing of summer and winter cereals
  • Extraction of edible oils
  • Processing of (1) Maize, (2) Beans (3) deciduous fruit into juices, concentrate, jams and canned fruits

In the lowveld region:

  • Sugar refining
  • Processing of: (1) fruits into fruit juices and concentrates, jams, canning and drying (2) vegetables into canning, freezing, drying
  • Value adding to nuts
  • Production of honey
  • Processing fruits for input in pharmaceutical industry
  • Essential oils from tropical, subtropical and citrus fruits
  • Processing of tropical fruit with exotic recipes
Source: Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency

Provincial Department of Agriculture

Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA)

Head of Department: Mr L Monareng

  • Tel: 013 766 6040
  • Fax: 013 766 8429

A detailed contact list for the different Chief Directorates and Directorates is on the website.

The district municipalities

District/Metropolitan MunicipalityWebsite

For more information on the province:

North West

With around 20% of the country’s arable land, the North West province is a highly productive agricultural area. It accounts for 10.1% of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019). The province contributes the following to the national production: maize (15%), groundnuts (36%), sunflower (31%), dry beans (16%) and grain sorghum (14%) (DAFF, 2019). Other crops include soy beans, grain sorghum, tobacco, paprika, peppers, cotton and wheat. The province is also a significant vegetable and citrus fruit producer.

The North West province is a major player in the poultry sector: 22.4% of the country’s broilers and 9.8% of its layers are situated here (SAPA, 2016). It hosts 21% of its pigs, 12% of the country’s cattle and 12% of its goats (DAFF, 2019). Some 10% of the country’s milk producers (MPO, 2018), and 12% of South Africa’s commercial pork producers (SAPPO, 2019) live here.

The areas around Rustenburg and Brits are fertile mixed-crop farming land. The eastern, wetter part of the province sees a mixture of livestock and crop farming, while the semi-arid central and western part is home mainly to livestock and wildlife farming.

Three major irrigation schemes are located on the Crocodile, Vaal and Harts Rivers.

Provincial Department of Agriculture

North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ)

  • Tel: 018 389 5111 / 5719
  • Postal: Private Bag X 2039, Mmabatho, 2735
  • Physical: Agricentre Building, Corner Dr James Moroka Drive and Stadium Road (Opposite Convention Centre), Mafikeng
  • Website:

Head Of The Department: Dr P Mokaila

  • Tel: 018 389 5146/5104
  • Fax: 018 384 2679

Other contacts:

  • Agricultural Support Services – 018 389 5724
  • Veterinary Services – 018 389 5102 / 5057
  • Agricultural Economics – 018 389 5300
  • Rural Development – 018 389 5432
  • District Services – 018 389 5698

A list of contact details can be found in the “Directory of Services” on the website.

The district municipalities

District/Metropolitan MunicipalityContact and website
Bojanala014 592 8272 (agriculture)

Dr Kenneth Kaunda018 299 6504 (agriculture)

Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati053 927 0435 (agriculture)

Ngaka Modiri Molema018 389 5943 (agriculture)

For more information on the province:

Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is the country’s largest and most sparsely populated province, averaging two people in every square kilometre. The Orange River runs through the province, and a healthy agricultural industry follows it to the sea, the Atlantic Ocean forming the western boundary of the province. Apart from the high-lying parts in the south and south-east, the landscape of the province is characterised by vast, arid plains with outcrops of haphazard rock piles.

The Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme covers 369.50 square kilometres in this province.

The Northern Cape accounts 6.4% of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019). It produces 12% of the country’s groundnuts, 10% of its barley and 16% of its wheat (DAFF, 2019). The table grape industry is an important sector here, and raisins a popular product.

The economy of a large part of the Northern Cape depends on sheep farming, and the province has nearly a quarter (24%) of the country’s sheep (DAFF, 2019). It is second to Limpopo in game farming (DEA, 2018). The other main livestock are goats (9%) and cattle (3.5%) (DAFF, 2019). A large number of its farms meet export requirements, and the commercialisation of goats is seen as holding much promise for emerging farmers.

The Northern Cape holds the most promise for renewable energy projects. We wonder if farmers in this sun-drenched province will be allowed to farm energy as well in the future …

Provincial Department of Agriculture

Department of  Land Reform, Agriculture and Nature Conservation and Environmental Affairs

  • Tel: 053 838 9100 / 087 630 0387
  • Fax: 053 832 4685
  • Postal: Private Bag X5018 Kimberley 8300
  • Physical: 162 George Street, Kimberley
  • Website:

Head of the Department: Mr WVD Mothibi

  • Tel: 053 838 9102


The district municipalities

District/Metropolitan MunicipalityContact and website
Frances Baard087 630 0300/1

John Taolo Gaetsewe087 630 0299

Namakwa087 630 0329

Pixley Ka Seme087 630 0360

ZF Mgcawu (Siyanda)087 630 0305

For more information on the province:

Western Cape

The Western Cape has three climatic regions. The Cape Peninsula and the Boland further inland is a winter rainfall region with sunny, dry summers. Towards George, along the south coast, the climate gradually changes to year-round rainfall, while inland, towards the more arid Great Karoo, the climate changes to summer rainfall.

Ideal conditions for the cultivation of top-grade fruit, such as apples, table grapes, olives, peaches and oranges exist in the sheltered valleys amongst the mountains. Wines from this province are known all over the world. In the eastern part of the Western Cape, a great variety of vegetables is cultivated.

The Western Cape has 15% of the country’s arable land. Almost all the country’s canola, and most of its barley (85%) and wheat (48%) are grown here (DAFF, 2019).

Ostriches provide meat, leather and feathers. The province is the outlet for the exporting of horses from the country, earning valuable foreign exchange. The inland Karoo region (around Beaufort West) and the Overberg district (around Bredasdorp) produce wool and mutton. The Western Cape is also one of the top pork producers. The province has 11.8% of the country’s sheep and 11% of its pigs (DAFF, 2019). The highest number of milk producers live here, 31% (MPO, 2018). The Western Cape is the major poultry contributor in the country, with 24% of its layers and 21% of its broilers (SAPA, 2016).

At 23.1%, the Western Cape accounts for the largest slice of South Africa’s agricultural production (Sihlobo, 2019).

Provincial Department of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism

Head of department: Ms Joyene Isaacs

  • Tel: 021 808 5004/5

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture delivers a broad range of services through seven programmes:

  • Sustainable Resource Management – 021 808 5009
  • Research and Technology Development Services – 021 808 7723
  • Farmer Support and Development Services – 021 808 5103
  • Rural Development Coordination – 021 808 5294
  • Agricultural Economics Services – 021 808 5213
  • Veterinary Services – 021 808 5001
  • Structured Agricultural Education and Training – 021 808 7702

Read about these programmes, the Specialised Services, and Grants and Financial Aid on the website.

The district municipalities

District/Metropolitan MunicipalityWebsite
Cape Winelands
Central Karoo
West Coast District
Cape Metropole

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has the Alternative Crops Fund (ACF) – R3 million per annum – to boost exports and bolster land reform. Alternative, smaller crops include cherries, berries, fynbos, honeybush and pomegranates, to name but a few. These crops have high market value and are export-orientated. Alternative crops are mostly water smart and would therefore be preferred crops against the current, and most probable, dryer and even continued drought conditions in the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa. Promoting alternative crops is also one of the proposed actions of the SmartAgri plan.

Members of the Executive Council (MECs)

Province and MECContact details
Eastern Cape – Ms Nomakhosazana MethTel: 040 602 5000/6/7
Free State – Mr Kwekwe William BulwaneTel: 051 861 8515
Gauteng – Ms Morakane MosupyoeTel: 355 1432 / 1900
KwaZulu-Natal – Ms Bongiwe Sithole-MoloiTel: 031 343 8240
Limpopo – Ms Nandi NdalaneTel: 015 295 7023
Mpumalanga – Mr Vusumuzi ShongweTel: 013 766 6074
North West – Ms Desbo MohonoTel: 018 389 5688
Northern Cape – Ms Nomandla BloemTel: 053 838 9106

Western Cape – Dr Ivan Meyer

Tel: 021 483 4700

MinMEC is a forum made up from the MECs of agriculture in the nine provinces. It meets four times a year.

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Websites and publications

  • View the websites listed on this page.
  • Find the links to the Provincial Departments of Agriculture websites at
  • Find a provincial breakdown of livestock slaughterings at, website of the Red Meat Levy Admin (RMLA).
  • The latest Investors Handbook by the Department of Trade and Industry also gives useful notes on the provinces. Find this publication at
  • Find links to the different provincial governments at and at
  • Find the government investment incentives for local and provincial governments at
  • The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) provides provinces with a forum in which to engage with the national government on matters concerning areas of shared national and provincial legislative powers. The NCOP also oversees the programmes and activities of national government relating to provincial and local government matters. Find more at
  • AMT does provincial feasibility studies e.g. Agricultural/Agroprocessing potential for the Northern Cape and Unlocking of opportunities in the Eastern Cape Province. Visit for more information.

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