The Eastern Cape is the largest wool-producing province in South Africa, exporting more than 90 per cent of its crop to China, India and various European countries.
Wool is grown across the province, in centres such as Somerset East, Graaff-Reinet, Cradock, Burgersdorp, Dordrecht, Barkly East and Aberdeen, as well as the former Ciskei and Transkei areas.
The most popular wool sheep breeds are the Merino, Dohne Merino, Afrino, Letelle, Dormer and Île-de-France.
Used in top quality brands all over the world, Eastern Cape wool is sold at a weekly auction in Port Elizabeth and exported for processing and garment making.
The province produces more than 15 million kilograms of wool per annum.
In 1926, the National Wool Growers’ Association (NWGA) was founded in Middelburg and has become an influential commodity structure for wool sheep farmers in South Africa.
Its function is to provide production advisory services and assist with the training and development of commercial, emerging and communal producers.
The NWGA also liaises with government structures and other agricultural role-players and provides information about the industry to the general public.