Although not traditionally a grain-producing province, the Eastern Cape has begun to make inroads into this important agricultural crop.
The province is responsible for just one per cent of South Africa’s total maize production and contributes approximately 15 000 tonnes of wheat per annum to the national breadbasket.
Wheat is chiefly farmed in the Keiskammahoek, Sterkspruit and Whittlesea areas.
A number of farmers have also begun to plant alternative crops such as canola, sorghum and soybeans for the feedstock and biofuels markets.
The Eastern Cape could make an important contribution to national food security and job creation through the expansion of this sector.
Grain SA recently opened its third regional office, in Maclear, to support the more than 1 600 developing grain farmers in the province.