The abundance of citrus and many other subtropical fruit such as mangoes, avocados, litchis, bananas, pawpaws, granadillas and guavas as well as nuts and a variety of vegetables are produced in Mpumalanga. Mbombela is the second-largest citrus-producing area in South Africa and provides one third of the country’s export in oranges. Groblersdal is an important irrigation area, yielding crops such as citrus, cotton, tobacco, wheat and vegetables. Carolina-Bethal-Ermelo is mainly a sheep-farming area, but potatoes, sunflower, maize and peanuts are also produced in this region.
Mpumalanga is also home to the largest stock of beef cattle in South Africa and is responsible for 22% of South Africa’s beef production. This livestock is processed in the province by 32 red meat abattoirs and 21 poultry abattoirs, including large commercial operators such as Karan Beef and Kanhym (red meat) and Daybreak, Early Bird and Alzu. SAPPI’s Ngodwana plant, close to Nelspruit, is a fully integrated Kraft mill producing pulp for its own consumption as well as newsprint and containerboard. In August 2013, the mill started producing dissolving wood pulp (specialised cellulose) for global markets that can be exported through Maputo Port.
Agricultural activities in the Nkomazi area are dominated by banana growers and sugar cane farms with companies such as the Crooks Brothers and TSB being the main farm operators. Other food processing activities in the region comprise a large TSB sugar. Processing factory and a number of fruit processors in Nelspruit and Malelane. The dominance of sugar cane in the Lowveld regions of the Province limits opportunities for further agricultural and agro-processing development in the Ehlanzeni district. However, feasibility studies in respect of agricultural production and processing by various institutions, including the National Agriculture Marketing Council (NAMC) and private investors, have indicated that there are excellent agricultural opportunities in the Bushbuckridge area. It is therefore proposed that this area is included in an assessment of SEZ viability in the Mpumalanga province.
The establishment of a fresh produce market in Mpumalanga and specifically within the boundaries is well advanced in its planning and will also support the establishment of the Bushbuckridge Agri-industrial Park. The establishment of Bushbuckridge Agro-industrial Park is viable for supporting and supplying input and raw material for agro-processing hub. The ideal location of the Bushbuckridge area will also support the establishment of the fresh produce trade hub and market currently under development by Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) in Nelspruit.
This agro-industrial port work will act as suppliers of the SEZ
|Agro-processing||Lemon juice and oil plant||R500 million|
|Pectin recovery plant||R150 million|
|Fresh produce depot||R20 million|
|Juice concentration: mango and guava||R100 million|