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South Africa Has Rich Commercial Farmers And Poor Subsistence-Based Farmers

South Africa has a dual agricultural economy, with both well-developed commercial farming and more subsistence-based production in the deep rural areas.


Covering 1.2-million square kilometres of land, South Africa is one-eighth the size of the United States and has seven climatic regions, from Mediterranean to subtropical to semi-desert.


This biodiversity, together with a coastline 3 000 kilometres long and served by seven commercial ports, favours the cultivation of a highly diverse range of marine and agricultural products, from deciduous, citrus and subtropical fruit to grain, wool, cut flowers, livestock and game.


Agricultural activities range from intensive crop production and mixed farming in winter rainfall and high summer rainfall areas to cattle ranching in the bushveld and sheep farming in the arid regions. Maize is most widely grown, followed by wheat, oats, sugar cane and sunflowers.


While 13% of South Africa's land can be used for crop production, only 22% of this is high-potential arable land. The most important limiting factor is water availability. Rainfall is distributed unevenly across the country, with some areas prone to drought. Almost 50% of South Africa's water is used for agriculture, with about 1.3-million hectares under irrigation.


Today, South Africa is not only self-sufficient in virtually all major agricultural products, but is also a net food exporter. Farming remains vitally important to the economy and development of the southern African region. Since 1994, the government has been working to develop small-scale farming to boost job creation.


South Africa's field crops and horticulture farming agriculture sectors:


South Africa is divided into a number of farming regions according to climate, natural vegetation, soil type and farming practices. Agricultural activities range from intensive crop production and mixed farming in winter rainfall and high summer rainfall areas, to cattle ranching in the bushveld and sheep farming in more arid regions.


The total gross value of South Africa's agricultural production for 2003 was estimated at R68.7-billion, with farmers' income amounting to R70-billion.


The indigenous Afrikaner Beef Cattel Breeds are popular with European Farmers. African Goats and sheep breeds like the Afrino (wool and mutton) adapted to arid conditions is very popular with poor subsistence-based farmers.


Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and African travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail Address: southafricantravelarticles@12234455.co.za Website Address: http://www.12234455.co.za


Source: www.articlecity.com