The Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform is to export more than 8 000 tons of yellow maize produced by Matatiele farmers to Vietnam.
As part of the implementation of the Agriculture Economic Transformation Strategy, the department signed a service level agreement with the Grain Farmer Development Association (GFDA) tasking it to support emerging black grain farmers to produce maize on 3 350 hectares for commercial markets in the Joe Gqabi and Alfred Nzo districts of the province.
Department spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, said the department invested R10 million for Matatiele farmer’s production inputs and mechanization, with GFADA covering crop insurance, soil corrections, mentorship and finding market for the grain produced by farmers.
“About 14 farming cooperatives from Matatiele are participating in this program bringing land used for the production of the maize to 2 416 hectares for the first production.
“Wipwise Commodities, one of GFADA’s strategic partners, secured off-take agreements for the crop with local and foreign buyers, hence the maize will be shipped off to Vietnam as part of the agreement signed by the department and the GFADA,” Sicwetsha explained.
Between April 2018 and July 2018 South Africa exported about 663 568 tons of yellow maize to Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Italy, Korea Republic, Namibia, Taiwan province of China, and Vietnam.
Sicwetsha said the grain harvest season is already underway and the Matatiele farmers are harvesting their crop, which is sent to the Durban Harbour for export to foreign markets