The 2023/2024 financial year in agriculture in the Eastern Cape

The MEC for the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Nonkqubela Pieters the 2023/2024 financial year policy and budget speech in Bisho: PICTURE: BHEKI RADEBE

Highlights from the Policy and Budget Address by Nonkqubela Pieters, MEC for the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, in Bhisho.

Grain production

For the 2023/2024 financial year, the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform will concentrate on initiatives that assist small grain farmers in an effort to boost grain production in the Eastern Cape.

According to the department, it has helped grain farmers plant maize on 20 000 hectares of land, of which 8000 are farmed by developed farmers.

This department is pleased with the results of its partnerships with companies like Ukhanyo Farmer Development, Afrosaint, Luleka Mbethe Holdings, Dalasile AgriPark, and others.

According to the department’s report, they are actively seeking out companies like John Deer to enhance their level of collaboration with emerging farmers.

Through its Transkei Feed Kraal initiative, WIPHOLD is helping farmers in Centane become more successful. This project combines the production of beef cattle and maize.


In the province of the Eastern Cape, animal production and livestock products make up 50% of the economy.

Pieters also took advantage of the opportunity to encourage farmers to think about methods to export their livestock.

Eastern Cape livestock farmers exported 71 000 sheep to Middle Eastern nations in the financial year 2022/2023. Revenue from this was R294.8 million. During the financial year 2023/2024, an estimated 14 000 livestock were exported to African countries, worth R144 million.

Nonetheless, R12.8 million will be used to enhance herds of sheep, goats, and cows during the financial year 2023/2024. Custom feeding centres will receive R2.9 million in funding.

Wool production

Compared to other South African provinces, the Eastern Cape produced 38% more maize. This province is where 83% of the mohair is produced. The cost of a kilogram of wool dropped significantly from R70 to R47 in the financial year 2020/2021.

In order to increase wool production in the financial year 2022/2023, 20 shearing sheds have been constructed in the Alfred Nzo, Amathole, OR Tambo, Chris Hani, Joe Gqabi, and Sarah Baartman districts. R24.4 million is expected to build shearing sheds in the 2023/2024 financial year.

Animal health

For the financial year 2022/2023, more than a million animals have received vaccinations to stop diseases and their spread. The department stated that it plans to spend R44 million in the 2023/2024 fiscal year.

Due to the attention to animal health, the Eastern Cape is one of the provinces that has not been identified as having the Foot and Mouth disease that has affected animals in other provinces.

Poultry and piggery production

R4.2 million is the amount that the Eastern Cape government intends to use to expand the piggery development in Alfred Nzo and Sarah Baartman.

The R4.6 million is anticipated to be used to boost poultry and pig production across the board in the Eastern Cape.