Page 5 - Co Products Brochure

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF SOUTH AFRICA’S
MAIZE PRODUCTION CAPABILITY
Maize has long been South Africa’s most important agricultural crop and accounts for
more than 45 percent of the total value of field crops. Not only is it the staple food for
most of the population, it is one of the country’s most significant feed grains. In addition,
the
maize industry earns considerable foreign exchange and contributes to
many
employment opportunities
One of the unfortunate characteristics of
maize farming in SA is that production varies
dramatically from season to season. Over one particular period of two years, production
dropped from 12,4
million tons to 8
million tons. Such variations are twice those
experienced in the USA.
Since May 1995, the grain and oilseed industry in South Africa has been subject to a
free-market system, with import tariffs in place, to provide some protection against low
priced imports of grain. Maize production in SA is approximately 8 million metric tons,
with little prospect of increased production. (All available farmland is used and severe
restrictions on water for irrigation are foreseen).
With the demand for animal products
increasing each year,
maize imports will become a long-term reality.