The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is primarily responsible for the promotion of agriculture in all its rich diversity in the Western Cape. It provides a wide range of development, research and support services to the agricultural community in the Western Cape.
The department's administrative headquarters is situated on the historic farm, Elsenburg, in the picturesque Boland region. We also render services to new and commercial farmers from our research farms, Further Education and Training Centres, extension offices, state veterinary offices and animal health technicians situated throughout the province.
About 45% of South Africa's agricultural exports move through the province and the value added in the sector amounts to more than R16 billion per annum.
The agricultural sector not only stimulates economic growth in the province, it also plays a major role in creating sustainable job opportunities. The department is very committed to deliver on Project Khulisa as part of the Western Cape Government’s Strategic Goal 1.
The department's service area covers approximately 13 million hectares, of which 2 million hectares are under cultivation and 320 000 hectares are under irrigation.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has a direct or indirect influence on the production of wine, deciduous fruit, citrus, grain, fynbos, vegetables, ostriches, small and large stock, as well as milk and dairy products. The department has also made a commitment to support alternative products and crops within the agricultural sector both in terms of finance and service.
The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate with an average rainfall, which ranges from well over 1 000mm per annum in some mountainous areas in the south and eastern regions, to less than 150mm over parts of the Karoo and the north-west regions. This great variation in rainfall and soil types contributes to the wide variety of crops grown in the province.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture delivers the following broad range of services:
- Research and technology development services to animal and crop producers in the Western Cape.
- Agricultural advice and guidance to the agricultural community and all users of natural resources.
- Agriculture infrastructure to qualifying farmers.
- Agricultural training, including higher- and further education. Conservation of natural resources.
- Agricultural engineering services.
- Analytical services at our plant pathology and water and soil laboratories.
- Diagnostic and analytical services at our veterinary laboratories.
- Veterinary health services.
- Co-ordination of rural development in 14 different nodes across the province.
These services are delivered through seven programmes:
- Sustainable Resource Management
- Farmer Support and Development
- Rural Development Co-ordination
- Research and Technology Development Services
- Agricultural Economics Services
- Structured Agricultural Education and Training
- Veterinary Services
- Rural Development Co-ordination
A united, responsive and prosperous agricultural sector in balance with nature
Unlocking the full potential of agriculture to enhance the economic, ecological and social wealth of all the people of the Western Cape through:
- Encouraging sound stakeholder engagements;
- Promoting the production of affordable, nutritious, safe and accessible food, fibre and agricultural products;
- Ensuring sustainable management of natural resources;
- Executing cutting edge and relevant research and technology development;
- Developing, retaining and attracting skills and human capital;
- Providing a competent and professional extension support service;
- Enhancing market access for the entire agricultural sector;
- Contributing towards alleviation of poverty and hunger, and
- Ensuring transparent and effective governance.