4 years ago

The Partnership no. 8

  • Text
  • Products
  • Lettuce
  • Partnership
  • Enza
  • Varieties
  • Vegetables
  • Zaden
  • Growers
  • Vegetable
  • Markets

Tradition meets

Tradition meets innovation The image that springs to mind when you think about South Africa is that of a basic form of growing, and not greenhouses, high-tech cultivation systems and extensive collaboration in the production chain. But nothing could be further from the truth. With the growth of the middle class and the increase in the minimum wage, agriculture in this region is undergoing something of a resurgence. It’s no coincidence that South Africa is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. When you look at the most popular vegetable crops in this region, you’re undoubtedly talking about tomatoes, onions, cabbage and carrots. These have traditionally been the main ingredients in local dishes, and they still are today. But the range received a substantial boost with the arrival of settlers from Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. They brought new products with them, such as courgettes, aubergines and lettuce, which, thanks to the region’s climate, can be grown all year round. As a result, the African market has since become impressively diverse. Growing middle class And that’s not all. “The growth of the local middle class is playing a major role in product diversification and quality,” says Technical Manager for Southern Africa Matome Ramokgopa. “Because these people have more money to spend, they come into contact with a wider variety of foods. So we are seeing Western trends being adopted more and more in this class. The demand for convenience products like pre-cut and pre-packaged vegetables is a good example of this, as is the growing popularity of buying vegetables in supermarkets rather than from roadside vegetable stalls. This means that the demand for quality products has increased. So we are seeing a trend away from outdoor cultivation of fruit crops to polytunnels in this region. They provide growers with more harvest security, something they need when they work with the supermarkets.” Markets Lettuce on the up As elsewhere, obesity is a growing problem in South Africa, and the focus is now on healthy eating. Salads are popular, with more than 4,000 ha of lettuce now under cultivation. Until recently this was rare on the African continent. Additionally, eating uncooked vegetables is still considered dangerous in many other African countries. Ramokgopa: “Raw vegetables are associated with pathogens and pesticides. But with the introduction of disease resistance and the growing middle class who can and want to look beyond traditional dishes, we are noticing that this crop is on the up.” But this is just the middle class, of course. The vast majority of the population still depends on ‘hawker markets’ – roadside stalls where traders offer their products together. They are all about value for money and are where the biggest pumpkins, peppers, cucumbers, and so on are snapped up. High tech This is in sharp contrast to the quality and origin of the products found on supermarket shelves. “When you think about agriculture in Africa you often still think about primitive methods and manual labour,” says Ramokgopa. “To some extent this is still the case, but it is certainly not true by definition. In South Africa in particular there are several large, innovative vegetable producers, and modern satellite technologies are gaining a strong foothold. Mechanisation, greenhouses, tunnels and substrate South Africa 8 | The Partnership The Partnership | 9

Enza Zaden Brochures

Пряно-вкусовые культуры 2019 | 2020
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