Production Potential for Soybeans and Maize in the Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape was mentioned in the National Development Plan as a region “with untapped potential” however, there are a number of factors that limit this potential. These include physical characteristics (soil depth and quality (pH, soil nutrients), topology and degradation) as well as land use/competition dynamics.

It was found, based on the area and yield assumptions detailed in the report, that the potential maize production can be estimated as 578 040 tonnes, off a total area of 212 000 hectares. That is a three-fold increase from the current production of 175 000 tonnes.

The potential soybean production is estimated as at least 9 720 tonnes (37% increase from current average soybean production) off a total area of 4 560 hectares, assuming the current 8% contribution to the crop mix. Soybean area could increase to a total of 56 690 hectares depending on the soybeans share of the total crop mix.

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