South Africa's Government has taken steps to increase local wheat production | MED-Amin network |

By Bekezela Phakathi (Business Live), 27/02/2019 - Agricultural Research Council is conducting breeding programmes for the grain, MPs told.

High production costs, fluctuating commodity prices, climate change and outbreaks of pests and diseases have caused a significant drop in wheat production in SA.

Wheat is the second-most important grain crop produced in SA after maize. However, local production averages 2.3-million tons, far below the levels of consumption. To meet demand, SA imports about 1.7-million tons of wheat annually.

The department of agriculture, forestry & fisheries is concerned about the low levels of local wheat production.

The department “supports wheat producers with technical advice, which includes [that about] cultivar choice, production site selection, soil preparation, cultivation practices, pest and disease control measures, harvesting, as well as post-harvest practices”, agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana said in a written reply to a question from African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley.