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Agricultural exports from the Western Cape

Agricultural exports from the Western Cape have been growing strongly over recent years resulting in a growing trade balance. About 45% of South Africa's agricultural exports move through the province and the value-added in the sector amounts to more than R14 billion per annum.

The agricultural sector not only stimulates economic growth in the province but also plays a major role in creating sustainable job opportunities. The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate with an average rainfall, which ranges from well over 1 000 mm per annum in some mountainous areas in the South and Eastern regions to less than 150 mm 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 climate is greatly influenced by the oceans that surround the country to the East, South, and West. The temperate cyclones of the Southern Ocean exercise considerable influence on weather patterns, especially in winter, when their circulation moves northward. The cold northward-flowing Benguela Current not only cools the West Coast considerably but also contributes to the dryness and stability of the atmosphere over the Western parts of the country, while the warm southward-flowing Mozambique and Agulhas currents keep temperatures higher on the East and South-East Coasts. This results in warmer and less-dense air rising more readily, facilitating the entry of moisture-bearing clouds from the East.

The province's major commodities are horticulture: fruit, vegetables, and wine.

Horticulture is a subdivision of agriculture that deals with cultivation only. Agriculture deals with the cultivation of crops and also animal farming. It produces livestock, meat, dairy and field crops like wheat, barley and canola. Therefore, the soil in the Western Cape is ideal for Agriculture and Horticulture.

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