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A closer look at the wheat industry

  • 13 May 2019
  • 3198

Bloemfontein isn’t just a town you stop by to pour petrol while on a journey somewhere, there are activities for the whole family which can be enjoyed over a few days. Also known as the city of roses, it boasts game farms, museums and the largest Nelson Mandela statue which stands at 8m in height. Situated in central South Africa, it provides farmers in that area with an added advantage when business needs to be conducted in other parts of the country. 

We visit young farmer, Frikkie van der Merwe who has been farming with wheat for the past decade. He farms with mainly sunflower and maize, but has an irrigation section where the maize and wheat is planted. He explains how the weather conditions drove him to use wheat irrigation as it is not profitable to plant wheat in dry land.

Did you know? Wheat is one of the grains which was planted by humans between eight and ten thousand years ago? The first wheat in South Africa was planted in the winter of 1652.

Pasta is made of flour and water, but the secret lies in the equipment used to make the pasta shape. Praveen Singh, general manager of FG La Pasta takes us through the process of making authentic Italian pasta products. They are used in the local market, and a lot of customers are other food manufacturers. 

Jannie de Villiers of Grain SA and Rozanne talk about how wheat is becoming less profitable to plant. They discuss the challenges related to planting wheat in South Africa and the options of getting better cultivars to plant. They also discuss how consumers can tell between locally produced wheat and imported wheat, and tell us to rather support locally produced wheat products.
South Africa is currently importing wheat. Theo chats to Dr Ferdie Meyer of BFAP about the challenges in wheat exports and what changes have occurred in the wheat market.

In the next episode, Nation in Conversation travels to the Eastern Cape to take a look at the forestry industry. To catch the program's repeat, check in at kykNET, Fridays at 13:00, Saturdays at 17:30, Sundays at 17:00, Tuesdays at 16:30 and Wednesdays at 14:00. 

Don't miss the next few weeks of the 13-week series where we tackle beetroot, Nampo Harvest Day, wheat, cotton, pecan nuts and citrus. It is broadcast weekly, every Thursday evening at 18:00 on kykNET, from now until 27 June 2019. 

For more information or the complete schedule of this new series please visit the website

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