Good soil management requires boron
South Africa's agricultural sector is one of the world's most diverse, consisting of well-developed corporate farms and subsistence crop systems. With a climate that ranges from Mediterranean to subtropical to semi-desert, farmers can cultivate everything from citrus and subtropical fruit to wheat, sugar cane, and sunflowers. South Africa is not only self-sufficient in the production of all major agricultural product but is also a major food exporter. The greatest limitation to South African farmers is the shortage of water due to inconsistent rainfall, which can impede their ability to continue to meet the demands of a growing population.
Deciduous fruits—including apples, pears, and peaches—thrive in the cold winters and dry summers of the Western and Eastern Capes and are exported to Europe during the northern hemisphere’s winter. Growers also produce more than 1.5 million tons of grapes that are used domestically in South Africa's renowned wine industry.
Grains and cereals are also among the nation’s most important crops, while maize is a dietary staple, a source of livestock feed and an export crop. South Africa also plays a critical role in meeting the huge global demand for avocados, which thrive in both humid and drier areas of the country and are exported to Europe and Asia.