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Agriculture in the Western Cape

The Western Cape is an important food-producing region. The sheltered valleys between the mountains provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of apples, table grapes, olives, peaches and oranges. In the eastern part of the Western Cape region, a great variety of vegetables are cultivated. The Swartland district around Malmesbury and the Overberg at Caledon are the bread baskets of the country. The inland Karoo region around Beaufort West and the Bredasdorp district produce wool and mutton, as well as pedigree marino breeding stock. Other animal products include broiler chickens, eggs, dairy products, beef and pork, while racehorse-breeding is an established industry.

In the mountainous area around the Cederberg (about 200km north of Cape Town), the indigineous tea-crop "rooibos" is grown.

The west coast of the province is influenced by the cold, plankton-rich Benguela Current that produces one of the world's richest fishing grounds. This resource is protected against over-fishing by a 200km commercial fishing zone and a strict quota system. About 27 000 local inhabitants are directly dependent on the fishing industry.

The Western Cape is one of the world's finest grape-growing regions. Many of its wines have received the highest accolades at International shows.

The Klein Karoo region around Oudtshoorn (besides being famous for its Cango Caves), is the centre of the ostritch farming industry in South Africa. Fine leatherware, ostrich feathers and meat are exported from here to destinations all over the world.

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