This is according to Billy van Zyl, chairperson of the Eastern Cape National Woolgrowers Association (EC NWGA). “I believe the current price levels can play a huge role in a necessary increase in production, because there will always be demand for natural fibre, locally and internationally,” he said at the organisation’s annual congress at Cradock.
These “good times”, he added, must be used to “market our commodity as widely as possible throughout the country and internationally.” The Eastern Cape’s 14,3 million kilograms for the 2011 season represents 31% of SA’s total production. While SA’s production dropped by 4,6%, production in Eastern Cape rose by 3,4%.
The EC NWGA now needs to focus on the irrigation areas where there’s a lot of room for expansion to push up production, added Van Zyl.