Maize, commonly known as mealies in South Africa, originated in Mexico, which is the centre of diversity for Maize. Maize diversity is directly related to food security, with maize a staple food for many poor communities in Southern Africa. In 2001, permission was granted for genetically engineered white maize to be grown in South Africa, the first country ever to introduce a genetically engineered staple food for direct human consumption.
White maize is preferred for human consumption and is also used for animal feeds with yellow maize used mainly for animal feed and for some processed foodstuffs such as cereals. Maize is also used to produce starches and syrups used in a vast array of foods and industrial products.
At B. Hurwitz farming, the maize crop is a mix of both white and yellow maize planted over almost 1000 hectares. The maize is mainly planted on dry lands with a significant portion under irrigation. The majority of the yield is stored in silo’s situated on the farm, processed and then used in the feed given to the cattle. The excess maize yielded from the season is marketed directly to the local market.
Soya beans and suger graze is also produced on the farm.