Agriculture is of extreme importance to the North West. It contributes about 2,6% to the total GDPR and 19% to formal employment.
Some 5,9% of the South African GDP in agriculture and 16,96% of total labour in agriculture are based in the North West (Provincial Economies, 2004). The province is an important food basket in South Africa. Maize and sunflowers are the most important crops, and the North West is the major producer of white maize in the country.
Some of the largest cattle herds in the world are found at Stellaland near Vryburg, which explains why this area is often referred to as the “Texas of South Africa”. Marico is also cattle-country. The areas around Rustenburg and Brits are fertile, mixed-crop farming land.