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Agriculture on the Highveld in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province

25.8S 29.2E

December 21st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

South Africa - November 30th, 2009

South Africa - November 30th, 2009

Mpumalanga is a province in eastern South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. It constitutes 6.5% of South Africa’s land area. The Drakensberg Escarpment divides Mpumalanga into a westerly half consisting mainly of high-altitude grassland called the Highveld and an eastern half situated in low altitude subtropical Lowveld/Bushveld, mostly savanna habitat.

The Highveld is a high plateau region of inland South Africa which is largely home to the largest metropolitan area in the country. This ASAR image focuses on a part of the Highveld near the cities of Witbank (top center) and Middelburg (top right). In total, the Highveld covers an area of almost 400,000 km², or roughly thirty percent of South Africa’s land area.

Like so many areas of traditional grassland all over the world the Highveld is excellent agricultural land and most of the area has been converted for farming; agricultural fields are visible throughout the image. The grassland now remains in its original state only in areas of nature reserve. These reserves, although they account for just a small portion of the Highveld, are still the largest areas of remaining grassland in South Africa.

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