South Africa is in for a promising apple and pear harvest this year. The apple export crop is expected to rise by 6% to 47.47m cartons and the pear crop by 8% to 19.83m cartons.
Jacques du Preez of industry body Hortgro, told FreshPlaza.com that growers were looking forward to a good harvest.
“Much needed rain and adequate chill units during last winter have ensured that growers have enough irrigation water at their disposal, which linked to a good fruit set, and favourable weather conditions to date promises a good crop and fruit quality.”
Apple and pear export volume is expected to reach 67.3m cartons, 32% higher than the 2019 crop. Apples are expected to represent 70% of the pome fruit export crop.
There are, however, concerns about fruit size. Du Preez said that cooler spring weather and high early summer temperatures experienced to date could impact the size of apple and pear fruit.
Despite this, growers remain optimistic.
“Fruit quality is sound and packouts are looking promising. Young orchards coming into production is one of the main factors contributing to the increase in the export crop estimate,” he said.
Urgent citrus issue to be sorted
Meanwhile, things are a bit tense over in Mzansi’s citrus industry, according to Fred Meintjes, Market Intelligence’s southern African correspondent.
“With the start of the new South African citrus season only two months away, there is still no clarity on the negotiations that are destined to put new legislation in place regarding citrus black spot (CBS) and false codling moth (CDM),” Meintjes wrote on FreshPlaza.com
The text needs to be advanced before the end of January when the EU is expected to discuss the details of the new agreement. If there is consensus, the new legislation will come into effect on 1 May this year, Meintjes said.
However, if an agreement is not struck between the parties, it could severely harm the country’s citrus industry.
South African citrus has been exported to Europe for almost 120 years now. Today it amounts to some 70m cartons in a season.
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