The producers of Mzansi’s blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are currently running a promotional campaign on blueberries, targeting key industry players in Germany. The aim is to develop relationships with key players in the country and ultimately to increase exports.
According to FreshPlaza.com, the goal of the campaign is to communicate the uniqueness of South African blueberries and blueberry industry, which includes high quality, excellent flavour profiles, well-established infrastructure, logistics and proximity to market.
Berries ZA operations manager, Elzette Schutte, told the news platform that South Africa has excellent berry varieties with a superior taste, and that the country’s beautiful fruit should be seen as among the best in the world.
Europe is reported to be the largest market for South African blueberries. 15 636 tonnes were exported in 2020, following on 12 221 in 2019 and followed by around 7 000 tonnes last season. Approximately 15% of the total exports were destined for Germany in 2020 and around 129 tonnes have been exported to Germany so far this year, with an expected total of 3 000 tonnes by the end of the season.
As Germany is still a tiny market for South African blueberries, Berries ZA hopes to develop relationships with key industry players there and ultimately to increase their market share, which is currently around 3%.
The promotional campaign will run from now until this year’s Fruit Logistica trade fair in April.
Trends to watch in Africa this year
There is an urgent need for Africa to maximise its agricultural productivity to ensure food security and economic growth. To achieve this, experts reckon technology will be Africa’s best bet, along with a few other trends agriculturalist must watch in 2022.
According to Ventures Africa, regenerative agriculture is one of the big ones on which to keep a close eye.
To ensure that the world’s projected nine billion people do not go hungry by 2050, regenerative agriculture has become a globally adopted sustainable farming model. This agricultural practice aims to reverse climate change by restoring depleted soils.
“Land degradation in Africa negatively impacts nearly half of all productive land, affecting well over 650 million people in Africa. Although the agricultural sector contributes about 25% of all human-created greenhouse gas emissions, it also has a crucial role in ending the climate change crisis,” the publication writes.
A report shows that by 2030, regenerative practices in Africa could be adding more than $15 billion in gross value added per year and can increase up to $70 billion by 2040 (one-fifth of the current agricultural GDP of sub-Saharan Africa).
Interest in aerial imagery, which involves using airborne technological devices to capture a geographical area, will seemingly also be a buzzword this year.
“Although users of this type of technology are few and far between, owing largely to the exorbitant cost of drones and the regulatory restrictions that surround their use, more farmers are likely to shift their attention to it due to its enticing benefits,” Ventures Africa states.
Already on the continent, agritech companies like Aerobotics in South Africa and AcquahMeyer Drones in Ghana solve agricultural problems with aerial imagery.
Meanwhile, indoor vertical farming is also expected to see more entrants this year. The expectation is that more digital information sharing platforms will be launched and there’s likely to be an increased use of agricultural robotics among agriculturalists.
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