ICYMI: SA soft citrus season ends on a high

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Mzansi's soft citrus season has ended with record-high volumes having been packed for export, and African swine fever remains a major concern for authorities in the Western Cape

soft citrus (naartjies)

Soft citrus of high quality is very popular on the export market. Photo: Supplied/Jacques Burger

The curtain is down on South Africa’s 2021 soft citrus season and record-high volumes were packed for export.

30.9 million 15kg cartons were packed this year, surpassing the 2020 volume of 23.6 million cartons, said Portia Magwaza, research economist at the Citrus Growers’ Association.

The initial estimate in March 2021 were for 30.5 million cartons.

“The biggest region [Boland], at 6.3 million cartons, was 19% over the estimate, the Western Cape, at 5.8 million cartons, was 5% above the estimate, while Burgersfort and Ohrigstad, at 4.2million, was 11% over the estimate,” Magwaza stated.

According to Magwaza’s seasonal review, Nadorcott or Tango citrus continued to dominate the soft citrus category at 15.3 million cartons, Orri mandarins increased to 1.7 million and Leanri ended at 1.6 million. Nova declined slightly to 4.1 million cartons while Clementines ended at 4.6 million cartons. Satsumas declined to 1.7 million.

The Soft Citrus Focus Group anticipates an increase in Clementine and Mandarin volumes in the years ahead as young orchards come into production

ALSO READ: Mzansi’s citrus growers shine on global stage – again

African swine fever still a big concern in Western Cape

There are still active cases of African swine fever in the Western Cape with multiple areas affected and new suspect cases seen weekly. This is according to the South African Pork Producers’ Association.

Dr Cilliers Louw, SAPPO’s Western Cape liaison officer for veterinary services, said awareness campaigns are ongoing and the department of veterinary services are doing its best to control ASF in the province.

“The biggest challenge is to change human behaviour and to limit the movement of pigs between districts,” Cilliers said.

Recently the department of agriculture held a farmers’ day in Hopefield aimed at poultry and pig farmers. A big emphasis was placed on biosecurity and prevention of avian flu and African swine fever.

Several industry players also presented a farmers’ day for commercial producers on 3 November. Dr Nadia de Beer of Agri FARMACY SA was one of the speakers and discussed the impact of an ASF outbreak on a commercial unit and biosecurity.

ALSO READ: This week’s agri events: 29 November – 5 December

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