The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) released the first crop estimate for the coming season and estimates a harvest of between 70,6 million and 77,7 million cartons (4.5kg equivalent).
With the mid-point at 74,2 million cartons, it is close to the volume packed last season (2020/2021).
Although additional plantings of higher-yielding cultivars are expected to continue to come into full production, the 2021 grape census, which forms the basis of the crop projection, shows a 536-hectare decline from 21 100 to 20 564 hectares.
When the latest census is compared to the 2019 census, there is a 1 234 hectare decline in plants, indicating that the South African table grape business is consolidating.
South African producers will focus on “going back to basics”, notes Anton Viljoen, chairman of SATI.
“Producers will focus on the aspects in their management from growing to preparing bunches, packing and meeting customers’ needs,” he said.
“We must also keep in mind, we farm under the blue skies where everything is possible and nature can take its own course. We manage it as best we can to continue to provide our renowned quality and the world’s best-tasting table grapes.”
According to SATI, the enormous efforts made, not only in planting and producing the latest cultivars, but across the value chain, demonstrate the SA growers’ continued dedication to delivering the highest quality table grapes. This involves investments in modern pack houses and related technologies, cool rooms, as well as equipment and capacity to meet markets’ stringent ethical, environmental and social criteria.
“The two early regions, namely the northern provinces and Orange River regions, are due to start packing from early November. The mid to later regions, the Olifants River, Berg River and Hex River, will start harvesting as usual – about a month or more after the early regions,” Viljoen added.
Western Cape continues rabies vaccination drive
The Western Cape department of agriculture’s veterinary services is hosting free rabies vaccinations in Strand. This follows the confirmation of the fourth case of rabies in that area.
According to senior state veterinarian, Dr Lesley van Helden, a stray dog was found on Strand beach on 14 October and taken to a local veterinary clinic.
“On 17 October, the dog developed a sudden loss of coordination and change in behaviour and became aggressive. The dog was euthanised and subsequently tested positive for rabies,” Van Helden said in a statement.
“In response to a previous case in Gordon’s Bay, the department’s vet services held free rabies vaccination campaigns and vaccinated 1 896 pets in the area.”
This will be bolstered by more free rabies vaccinations today.
Details of today’s free rabies vaccination site:
Vaccination point: Abattoir Sports Grounds, Corner of Abattoir Street and Sandown Road, behind the South End store, Strand.
Western Cape agriculture MEC Dr Ivan Meyer also encouraged pet owners to get their pets vaccinated.
“The good news is that rabies is preventable. Members of the public are encouraged to ensure that their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date. Animal health is inextricably linked to public health. So, getting your pet vaccinated is the responsible thing to do.”
“The law requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies,” added Van Helden. “Do so twice within the first year and after that at least every three years.”
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