JOHANNESBURG – The Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) said yesterday it was set to export a record crop of about 137 million boxes of citrus fruit to more than 100 countries in 2019.
This was a provisional export estimate and the final numbers would be published on Friday, March 15.
Association chairperson Justin Chadwick said the rise in exports should translate into job opportunities, more foreign exchange revenue and a growing economy.
He said the higher export crop represented an increase of 0.7percent year-on-year.
“The citrus industry has enjoyed two record crops for the export market in succession. Last year’s crop yielded revenue of nearly R19billion,” said Chadwick.
He said the main drivers of growth were in the soft citrus and lemon categories, although the net growth in these categories was somewhat muted due to a 3percent decline in Valencia oranges. Chadwick said South Africa’s citrus industry was one of the country’s most important fruit groups by value and volume. “It yields revenue of over R20bn a year, of which 92 percent comes from exports, and provides jobs to more than 100 000 people,” he said.