- Included in the category “Subtropical fruits” are avocados, bananas, mangoes, litchis, papayas, granadillas, pineapples and guavas.
- The particular climatic requirements of some types of subtropical fruit make their cultivation only possible in certain specific areas of the country. In general, subtropical fruit types require warmer conditions and are sensitive to large fluctuations in temperature and to frost.
- The main production areas of subtropical fruit in South Africa are parts of the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Fruit like granadillas and guavas are also grown in the Western Cape, while pineapples are grown in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
- Subtropical fruit like avocados, mangoes, bananas and litchis are important crops for the country, having both high-growth-potential while being in the labour intensive quadrant (Sihlobo, 2018).
- Avocados in South Africa are grown under drip irrigation in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape Provinces. The Limpopo province is the largest avocado production area accounting for 58% of the total production in 2020, followed by Mpumalanga (24%), and KwaZulu-Natal (14%). The Eastern Cape and Western Cape account for only 4% of the total production.
- The Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces have a warm subtropical climate which is better suited to the production of avocados, whereas the Western Cape and Eastern Cape have a much cooler climate. The growth in late cultivar varieties is the main driver for the increases in these provinces, which are currently targeted at supplying the domestic market during the off-season period of October to March.
- The Hass avocado is the predominant variety planted in South Africa, accounting for 80 percent of the total area planted. The Fuerte, Pinkerton, Ryan and Reed varieties make up the remaining 20 percent of avocado production.
- The harvest season for avocado varieties in South Africa is shown at https://avocado.co.za/cultivars.
- The growing demand and high returns from avocado exports has also resulted in most farmers diverting land away from other crops such as bananas, sugar, mangoes and commercial timber/ forestry.
- Europe remains the principal market for South African avocado exports, accounting for 92 percent of the total exports. South Africa is under increasing pressure to acquire new markets for its avocados, and currently is prioritizing efforts to gain market access in the United States, Japan, India and China. This is expected to diversify exports from Europe, and to absorb the anticipated future increases in production.
Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report “Strong Domestic and Export Demand Drives Growth in South African Avocado Plantings” (2021, February).
- A starting point for anything you wish to know about avocados is the website www.avocado.co.za. This is particularly true if you are a member of the SA Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA). Market information, research reports, publications and more reserved for you. For non-members there are notes on the different varieties of avocado, ripening and storage, recipes, news and market information.
- Under “Resource Centre” on the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find “Production guidelines avocado” and the Info Pak “Cultivation of avocados”. See also the latest annual Profile of the South African Avocado Market Value Chain on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages on the same website.
- Publications available for purchase from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops (ARC-TSC) include (i) “Cultivation of Avocado”, (ii) “Avocado Pests/Avokadoplae” (English & Afrikaans combination) and (iii) Identification Manual for Avocado Pests by Dr J.C. Robinson. Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- Read the latest Fresh Plaza Overview Global Avocado Market at www.freshplaza.com.
- AFP. 2021, March 26. “‘Green gold’: Avocado craze drives crop theft in S.Africa”. Eye Witness News. Available at https://ewn.co.za/2021/03/26/green-gold-avocado-craze-drives-crop-theft-in-s-africa
- Amare M. 2020, February 18. “Avocados in Kenya: what’s holding back smallholder farmers”. The Conversation. Available at https://theconversation.com/avocados-in-kenya-whats-holding-back-smallholder-farmers-131396
- Reporter. 2019, July 2. “Global demand for avocado has local farmers firmly focused”. Cape Business News. Available at www.cbn.co.za/featured/global-demand-for-avocado-has-local-farmers-firmly-focused
- Chow, L. 2019, February 6. “This Company Has a Genius Solution for Discarded Avocado Pits”. EcoWatch. Available at www.ecowatch.com/avocado-pits-biodegradable-straws-cutlery-2628165725.html
- South African banana production occurs in six distinct subtropical regions of the country: (i) Mpumalanga – the Onderberg (Malelane and Komatipoort) and Kiepersol (ii) Limpopo – Levubu and Letaba (ii) KwaZulu-Natal – the North and South Coasts.
- The Onderberg region is the highest banana producing region with some 35 percent of the total land under banana cultivation, whilst the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal has the greatest concentration of producers.
- South African bananas are primarily sold on the domestic markets. These bananas are of the Cavendish sub-group of dessert bananas. This is especially so where intensive farming happens (e.g. in the Onderberg). Developments in tissue culture technology have been instrumental in a huge lift in production per hectare in the past decade.
- South Africa is a relatively small role player in the banana export market. Almost all exports go to African markets. Imports from neighbouring Mozambique and Swaziland put pressure on South African producers (Sihlobo, 2018).
- Find the latest Global Banana Market report at www.freshplaza.com.
- Sihlobo, W. 2018, March 31. “A Few Notes on South Africa’s Banana Market”. Available at https://wandilesihlobo.com/2018/03/31/a-few-notes-on-south-africas-banana-market/
- Under “Resource Centre” on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find “Brochure bananas”. See also the latest annual Profile of the South African Banana Market Value Chain on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages on the same website.
- Publications available from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops include: Handbook of Banana Growing in South Africa by Dr J.C. Robinson. His book Bananas and Plantains, published by CAB International, Cambridge University Press, cal also be purchased. Other publications include (i) Cultivation of Banana and (ii) Banana pests/diseases / Piesangplae/siektes (English & Afrikaans combination). Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- Find the Haifa banana guide at www.haifa-group.com.
- Crawford A. & Kueffner S. 2020, May 22. “Disease Is Ravaging the $25 Billion Banana Industry”. Bloomberg. Available at www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-05-22/the-25-billion-banana-industry-is-being-ravaged-by-disease
- Although guavas are found throughout the country, the key growing regions for processed guavas are the Western Cape and Mpumalanga.
- The Fan Retief cultivar, created in the Western Cape, currently accounts for 90% of commercial plantings.
- Guavas are eaten as fresh fruit, dried fruit, are canned, or processed into pulp and concentrate. The bulk of the guava crop is juiced.
- Visit the Guava Producers’ Association website, www.guavaproducers.co.za.
- The Guava Producers’ Association puts out a newsletter every six months. Download these from the website.
- Under “Resource Centre” on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find the Info Pak “Growing guavas”.
- Publications available for purchase from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops include “Cultivation of Guava”. Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- Kriel, G. 2017, September 11. “New cultivars & production methods for guava industry”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/crops/fruit-nuts/new-cultivars-production-methods-guava-industry/
- Mpumalanga is the leader in litchi production. The most important production areas for litchis are Malelane, Nelspruit, Trichardsdal, Tzaneen, Makhado, Levubu and the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
- South Africa annually produces approximately 2million 2kg cartons of litchis per season, while 2500 tons of fruit are sent to the local markets and approximately 1600 tons of fruit are sent to juicing facilities (Subtrop, 2019). The main form of processing is juice.
- The litchi season is from October to February. Major cultivars like HLH Mauritius and McLean’s Red can be viewed at www.litchisa.co.za. The lack of early and late cultivars has been identified as something that hampers this industry’s growth.
- This sector is export orientated. The Netherlands, UK and Middle East account for most of the sales.
Source: http://litchisa.co.za/about-us; SA Fruit Trade Flow, June 2016.
- Find the information on litchis, consumer information, recipes, trader information and more at www.litchisa.co.za.
- Under “Resource Centre” on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find “Production guidelines Litchi” and the Info Pak “Ndimo ya minambelo”. See also the latest annual Profile of the South African Litchi Market Value Chain on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages on the same website.
- Publications available for purchase from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops include “Cultivation of Litchi”. Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- The South African Fruit Trade Flow Issue 22 June 2016 provided overviews of the country’s trade in litchis. Find it here.
- The South African Litchi Growers’ Association has a Litchi Management Programme CD which covers all areas of growing this crop.
- Mangoes are tropical, but they do well in the drier subtropical areas under irrigation. Mangoes grown in higher rainfall areas are extremely prone to post harvest rots. They are in season from December to April.
- Pictures and notes of the main cultivars can be found at www.mango.co.za.
- The mango production regions are situated mainly in the North Eastern part of South Africa. Limpopo is the largest producer of mangoes, mostly found in the Soutpansberg, Letaba and Hoedspruit. Mpumalanga produces mangoes around Malelane and Komatipoort, and in KwaZulu-Natal, the fruit is mostly found in Pongola.
- The elevation of the mango growing areas varies from 300 to 950 metres above sea level. The average annual rainfall in the major growing areas varies from 300 to 1000 mm. Flowering during winter (June to August) is normally intense, which indicates that winter conditions are adequately inductive for flowering. Differences in average temperature between the major mango growing regions gives rise to differences in harvest date. Fruit produced in the higher lying areas are harvested later than fruit produced in the lower lying areas. The difference in the time of harvest for a specific cultivar may be as long as 3 to 6 weeks.
- Mangoes are dried, juiced or used for achar.
- Most mango exports (49%) go to the Middle East, with African countries (16%) and the Far East (11%) third (Subtrop, 2020).
Source: Profile of the South African Mango Market Value Chain (see "Websites & publications" heading) and Subtrop.
- The website www.mango.co.za, run by the SA Mango Growers’ Association, contains technical and consumer information. It would be a useful place for the starter or the old-hand.
- Read the latest Fresh Plaza Overview Global Mango Market at www.freshplaza.com.
- Under “Resource Centre” on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find “Brochure Mango” and the Info Pak “Cultivation of mangoes”. See also the latest annual Profile of the South African Mango Market Value Chain on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages on the same website.
- Publications available for purchase from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops include (i) “Cultivation of Mango”, (ii) “Mango Malformation / Mango Misvorming”, and (iii) “Mango pests/diseases / Mangoplae/siektes”. Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- Jansen C. 2020, December 17. “Prices drop by almost 60% as South Africa enters peak mango season”. FreshPlaza. Available at www.freshplaza.com/article/9278291/prices-drop-by-almost-60-as-south-africa-enters-peak-mango-season/
Of all the countries where pineapples are produced, South Africa is the furthest south in the world.
- Pineapples are grown worldwide mainly in the region between the two tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and temperature is the most important factor influencing growth, varying between 10 and 35 °C. Optimum is +- 24 °C (fluctuating between 20 – 28 °C). Most pineapples are produced on low altitudes (near sea level, below 500 m). Relative humidity is very important and that is why the most pineapple producing areas are close to huge water bodies ( = high humidity/ dew factor).
- Pineapple production in South Africa is located in mainly two regions, namely the Eastern Cape and Northern KwaZulu-Natal (Hluhluwe district). Some new plantings were recently established in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo (Levubu).
- Pineapples cannot tolerate frost. Rainfall average 650 mm/year which is far below the average required rainfall (1250 mm), but pineapples can adapt to negative circumstances and a crop can be produced at rainfall as low as 500 mm/year, as long as the highest rainfall occurs in the warm months and sophisticated farming practices such as mulching (plastic/organic) are applied.
- Varieties produced are the Smooth Cayenne (Eastern Cape) for export juice concentrate and the Queen (mainly Hluhluwe) for the local and export fresh fruit market. The fairly new MD2 variety is planted in smaller quantities and will be produced for the fresh fruit market as well as for ready-to-eat products for export. Ninety percent of the fresh pineapples sold in South Africa are of the Queen variety.
- Pineapple cultivation is very labour intensive – planting, harvesting and packing are all done manually. In the Cayenne industry planting and harvesting machines are sometimes used. The success of pineapple production lies in effective management – for fresh fruit production the aim is to be on the market every week.
- Pineapples can be eaten as fresh fruit, but some 80% of the crop goes to the processing sector. This include canning, pineapple concentrate, juicing, jam, wine, dried fruit, and pineapple fibre (downstream activities of weaving and designing). The Covid-19 lockdown popularised another use for pineapples: given the ban on alcohol, pineapples are used to brew beer.
Source: Elmarie Rabie (adapted)
- Information on pineapples can be found at www.pineapples.co.za, website of the Hluhluwe Pineapple Marketing Association; at www.summerpride.co.za (the major pineapple processor) and www.agriec.co.za, the provincial farmer union to which the grower association is affiliated.
- Under “Resource Centre” on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find the Info Pak “Cultivating pineapples”. See also the latest annual Profile of the South African Pineapple Market Value Chain on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages on the same website.
- Publications available for purchase from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops include (i) “Cultivation of Pineapple”, and (ii) “Verbouing van Pynappel”. Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- Find the latest Overview Global Pineapple Market at www.freshplaza.com
- To watch how fibre is made from pineapples, visit https://vimeo.com/25261231
- Read the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service’s report (2020, August 14) on the South Africa’s “Spike in Pineapple Consumption and Processing Amid Decline in Exports due to COVID-19” which includes a useful overview of South Africa’s pineapple sector.
- Dempsey P. 2020, August 6. “Pineapple export troubles eased by demand from home-brewers”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/pineapple-export-troubles-eased-by-demand-from-home-brewers/
- Koza N. 2020, July 22. “Spike in price of pineapples since reinstatement of alcohol sale ban”. 702. Available at www.702.co.za/articles/390672/listen-spike-in-price-of-pineapples-since-reinstatement-of-alcohol-sale-ban
- Rosane, O. 2018, June 15. “Sustainable Fashion Innovator Makes Fiber From Pineapple Leaves”. EcoWatch. Available at www.ecowatch.com/sustainable-fashion-materials-pineapple-leaves-2578343270.html
- Hollins, G. 2016, November 16. “Eastern Cape empowerment project’s R1,5m pineapple crop”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-business/empowerment/eastern-cape-empowerment-projects-r15m-pineapple-crop/
Other subtropical fruit
The season for cactus pears stretches from approximately mid December, when fruit from the Lowveld starts ripening, until the middle of March. Fruit from the Highveld area is available until late April. In the southern parts of the country fruit ripens much later than in the northern regions, which is from February until April. Limited quantities of fruit are available during the winter months. Cactus pears can be kept in the peel at room temperature for up to two weeks. If refrigerated, and unpeeled it can be kept for long periods without losing any flavour. It is advisable to peel the fruit before eating.
The cactus pear is extremely versatile and its uses include the following:
- A source of food for man and animals
- Security (Impermeable fences)
- The shallow root system prevents soil erosion
- The production of by-products, e.g. jams, syrup, soap and mampoer
- The young pads can be used as a green vegetable
- The biggest enemy of the plant, the cochineal insect, is used in the manufacture of a natural food and textile dye.
- It is also has medical (drugs against diabetes and high blood pressure) and cosmetic industry (shampoos and soaps) value.
Researchers at the University of the Free State (details under “Training and research” heading) believe cactus pears are an alternative crop for arid areas.
- Find the website of the South African Cactus Pear Growers Association at www.cactuspear.co.za. The notes above are from there.
- Under “Resource Centre” on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find “Brochure cactus pear”.
- Jansen C. 2021, February 10. “Connoisseurs aim to raise the game on cactus pears”. Fresh Plaza. Available at www.freshplaza.com/article/9292591/connoisseurs-aim-to-raise-the-game-on-cactus-pears/
- The Animal Nutrition web pages (University of the Free State, see under ‘Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences’) have information on cactus pears. Visit www.ufs.ac.za.
- De Waal, H.O. 2019, January. “Utilising invasive cacti as processed livestock feed and as a means of control”. SAPIA News. Available at https://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/General/d/8473/374c03760c96418ca08556eeb8741fa5.pdf
- See the ICARDA article about female farmers in Egypt farming with prickly pears: www.icarda.org/features/female-farmers-show-way
- Cactus pear is a theme of the FAO. See www.fao.org/traditional-crops/en.
- The granadilla is a tropical plant that prefers temperate temperatures throughout the year. It is not frost resistant, but the purple granadilla can withstand light frost. Cultivation areas are Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, the coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal, and isolated areas in the Eastern and Western Cape.
- Three popular cultivars seem to do well in the South African climate – the Purple granadilla, the Yellow granadilla, and the Ester (a crossbreed between the first two). A large fruit, a high percentage of juice and high soluble solids, and good sugar content are the qualities that juice processors look for. Granadilla juice is extremely popular and demand seems to outstrip supply.
- One of the main expenses with granadillas is the cost of trellising. Costs relating to the erecting of trellises can be softened if farmers prepare their own support poles and droppers from local material. The short life span of the plant (three to five years) in relation to its high establishment costs, is an issue.
- There are very few insects that pose as problems to papayas but fungal diseases in hot and moist areas cause problems. Preventative treatment, therefore, is required.
Other subtropical fruit include papayas (paw-paws), loquats and melons.
- Under “Resource Centre” on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find “Brochure granadilla”, “Brochure Papaya” and the Info Paks “Growing granadillas” and “Cultivating papayas”.
- Publications available for purchase from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops include (i) Cultivation of Granadilla, (ii) Die Verbouing van Granadillas, and (iii) Cultivation of Papaya. Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
For the newcomer
- The ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops (TSC) is involved with community-based subtropical fruit projects aimed at increasing the production of high-quality fruit and developing technological and business skills. One of its core objectives is to facilitate black farmers’ entry and participation in the fruit industry. Contact them at 013 753 7000 or visit www.arc.agric.za. Various publications geared for the small-scale farmer are available from the ARC-Tropical & Subtropical Crops. Call the number above or email infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- The goal of the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA) programme is to continually improve labour conditions on all farms in a practical and comprehensive manner, which has the potential to benefit businesses and impact positively on hundreds of thousands of employees. Read more at www.siza.co.za.
- Subtrop is involved with projects in Venda to assist small growers through study groups in the area. For more details, contact Subtrop (find details under the “Associations involved” heading).
- Refer to the many grower guides under the “Websites & publications” heading.
National strategy and government contact
The National Development Plan (NDP) sees the avocado sector in particular as being one in which jobs can be created. The BFAP Baseline 2019 noted that avocadoes and macadamias were among those industries that have already expanded beyond the targets of the NDP (BFAP, 2019).
- The Directorate: Food Import and Export Standards can be contacted at 012 319 6118. Find information about the relevant directorates under “Branches” at www.dalrrd.gov.za, website of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).
- The Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP) classified the subtropical fruit sector as a “high performer”. Find the document on the DALRRD website.
- The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) 2018/19 – 2020/21 featured fruit export development in the Key Action Programmes. The intention was to accelerate export growth and develop value-added/processed products in both new and existing markets. Find the document at www.thedti.gov.za.
Subtropical Growers’ Association (Subtrop) Tel: 015 307 3677 / 015 306 6240 www.subtrop.co.za
Subtrop technical group:
- SAAGA Horticulturist Andries Bester 082 426 5502
- SAMGA Technical Co-ordinator Andre Botha 082 462 2657
- SAAGA Horticulturist – KwaZulu-Natal & Mpumalanga Kamukata Kaluwa 081 042 4275
- Technical Specialist: Market Access Kames Mehl 078 761 0860
- Transformation Co-ordinator Nomvuyo Matlala 084 882 2763
Subtrop member associations:
Subtrop manages the affairs of the Avocado, Litchi, Macadamia and Mango Growers’ Associations.
- South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) www.avocado.co.za
- Southern African Mango Growers’ Association (SAMGA) www.mango.co.za
- South African Litchi Growers’ Association (SALGA) www.litchisa.co.za
Subtrop’s three member associations all have voluntary membership and their activities are funded by levies on members’ production. Activities of the associations may include:
- Technical support and advisory services to growers
- Coordination of technical research according to industry needs
- Funding of appropriate technical and market research.
- Supply of market information.
- Local export and local market development through generic promotion.
- Liaison with government and other bodies, both locally and internationally
Other associations and statutory bodies are:
- The Banana Growers’ Association of South Africa (BGASA) Tel: 083 310 4747 / 013 755 2714
- There is also a Papaya Exporters’ Association (SAPEA). Mr Aart Louw can be contacted at 083 628 0205.
- Guava Producers’ Association Tel: 021 872 1501 www.guavaproducers.co.za
- Hluhluwe Pineapple Marketing Association Tel: 035 562 0731 www.pineapples.co.za
- Hluhluwe Pineapple and Farmers’Association (HPFA) Tel: 079 190 6939 info [at] pineapples.co.za
- Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) Tel: 021 930 1134 www.ppecb.com
- Pineapple Growers Association (PGA) Tel: 046 625 0515 / 082 600 8001
- Cactus Pear Growers Association www.cactuspear.co.za
Training and research
Find the “Training material” option at www.subtrop.co.za
- Learnerships and apprenticeships are a combination of on-the-job learning along with some theoretical training. The major part of the training can be offered on the farm. Find information on learnerships in the “Agricultural education & training” article, or at the AgriSETA website, www.agriseta.co.za (under “Skills delivery” option).
- Some AgriSETA accredited providers offer training e.g. Skills for All do training in the cultivation of bananas, mangoes and avocados. Find details in the “Agricultural education & training” article or at www.agriseta.co.za.
- All institutions offering agricultural degrees or diplomas do training e.g. Lowveld, Madzivhandila and Cedara Agricultural Colleges, Universities of the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Pretoria, the Tshwane University of Technology.
- Provincial Departments of Agriculture are involved in research and training. In KwaZulu-Natal, subtropical fruit specialists are Comfort Dlamini (035 572 5303, comfort.dlamini [at] kzndard.gov.za) and Andile Gcabasha (035 795 1946, andile.gcabasha [at] kzndard.gov.za]
Some of the role players are listed below:
- ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops (ARC-TSC) Tel: 013 753 7000 www.arc.agric.za The TSC also runs training courses on demand. These cover: (i) Introduction to the crop (ii) Growth requirements: -climate, soil & water (iii) Propagation (iv) Soil preparation and planting (v) Fertilisation (vi) Irrigation (vii) Weed control (viii) Pest management (ix) Disease management (x) Other cultivation practices (xi) Harvesting (xii) Post-harvest handling. Research is done on granadillas, litchis etc.
- ARC- Plant Protection Research (ARC-PPR) Tel: 012 808 8000 Contact Teresa Goszczynska about diseases on bananas. E-mail: goszczyn-skat [at] arc.agric.za
- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Fibres and Textiles Support Tel: 041 508 3223 / 89 www.csir.co.za
- Du Roi Laboratory Tel: 015 345 1217 www.duroilab.co.za
- Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute (GADI) does training in Cactus pear fruit production. Visit http://gadi.agric.za.
- QMS Agri Science Tel: 076 312 5450 www.agriscience.co.za
- University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology Dewitm [at] ufs.ac.za
- UFS Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences Tel: 051 401 2210 (find the “Cactus pear (Prickly pear)” option on the Animal Nutrition web pages on www.ufs.ac.za. Research done on cactus plants.
- Westfalia Technological Services Tel: 015 309 0000 / 29 www.westfalia.co.za
- Southern African Subtropical and Citrus Consultants (SASCCON) Tel: 083 629 3806 tom [at] fromabove.co.za, liezl [at] cri.co.za
- Amathole Economic Development Agency Tel: 043 721 2070 www.aspire.org.za
Producers and exporters
Find the list of market agents on www.apacweb.org.za.
- African Realty Trust Tel: 015 304 4003 www.letaba.com
- Boland Pulp – see Rhodes Food Group
- Breede Valley Fruit Processors Tel: 023 342 6644 www.bvfp.co.za
- BronPro Tel: 071 659 3642 http://bronpro.co.za
- Cape Fruit Processors Ltd Tel: 013 790 3015 www.capefruits.co.za
- Dagama Oils Tel: 013 764 2181 www.dagamaoils.co.za
- FruitLips Tel: 022 914 5050 http://fruitlips.co.za
- Itsofresh Tel: 012 997 2980
- Langeberg and Ashton Foods Tel: 023 615 8200 http://landaf.co.za
- Novapine Tel: 035 562 0024
- Onderberg Vervwerkings Tel: 013 790 1146 www.onderberg.com
- Rhodes Food Group Tel: 021 870 4000 www.rhodesfoodgroup.com
- Solidaridad Southern Africa is involved with mango processing. Visit www.solidaridadnetwork.org.
- Summerpride Foods Tel: 043 700 6699 www.summerpride.co.za
- Valley Farms Fruit Processing Tel: 015 583 0472
- Wegro Pineapple Processors www.wegropines.com
- Wellington Fruit Processors Tel: 021 873 0606
- Westfalia Fruits Tel: 015 306 6260 www.westfalia.co.za
- ZZ2 Tel: 015 395 2040 www.zz2.biz and https://worldsfinestavocados.com
A further list of mango processors is at www.mango.co.za.
Websites and publications
- Visit the websites listed earlier on this page.
- The annual Food Trade SA publication is a good source of export statistics for fresh produce. Find it at https://ppecb.com/documents.
- http://subtropgoggas.co.za is a website for Subtrop members on pests.
- The South African Fruit Trade Flow and the DALRRD-NAMC TradeProbe reports often deal with subtropical fruit. These can mostly be found at www.namc.co.za.
- In addition to the numerous grower guides mentioned under the individual fruit-type headings earlier, other general subtropical fruit publications can also be found on the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za. These include: “Production guidelines subtropical fruit”, and the Info Paks “Step-by-step Export manual for the South African fruit industry” and “Cultivating subtropical crops”.
- Refer to “Statistical information” under “Resource Centre” and “Publications” on www.dalrrd.gov.za for statistics on the various subtropical fruit. These figures include production, sales on markets, exports, purchases for processing, prices realised, gross value and total value of production. Find the earlier references in this chapter to the annual Market Value Chain publications compiled by the Directorate Marketing at the DALRRD.
- In addition to the crop-specific ones listed earlier, other publications available for purchase from the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops include (i) Cultivating subtropical crops, and (iii) Pests and Beneficial Arthropods of Tropical and Non-citrus Subtropical Crops in South Africa. Call 013 753 7000 or write to infoitsc [at] arc.agric.za.
- CD Roms from the ARC-PPR (Plant Protection Research) include: (i) Crop Pests, vol. 2: Citrus And Other Subtropicals (ii) Medically Important Spiders and Scorpions of Southern Africa. Write to booksales [at] arc.agric.za or infopri [at] arc.agric.za.
- Available from the ARC-Agricultural Engineering (ARC-AE) is the publication “Agro-processing of Subtropical Fruit (Avocado, bananas, figs, guava, kiwifruit, litchi, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple)”. Visit www.arc.agric.za or call 012 842 4017.
- The AgriSETA Assessment Guide Primary Agriculture “Monitor the establishment of a crop” includes orchard trees.Another learner guide of relevance here is “Harvesting agricultural crops” at https://www.agriseta.co.za/downloads/LearningMaterial/116201_LG.pdf
- Several subtropical fruits are dealt with in the publication “Fruit and nut production in KZN”, which can be downloaded at www.kzndard.gov.za/resource-centre
- Read the agricultural weeklies, Landbouweekblad and Farmer’s Weekly, or visit the websites www.landbou.com and www.farmersweekly.co.za for articles.
- Find information on the SA Fruit Journal at www.safj.co.za.
- Publications available from Cactus Pear Growers Association: (i) An information brochure for prospective producers (ii) A recipe book with original and proven recipes is available.
Some international websites
- Find international news on bananas and other fruit at www.freshplaza.com.
- International Tropical Fruits Network – www.itfnet.org
- www.bananalink.org.uk – “working towards a fair and sustainable banana and pineapple trade”
- The Presidential Initiative for Banana Industrial Development (Uganda) – www.pibid.org
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