South Africa sees its citrus exports increase despite port problems
In 2021, citrus growers in southern Africa exported 161.6 million boxes equivalent to 15 kg of local citrus. This represents 18.6 million boxes more than last year, despite the logistical difficulties encountered during the season.
Agricultural economist Dr Kobus Laubscher said success in terms of exports has enabled the citrus industry to make a valuable contribution to improving South Africa’s economy.
Paul Hardman, acting CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa, pointed out that current challenges in the country’s ports were intensified by civil unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in mid-July. , which resulted in the port of Durban being closed for days.
This was followed by Transnet declaring force majeure at all ports following a cyberattack, which coincided with the peak of the citrus export season.
Hardman: “With these challenges in mind, the fact that the local industry achieved another record-breaking export season in 2021 was truly remarkable. This has only been possible through close collaboration and partnerships within industry and with government, and the extraordinary efforts of producers.