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South Africa: Cape wine farmers swap grapes for citrus

As the popularity of citrus exports spikes, many South African farmers are replacing their grape vines with lemon, mandarin or lime trees. This year the country is expected to export a record-breaking 137-million boxes of citrus fruits, competing with leading countries around the world in the citrus trade.

More than 100 countries will receive South Africa’s produce for the second year in a row, showing a continued trend of citrus popularity around the globe, despite the decrease in trade of Valencia oranges, which formed 40% of the export market last year.

This year has shown a large increase in the planting of lemons and mandarins, which has pushed up the expected crop export percentage when compared to last year. All exports will leave the country in May.

In 2018, exports yielded a total of almost R19-million in sales and made up 92% of the total income the local citrus industry made. Due to the success of this industry last year, farmers have planted a record area of citrus fields. explains how, as the popularity of citrus grows, South African farmers will need to learn from their experiences and work better in the market as there is room for growth in other citrus exports.

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