The South African blueberry industry has significantly outperformed other fruit industries, increasing its value exponentially for a decade, doubling its growth as an industry in recent years and doubling its economic income in the last year of production and exports.
South Africa exported 12,282 tons of blueberries in the season just ended, broken down into volumes shipped to the United Kingdom (46,2%), Europe (46,10%), the Middle East (2,57%), the Far East (4,90 %) and Africa (0,02%).
These volumes confirm that the South African industry is one of those that has experienced one of the fastest growth in the region, both in terms of the number of hectares planted and the values obtained for its production, which is in line with the strategic political line designed by that country.
New projects and more plantations
As a frame of reference, the South African industry closes the season by increasing its blueberry exports and exceeding its economic returns.
This increase in exports, which has meant growth of more than 1000% in the last decade and 50% in the last two years, is due to the fact that more companies and producers are joining the crop. With more hectares planted, with more technology and better knowledge, which is reflected in this increase in the industry and in the use of higher employment rates, which directly contributes to the development of the nation. By 2023, it is projected to have 4700 hectares planted.
The South African blueberry industry started in the Lydenburg district of Mpumalanga during the 1970s, and in 1987 blueberry cultivation reached the Western Cape. The first recorded batch of blueberries exported from South Africa was in 1992, which was valued at 9780 rand (approx. USD 530) and shipped to Zambia. In 2001 this value reached 5 million rand (USD 270 thousand approx.) And in 2018 blueberry exports exceeded the mark of 1500 billion rand for the first time, soaring to date over XNUMX billion.