South Africa: Tomatoes and bananas worst affected by country-wide cold fronts

Tomato producers have been among those worst affected by a spate of cold fronts during May and June, which had a negative impact on certain fruit and vegetables traded on South Africa’s fresh produce markets.

This was according to Dr Johnny van der Merwe, managing director of AMT, a company that specialises in analysis and forecasting for the agriculture sector, and also a lecturer at the School of Economics at North-West University.

The South African Weather Service had issued several advisories between mid-May and mid-June warning of extreme cold across large parts of the country. Snowfall was recorded in parts of Lesotho, the Free State and the Eastern Cape, as well as parts of the Western and Northern Cape and even KwaZulu-Natal.

“The cold weather [affected] both the volumes and the quality of products on offer at markets,” said Van der Merwe.

According to, the same was true for bananas, with producers negatively affected by the extreme cold weather that resulted in lower volumes and quality issues.

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