South Africa’s citrus industry has come a long way since the first time citrus groves were planted on South African soil. Over the years, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds. Today, it is the biggest agricultural exporter. According to Lukhanyo Nkombisa, general manager of the Citrus Growers Association’s (CGA) Grower Development Company, the industry is serious about inclusivity and development, but a number of challenges still exist.
Nkombisa added that the South African citrus industry has evolved a lot since there are a lot of initiatives related to the growth of black growers. In 2010, the CGA established the chamber which is the voice of black growers for inclusive participation in all CGA structures and initiatives. In 2016, the CGA established the CGA Grower Development Company (CGA-GDC) for one purpose, to drive transformation and development in the citrus industry.
Since the establishment of the CGA-GDC, the CGA is spending about R50 million per annum to support black growers, with extension service support, business and compliance support mentorship, skills development, and market readiness. These initiatives show how the citrus industry is serious about inclusivity and transformation and development.