SA: New cherry varieties deliver bumper crops

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SA: New cherry varieties deliver bumper crops

South African grower Dutoit Group is reaping the benefits from developing new cherry cultivars with increased yields this season.

The company is currently harvesting its Zaiger varieties planted in an estate near Ceres, in the Western Cape where cold winters and relatively mild summers are suited to the variety.

Dutoit gained exclusive growing and marketing rights from U.S. company Zaiger's Inc. Genetics for its range of cultivars.

Managing director Pieter du Toit, said the new varieties would enable the company to increase production considerably.

"We have already started looking at partnerships with fruit producers across the country to establish these cultivars to extend our marketing season."

Stellenbosch University fruit specialist professor Daan Strydom, believes the new varieties will change the South African cherry industry.

"The new range can be planted in milder regions and this has opened the door for the Dutoit Group to dramatically increase production," he said.

Dutoit has traditionally focused on growing apples and pears but is currently diversifying into apricots, nectarines and peaches.

Photo: Dutoit Group

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