South Africa: Hail in Limpopo region damages citrus, mangoes -

South Africa: Hail in Limpopo region damages citrus, mangoes

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South Africa: Hail in Limpopo region damages citrus, mangoes

Recent hail in the Hoedspruit region of South Africa's Limpopo province has affected mango and citrus production, with initial reports many farmers may have lost around a fifth of their crops. mango_65889349

Harvest for the next mango season is due to begin around late December or early January, while the damage to citrus production will be felt during the next campaign as trees are currently in the flowering stage.

South African Subtropical Growers' Association CEO Derek Donkin told of the four crops the group represented - macadamia nuts, lychees, avocados, and mangoes - only the latter had been affected.

"We’ve had some fairly heavy hail in the Hoedspruit region," he said, adding it was a major mango-growing area.

"The extent of the damage though hasn’t been properly surveyed at this point. The damage from farm to farm varies according to the intensity of the hail that fell in those regions.

"In some places that did have hail farmers are saying the damage is around about 20% of their crop, and the other farmers that were in the most heavily affected areas would have lost just about everything."

Donkin said he was unsure of what the total effect might be on the mango industry, which typically produces some 70,000 metric tons (MT) of fruit annually.

He added most of the fruit was consumed in the domestic market, with exports representing a 'very small component'.

As for the citrus industry, Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa (CGA) CEO Justin Chadwick said it seemed there would be some impact to next year's volumes.

"A farmer there indicated that it is a bit early to tell exactly the extent of the damage, but there was a lot of hail and it’s been through pretty much the whole region," he said.

"He was estimating that it could even be 20% of next year’s crop that might be affected from the Hoedspruit region."

The area mainly produces Valencian oranges and grapefruit, according to Chadwick.



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