SOUTH AFRICA SEES IMPORVED TABLE GRAPE HARVEST DESPITE DROUGHT

South Africa’s table grape producers are expected to harvest an estimated 61 million more cartons of table grapes this season, despite a crippling drought and blistering heat wave which has been experienced in the past months.

The latest estimates from the South African Table Grape Industry show a revised crop estimate of between 61 and 63 million cartons, five per cent more than last year.

However, industry representative Pieter Du Plessis said Monday that the lower water levels of the Orange River, the country’s longest, were a cause for concern.

“We are dependent on the Orange River for water for irrigation and although there is a 15 per cent cut in the water volumes, up until now it didn’t have an effect and luckily it starts raining up in the north so there is some water coming into the dams.”

The Hex River region in Western Cape Province is expected to contribute the bulk of the table grapes produced this year, with an estimated 20 million cartons, followed by the Orange River region, slightly lower at 19 million.

The Olifantshoek region in Northern Cape Province is expected to contribute just over four million cartons.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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