This is an industry older than 300 years with more than 20 million citrus trees planted on 58 000 hectares.With approximately 1300 producers growing for export and 2200 smaller producers, over 100 000 workers are employed in the sector. Production is split as follows:
70 % oranges, 16 % grapefruit, 7 % naartjies and 7 % lemons. Citrus is grown in three different climatic regions,In terms of Volume Second Largest From Decidous calculates R3 Billion.

Eastern Cape  contributes 23% to Production of Citrus.
Limpopo contributes 31% to Production.
Western Cape contributes 17% to Production.
Mpumalanga contributes 21% to Production.
Kwazulu Natal contributes 7% to Production.
Limpopo contributes 31% to Production.
Others contributes 1% to Production.

1. The cool coastal areas of the Eastern and Western Cape
2. Semi tropical areas of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, & Kwa-Zulu Natal
3. Tropical areas of the likes of Nelspruit and Letaba.

This variation of climate helps bring to the industry the advantage of having a variety of different cultivars available at different times.

In South Africa Suitable areas for citrus are grouped together in four climatic zones, which are :
Climatic Zone
Cold Areas
Cool, Inland
Intermediate Area
Hot Area Low & High Humidity

The East Cape Midlands, Gamtoos River Valley, Sundays River Valley, Amanzi, Southern Natal, South Western Cape and Citrusdal, Knysna and the surrounding areas.
Rustenburg, Lydenburg / Burgersfort, Ohrigstad and Potgietersrus and surrounding areas.
T Marble Hall, Groblerdal, Nelspruit, Hazyview, Barberton, Letaba (Tzaneen) and Levubu.
Low humidity- Tshipise, Limpopo Valley, Letsitele, Lower Letaba and Hoedspruit.
High Humidity-Malelane,Komatipoort, Swaziland Lowveld, Pongola and Nkwalini

Climatic Suitability of cultivars

Citrus South Africa are divided into cultivar groups because of their origin, characteristics and ripening times. Each cultivar group has a unique climatic requirement that is dependent on temperature, heat units, day length and light and humidity. These List of Citrus groups are as follows:

    * Mandarins – Satsumas, Clementines and Mandarin Hybrids
    * Lemons and Limes
    * Grapefruit
    * Navels
    * Midseasons
    * Valencias
    * Pummelo Types
    * Kumquat

Cold Areas

    * Mandarins – Satsumas, Clementines and Mandarin Hybrids
    * Lemons
    * Navels
    * Certain Valencias

Cool Inland Areas

    * Valencias
    * Lemons
    * Navels
    * Certain Mandarins and Midseasons

Intermediate Areas

    * Valencias
    * Midseasons
    * Lemons
    * Certain Navels and Grapefruit (marginal)

Hot Areas

    * Valencias
    * Grapefruit
    * Lemons
    * Marginal for Navels and Manderins

Physical and Chemical Soil Requirements

Soil can loosely be grouped as sandy soil, sand loan, clay loan and clay soils.Ideal Chemical Soil Requirements are:15% - ­25% clay percentage (above 30% is marginal)The pH (H20) should be between 6,5 and 7,5No salts in the top 50cm.

Ideal Physical Soil Requirements are:

    * Soil depth of at least 50cm to 1m.
    * Well drained soils, especially in the first 50cm.
    * No peds larger than 100mm in diameter.
    * No stratified alluvium in top 50 cm.

Soil preparation is essential to optimize citrus production. The primary purpose of soil preparation is to get the root zone as homogenous as possible to optimize root development and growth. This will also alleviate soil density problems. Chemical imbalances of the soils can be corrected during soil preparation.It is important to know that proper soil samples were taken and tested at a reputable institution. Soil preparations should be done to subsequently optimize tree and root growth.



Each cultivar group has a range of different cultivars that matures from early to late and/or has unique characteristics, such as red pigmentation. There are approximately 210 commercial varieties being planted in South Africa. Listed are the most common/promising varieties per cultivar group.

    * Mandarin-Satsumas – Miho wase, Kuno, Owar
    * Clementines – Marisol, Nules, Clementine Late
    * Mandarin Hybrids – Ortanique, Minneola Tangelo, Thoro Temple, Nova, Nouvelle, Fairchild, Empress
    * Lemons-Eureka, Eureka Seedless, Lisbon
    * Limes-Tahiti, Bearss
    * Grapefruit-White – Marsh-Pink – Redblush-Red – Star Ruby
    * Navels-Early Maturing – Fukumotto, Newhall, Navelina-Mid Maturing – Palmer, Bahianinha, Cara Cara-Late Maturing – Glen Ora Late, Witkrans, Lane Late,

Australian selections


    * Salustiana, Tarocco, Turkey


    * Early Maturing – Benny, Limpopo SL
    * Mid Maturing – Alpha, Midknight, Delta
    * Late Maturing – Delicia, Ruby Valencia, Old clone selections

Pummelo Types

    * Pomelit, Shaddock, Oroblanco, Jackson, Melogold


    * Nagami


    * All citrus produced in South Africa today are budded on rootstocks, and the majority of these are certified trees. Reasons being:
    * Rootstocks influence tree and fruit characteristics, such as, production, fruit size and fruit colour.
    * Rootstocks are used to regulate tree height.
    * Rootstocks have various degrees of resistance to soil born diseases and viruses.
    * Rootstocks are used to overcome some shortages with regards to physical and chemical compositions of soils such as high pH soils.
    * Rootstocks improve tree age.
    * Rootstocks can improve some physiological problems associated with some cultivars, such as creasing.
    * Rootstocks vary in terms of cold and drought resistance.
    * Some rootstocks can even sustain flood situations.

These are some of the Registered Citrus Growers Association

1.Citrus Research International Pty Ltd
2.The Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF.
3.Citrus Growers Association.

The Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF) registered in 1998 as a non-profit industry organization. Its membership is voluntary and open to all companies that export fresh fruit from South Africa.

Whilst its membership is voluntary, strict accreditation criteria are put in place to ensure that only competent and reliable marketing agents and grower-exporters are admitted to the Forum.

The FPEF’s mission is to create, within free-market principles and a deregulated environment, a prosperous but disciplined fruit-export sector. It was established primarily to provide leadership and services to its members and the international buying community.

Citrus Research International (Pty) Ltd and partners in the CRI Group, all use funds from the Citrus Growers Association levy to conduct research for the citrus industry in southern Africa. If you are resident in southern Africa and would like to obtain recent technical information, including quarterly reports, please register as a member by clicking on the text to the left and filling in the form.

The Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa CGA main mandates is to

Ensure that our industry has retained a competetive edge in the global marketplace.

Support the endeavours of our members to operate profitably in a highly demanding and Challenging environment.

Enable the South African Citrus Producers to stand proudly when evaluated against the Socio-economical and Socio-political challenges posed by our unique and diverse regions and communities.

Commercial Storing of Grapefruit
Optimum Storage Temperature
16ºC to 8.5ºC
The Storage and transport of grapefruit varies between 16ºC and 8.5ºC.The Standard procedure is however to constantly maintain the DAT at 7.0ºC to ensure an average pulp temperature of 8.5ºC. The following criteria is used to decide on the transport temperature:Early season fruit still requiring external skin colouring- Store and ship at 16ºC.
Optimum storage temperature of well coloured fruit-store and ship at 10ºC.When mixed with other citrus types-store and ship at 8.5ºC.Cold treatment to control quarantine pests- store and ship colder than 0.0ºC.

Commercial Storing of Kumquats
Optimum Storage Temperature
4.5ºC to 11ºC
Kumquats are closely related to plants of th citrus genus. Commercial Kumquats are usually hybrids between species of the Kumquat genus and species of the citrus genus.

Commercial Storing of Lemons
Optimum Storage Temperature
7.0ºC to 10.0ºC
Optimum Storage RH 95%
The storage and transport temperature of lemons vary between 10ºC and 7.0ºC. The warmer temperature of 10ºC is used at th beginning of the season to enhance colour development. The optimum shipping temperature is 7.0ºC.Lemons to destination requiring in transit cold treatment must be precooled and shipped below 0.0ºC depending on the requirements of the importing country.

Commercial Storing of Limes
Optimum Storage Temperature
Optimum Storage RH 95%.

Commercial Storing of Oranges
Optimum storage temperature 4.5ºC
Optimum storage RH 95%
Oranges store best at a pulp temperature of 4.5ºC.Early season oranges can be stored and Transported at 11ºC to promote external coloured development.It is however recommended that a DAT of 10ºC be considered especially for oranges packed in telescopic cartons to ensure pulp temperature closer to 11ºC.Prompt cooling soon after harvest should be applied and optimum pulp temperature should be reached within 6 days from harvest. This especially applies to the more sensitive Washington Naval cultivar
As with Lemons and grapefruit, oranges can be held successfully at minus 0.5ºC for 14 days to comply with cold treatment requirements.

Commercial storing of Soft Citrus
Optimum storage Temperature 3.5ºC
Optimum storage RH 95%
Soft citrus ,easy peelers or mandarins are common names for this group of citrus cultivars. Fruit of these cultivars. Fruit of these cultivars are normally softer than the standard citrus fruit and have a loose skin that can easily be removed giving rise to these names.
Some of the commercial cultivars that are exported are exported are clementines, Ellendales, Minneolas, Satsumas, Shamoutis, Tambors and Tangerines.Fruit of these cultivars are very delicate in texture and flavour and are more temperature sensitive than the traditional oranges. Cooling to 3.5ºC as soon as possible after harvest and maintainance of the cold chain throughout is very important to maintain quality. Soft Citrus are sometimes kept at 11.0ºC for relatively short periods to stimulate colour development should it be required.


The Citrus Growers Association will maximise the long-term profitability of its members by:

• providing the industry with access to global markets,
• optimising cost effective production of quality fruit,
• continual commitment to research, development and communication with all stakeholders,
• caring for the environment and the community within which we operate.


• to gain and retain market access,
• to set standards for fruit and quality,
• to fund and control research and development,
• to drive industry transformation
• to represent the growers
• to communicate effectively,
• to optimise the structure of the C.G.A.

The CGA was established by citrus growers in the wake of deregulation in 1997.  Growers were concerned that certain functions previously carried out by the Citrus Board could be discontinued or downsized.  With the demise of a single channel marketing  system there are often questions about “who represents the citrus grower?”  The CGA believes that it is their role to fill this void.  Growers interests are furthered through representation to citrus industry stakeholders – including government, exporters, research institutions and suppliers to the citrus industry.

The CGA represents the interests of the producers of export citrus.  In total approximately 1400 growers throughout Southern Africa (including Zimbabwe and Swaziland) are members of the Association.

The growers are organised into seventeen regions as follows:-Western Cape ,Natal Midlands ,Onderberg-Nelspruit   ,Letsitele -Limpopo ,N Cape - Senwes Transvaal  ,Swaziland  ,Zimbabwe ,Boland,Sundays River Valley,Patensie , E Cape-Midlands 
Hoedspruit- Nkwalini   ,Pongola 


Andre de Jager said...


Inline image 1

Client care,Marble Hall,Groblersdal and surrounding areas.
Contact Andre` 0827208026

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More