Citrus a juicy Eastern Cape crop
The Eastern Cape produces the most citrus in South Africa, contributing a juicy slice of the provincial agricultural economy.
The four predominant citrus types are segmented into oranges, grapefruit, lemons and soft citrus.
They are produced in the Addo, Eastern Cape Midlands, Gamtoos River, Langkloof, Patensie and Sundays River Valley regions.
Addo is not only the largest lemon producer in the Eastern Cape, but also in the country.
Citrus trees vary in height from five to 15 metres and produce fruit in well-drained soil. Irrigation is essential for citrus production but the trees should not be drenched, as this can stunt their growth.
Citrus farming is not an overnight process. It takes three to five years to start bearing fruit and lives for approximately 25 to 30 years.
These trees can grow in a wide range of climatic conditions, but do not tolerate winter frost.
The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) provides the citrus industry with access to global markets, keeps production as cost effective as possible and cares for the community and environment in which the farmers operate. The association represents the interests of export citrus producers and has roughly 1 400 members throughout South Africa.