South Africa’s first litchi exports to the US ‘a success story’

South Africa recently exported its first consignment of litchis to the US.

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The fruit was packed in Mpumalanga and sent to Atlanta by air. The consignment was then irradiated and shipped to agents in the US.

Don Westcott, chairperson of the South African Litchi Growers’ Association market access committee, said the industry wanted to send a few more commercial consignments to the US this season.

He commended the department of agriculture for its role in securing market access.

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“This was really a great collective effort and a special success story for our industry,” he said.

In 2014 the local litchi industry created about 2 390 indirect and direct jobs in South Africa and generated a gross income of R120 million.