Fruit & Nuts

Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest fruit and nuts farming news and updates from South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Promising new mango, kiwi and passion fruit cultivars

Looking for a different crop to grow in the Western Cape? At the Subtropical and Minor Crop Workshop held last year, Glenneis Kriel spoke to a number of experts about the fruits highlighted at the event.

Precision irrigation boosts yield on Mpumalanga citrus farm

Plan, execute, control and verify. These are the four elements that constitute the irrigation approach of Indigo Fruit Farming in Mpumalanga, where every drop of water is used to its full potential. Farm manager Willem Kieviet spoke to Lindi Botha about his methods of irrigating to achieve the best crop yields.

New cultivar excels on historic citrus farm

According to Errol Hewson, director of Riverside Kat River Farm, the relatively unknown Orri mandarin cultivar is shaping the future of the enterprise’s citrus production.

Profiting from apples: why quality trumps yield

The Zulch family of Wakkerstroom farm won the prize for the highest average income per hectare of apples in the 2020 Ceres Fruit Grower Awards. Fourie Zulch spoke to Glenneis Kriel about this accomplishment.

Guava cultivar programme aims to reinvigorate industry

The Agricultural Research Council is undertaking various trials aimed at making guava production more profitable. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Salomie Willemse and Chris Smith, experts involved in the programme.

Proper pruning: key to pecan grower’s success

Pecan farming is still in its infancy in South Africa, but with the global demand for nuts increasing, more producers are seeing opportunities to diversify their farms with pecans. Lindi Botha spoke to seasoned Gauteng-based pecan farmer Albert Bouwmeester Jnr about how he gets the most from his pecan orchard.

The fungi that saved a farmer’s avocado orchards

Faced with wilting, unproductive avocado trees, Limpopo farmer Christa Rebel decided to replace them with another crop. In the meantime, however, she planted strawberries on the orchard floor. Then, serendipitously, she discovered nature’s remarkable ability to repair itself.

Stable mango yields: timing is everything

Achieving yield stability over many years is the golden standard in mango farming. But this is easier said than done: success requires a keen understanding of the demands of mango trees and excellent management. Award-winning mango producer Johann du Preez spoke to Lindi Botha about the science of tree manipulation.

Macadamias: switching to machine harvesting

Harvesting macadamia nuts is highly labour-intensive, and Braam de Kock’s Lowveld farm is no exception. Tired of the stress of managing a large workforce, De Kock finally opted for mechanisation, and found the investment well worth it. Nonetheless, the process has had its challenges, he told Lindi Botha.

How to make a success of bananas

The humble banana is usually taken for granted by consumers, but growing this popular fruit can be tricky, expensive and involve considerable risk. Having top-performing banana plantations starts with the proper establishment of the crop. Brothers Riaan and WJ Heystek shared their experiences of setting up their banana enterprise with Lloyd Phillips.

Carmingo apricots breathe new life into Koo Valley

The arrival of Carmingo apricot varieties enables producers to generate up to three times more income per season than with traditional varieties. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Pierre Burger and Sam Sieberhagen, two successful farmers in the Western Cape.

Award-winning mango producer says 100t/ha is possible

Jaco Fivaz, farm manager of Mohlatsi farm in Limpopo, is a pioneer of high-density mango orchards, which achieve a greater yield per hectare than conventional orchards. Pieter Dempsey visited this award-winning grower to find out more about his passion for experimentation, and how he manages a diverse mango business.