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SA blueberry production – and employment – skyrockets to all-time high

Blueberry production in South Africa is set to reach 17,000 tons this year – an all-time high. SA produced 11,300 tons in 2018. About 70% of the blueberries produced in the country are exported.

Blueberry business is booming, says the SA Berry Producers Association (SABPA)

  • Between 2013 and 2018 the value of blueberry exports grew from R133-million to R1,058-billion.
  • Between 2014 and 2019 the number of people employed in the blueberry industry rose from 1,000 to 8,000.
  • SABPA forecasts production to reach 50,000 tonnes by 2023.
  • SABPA estimates the industry will employ 14,000 people by 2023 (rising to 26,000 if the industry gains access to the Chinese market).

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Sean Tager, vice-chair at SABPA. Some quotes:

SABPA is lobbying Minister of Agriculture, Thoko Didiza, to help it gain access to the Chinese market…

There’s a massive surge [in demand] locally and internationally… There is a massive amount of growth, disproportionate to other fruit types…

The jobs story is the biggest story about blueberries…

There are about 90 growers in South Africa… in all the provinces… About 65% are grown in the Western Cape…

Listen to the interview in the audio below:

Source: Cape Talk Radio

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