AN OVERVIEW OF LITCHI (LITCHI CHINENSIS) PRODUCTION BY SMALL AND EMERGING GROWERS IN MPUMALANGA PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA
Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) is an important subtropical fruit crop produced in South Africa. The total production in South Africa varied between 4,200-7,760 t with a gross value of 45-74 million South African Rand per season during the past decade. The total area under litchi currently is 1,731 ha with an average yield of 15-40 kg tree-1. Mpumalanga Province is the leading producer in South Africa with 1,100 ha concentrated mainly in the hot Ehlanzeni District Municipality. Ehlanzeni accounts for about 70% of the total crop produced annually in the country. Although litchi has been traditionally produced by commercial growers, there are a number of emerging commercial African growers involved currently in litchi production in the country subsequent to the introduction of the Restitution of Land Rights Act (22 of 1994). This paper gives an overview of the prospects and challenges of litchi production by selected subsistence and emerging growers based on a study carried out in 2012/13 cropping season in Mpumalanga Province. The contribution to the litchi industry by the emerging sector could be enhanced significantly by providing adequate finances and efficient infrastructure for advisory services on production, postharvest handling and value-adding, and marketing. Enhanced production by the emerging sector could alleviate rural poverty, provide additional job opportunities and contribute significantly to sustainable rural livelihood in Mpumalanga.
Mathews, C. and Magongwa, S.M. (2014). AN OVERVIEW OF LITCHI (LITCHI CHINENSIS) PRODUCTION BY SMALL AND EMERGING GROWERS IN MPUMALANGA PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA. Acta Hortic. 1029, 55-62
emerging growers, Ehlanzeni District Municipality, land restitution, die-back, value-adding