STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA

J.P. Human, E.P. Evans
Strawberries have been produced in South Africa for the past 50 and 60 years. Although more than 200 cultivars have been imported and evaluated in that country, only Tioga has been of some commercial value. A breeding programme started between 1940 and 1959 has led to the release of 14 cultivars.

Approximately 300 hectares of strawberries are grown in South Africa and about 80 percent of this area is planted to locally bred cultivars. Prior to the commencement of the breeding programme, yield exceeded 6 t/ha but now yields of 20 to 30 t/ha are obtained.

Strawberries are grown as an annual crop on raised beds covered with black plastic mulch. The main production areas are situated in the provinces of Transvaal (120 ha - summer rainfall) and the Western Cape (180 ha - winter rainfall). In the former area, 85 per cent of the crop is marketed fresh whereas in the other area about 80 per cent is processed.

In the Transvaal some farmers grow strawberries in tunnels (10–15 ha). This enalbes them to produce fruit from late May until mid-December. In the western Cape the season is September to December.

Selekta, a large fruited strawberry, is the most important cultivar in the Transvaal whilst the high yielding Tiobelle is preferred in the Western Cape. Problems which are encountered are Botrytis rot, nematodes, Verticillium wilt and leaf diseases.

The annual value of the crop is estimated to be worth about 25 million rands.

Human, J.P. and Evans, E.P. (1989). STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA. Acta Hortic. 265, 757-757
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.265.125
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.265.125

Acta Horticulturae