Fruit Farming in South Africa

© Louise Brodie
From oranges and apples to table grapes and dragon fruit, South Africa is a land of fantastic fruit and one of the main fruit producing countries in the world. More than 50% of our agricultural exports is fruit, which contributes 2.5% to South Africa’s Growth Domestic Profit (GDP).

Figures from Fruit South Africa indicated that more than 4.7 million tons of fruit are produced in South Africa of which 59% is exported, 28% is used for processing and 12% sold locally. Citrus, at 55%, forms the bulk of South African fruit production, while pome and stone fruit, 34%, table grapes, 6%, exotics and nuts, 5%, fill the rest of South Africa’s fruit basket.

A huge industry to cover, is introducing fruit production in South Africa with a few smaller, lesser-known fruits. Information about the growing, harvesting and processing of fruit is available in all 11 South African languages to help all South Africans appreciate the bounty of their land.


Apples are one of the most widely known and produced fruit types globally. Apple trees or Malus pumila originated in Central Asia and have been cultivated in Asia, Europe and North America for centuries....more


Blueberries are native to Asia, Scandinavia and North America, with early native Americans already recognising the health and medicinal value of these berries....more


There is an interesting story behind what some believe to be the origin of the Afrikaans name for cantaloupe, spanspek....more

Cherries in South Africa

The production of sweet cherries in South Africa is a small but fast-growing industry; plantings have increased by 25% in just two years from 2017....more


Citrus is a collective term for a genus of flowering trees and shrubs in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus plants produce important fruit crops such as oranges, mandarins, lemons and limes and grapefruit....more

Dragon Fruit Farming in South Africa

Dragon fruit is a very large, mostly red-skinned scaly fruit produced by a fast-growing trailing cactus. A relatively young industry in South Africa, local dragon fruit farms show huge potential...more

Fig Farming in South Africa

A delicate, yet versatile fruit, the fig has been known to mankind for millennia and is a hugely popular fruit in Turkey, which is the world’s biggest producer....more


Guavas are a tropical fruit, which is produced in tropical and subtropical regions across the globe. The Psidium guajava is a small tree from the Myrtaceae (Myrtle) family with dark green...more


South African olive producers focus on premium quality products, such as extra virgin olive oil and diversify their product range with value-added olive oil products,...more


Persimmons are produced in tropical to temperate regions across the globe and are known by several names including Persimmon...more


Pomegranates in South Africa are either a completely mystical fruit or one that is a fond memory from childhood when bushy shrubs grew in grandparents’ gardens....more


Prunes, Prunus domestica, are different varieties of the European Plum. Prune generally refers to the dried plums or the plum varieties that are suitable for drying....more


Raisins are dried grape berries and the word raisin is, in fact, the French word for grape. Raisins are produced commercially, by drying harvested grape berries, and are generally sweet, due to their high concentration of sugars....more

Table Grapes

Table grapes are grapes produced for fresh consumption as a fruit. This sets them apart from grapes produced for making grape juice, wine or raisins. The grapevine is known as Vitis vinifera and is native to the Mediterranean region....more


Watermelon is thought to have originated in Africa’s arid and semi arid regions. It is now planted throughout the world. Watermelon is a cucurbit and part of the Cucurbitaceae family....more