South Africa: South African Blueberry Industry Continues Strong GrowthUSDA
While the blueberry industry is still small relative to other fruit sectors in South Africa, such as citrus, apples, pears and table grapes, it has grown exponentially in the past 5 years. Post forecasts that blueberry production will rise by 22 percent to 22,000 MT in the 2020/21 MY, based on the increase in area planted, new plants starting to bear fruit and improvement in yields. As a result, exports are forecast to increase by 20 percent to 18,000 MT in the 2020/21 MY. However, concerns on the impact of COVID-19 to exports in the 2020/21 MY still remain. The United States currently has no market access to South Africa for fresh blueberries, and negotiations are underway between the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the South African Ministry of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. Other opportunities for the United States may include investments in blueberry production and processed products; licensing of varieties; supplying bio-pesticides and fertilizers.