Where are fruits grown in South Africa? South Africa More than 50% of our agricultural exports are 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% is 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. 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. Apple production and consumption are integral to many cultures and as a fruit, apples hold cultural significance in many cultures. Apples are deciduous fruit, which grows on trees. In South Africa, apple trees blossom in spring and are fertilized by bees. The edible fruit also has an edible skin and develops through the spring and summer, ripening in late summer or early autumn. Apple trees can be grown from seed but for commercial production, they are more commonly propagated by grafting the desired variety onto disease-resistant rootstocks. Different apple varieties are cultivated for different tastes as well as for specific purposes such as fresh consumption or cooking as well as for juice and cider production. 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. Citrus fruit originates from South East Asia, across the region stretching from Southern China to Northeast India. Citrus crops have been cultivated in these regions for centuries and over time the cultivation of these fruits has spread to Mediterranean and subtropical production regions throughout the world. Citrus fruit is produced on evergreen trees. Citrus trees produce blossoms in spring and the fruit develops through spring and summer ripening for harvest in late autumn and early winter. Citrus fruit is segmented and has a thick skin. The fruit is usually peeled before consumption and the skin, also called rind and the outer edge is called zest, is generally discarded. All citrus fruits contain citric acid and ascorbic acid, better known as Vitamin C. Citrus fruits are characterised by their sharp flavour and some citrus types, such as lemons and limes, are sour or tart to the taste, while others are sweet. The fruits generally have a strong fragrance, largely due to the limonoid oils contained mostly in the skin of the fruit. Stone fruit represents various fruit types that have a stone in the middle, such as peaches, nectarines, plums, lychees, mangoes, coconuts, and cherries as well as coffee beans, olives, almonds, dates and pistachios. Unlike pome fruits, such as apples and pears which have a “core” filled with seeds, the pip in the stone fruit is not a seed but a protective layer surrounding the seed. Most stone fruit have a large stone, but a few, such as raspberries, have a multitude of small stones. 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. Fig farming in South Africa is mainly based in the dry warm regions of the Western Cape. Commercial farming started in the 1800s with dried figs and preserving figs as jams for home consumption to exporting fresh eating figs to the world market in the 2000s. Figs are quite beneficial and contains dietary fibre, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese and antioxidants. SouthAfrica.za highlights the production of figs, export and sales statistics, as well as fig products as uses of figs. 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, such as olive tapenades and skincare. Olive farming in South Africa is mainly for the production of olive oil, although about two-thirds of South Africa’s oil requirements are imported, mostly from Spain. The most widely planted olive variety in South Africa is Frantoio, at 749 ha, although the plantings are reducing in favour of other varieties, such as Coratino and FS18. The olive variety Mission is the second most prolific variety in South Africa with 659 ha, which is used for both oil and table olive production. Prunes, Prunus domestica, are different varieties of the European Plum. Prunes generally refers to the dried plums or the plum varieties that are suitable for drying. The plum varieties used for drying bear smaller fruit that are easier to dry. Prunes are produced worldwide from over 100 different varieties. Full economic yields are normally reached by year 5 from planting. It is important to control production as allowing these trees to bear too much fruit one year will lead to lower production the following season. 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. The cultivation of the domesticated grape has an ancient history, which began around 6 000 years ago in the Middle East.Grapes are a fruit, which consist of bunches of berries. The bunches of grapes grow on vines, which flower in early spring, with the tiny blossoms pollinated both by bees and by wind pollination. The bunches of grapes grow and develop through spring and are ready for harvest from early to late summer. Grape vines are deciduous, as in autumn the vines lose their leaves and bud again with new leaf growth at the end of winter. The grapes grow on a vine and for commercial table grape production, vines are trained up onto a trellis. This is done to raise the vine off the ground and to allow the vine canopy to spread on the trellis to facilitate production practices. Without the support of a trellis, vines spread across the ground or climb up nearby structures like creepers.Grapes are propagated by cuttings and due to the presence of diseases in the soil such as phylloxera, most grape vines are grafted and consist of two different varieties. The desired variety for production grows above the ground but is grafted onto a disease-resistant rootstock vine. Table grapes have seeded and seedless varietals. Today seedless varieties are the most popular varieties.Grapes range widely in terms of colour, berry size and shape, as well as flavour and suitability to regional growing conditions. The three main grape colour categories are black (purple to black grapes), red (crimson, red and pink grapes) and white (yellow-green to milky green grapes). Grapes are non-climacteric fruit, which means that they do not ripen any further once they have been harvested.