Southern Africa’s Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) has welcomed Mozambique’s citrus industry to the fold

South Africa has a long-standing track record of support for the exports of Mozambique citrus, but this will now be taken to a new level with the local industry’s decision to join the Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa (CGA).

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The CGA said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mozambique Citrus Association (MCA) this week.

“In joining the CGA, Mozambican farmers will now have access to a wealth of expertise and support,” it stated.

Towards the end of the 1980s, South African quality standards agency PPECB supplied inspection services for the export of fresh fruit through the port of Mozambique.

Tertius Strauss, Mozambican citrus grower and General Manager of Verdant Produce Mozambique, said the agreement was the start of what ”will turn out to be an incredible journey”.

“It is a journey that will continue for generations, as we are establishing an enduring citrus industry in Mozambique,” said Strauss.

“At present it is very small, about 350ha, but it has so much potential. Joining the CGA is one of the ways we are getting citrus in Mozambique up and running and onto the global stage.”

The CGA said its group of companies would empower the MCA in several ways.

“These include receiving technical assistance from Citrus Research International (CRI), advanced training by the Citrus Academy, and increased access to international markets through established CGA channels,” it explained.

“Even though right now there are only two large citrus farms – one near Maputo and one near Massingir – it is not about the number of growers, but about the future possibilities,” Strauss explained.

”For instance, the orchards at Massingir are only three years old. It employs 150 people at the moment, but when the project is completed, it will provide over 800 jobs.”

The MCA is a broad-based grouping of stakeholders that are engaged in the citrus industry. 

“They are motivated to establish a flourishing Mozambican citrus sector by leveraging their unique advantages, which include the nearby Port of Maputo,” Strauss outlined. ”Lemons, Valencia oranges and grapefruit are currently grown in the South of the country.”

Justin Chadwick, chief executive of the CGA, said the association already represented over 1,560 growers from South Africa, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome our Mozambique neighbours as well,” he said.

”We are now a truly united Southern African industry association. The world appreciates the quality of citrus from our region. This represents immense opportunities for everyone in Southern Africa. By working together, growers across borders can achieve greater efficiency, competitiveness, and profitability.”