Raisins South Africa Healthy Soil workshop

Industry body Raisins South Africa has said it is working to provide direction on environmental integrity, to advance its sustainable performance levels for the future.

As part of the strategy, the non-profit organisation held a ‘Healthy soils for healthy vines’-themed field day at the start of 2021.

The workshop was attended by 120 raisin growers and 50 pupils from the agricultural department at High School Martin Oosthuizen over the course of two days.

Raisins SA said it was crucial youth get involved in strategies such as these, to ensure that they were well informed on the relevance of soil health, to work towards higher levels of sustainability.

The workshop highlighted the importance of healthy soil properties, through demonstrating how different soil preparation techniques can be applied to ensure optimum use of the natural resource.

“For any raisin grower, sustainable production over the long term is crucial, therefore soil health is at the heart of raisin production,” said Stefan Jordaan, Raisins South Africa’s agri-specialist.

Approximately 16,000ha are planted in South Africa with dedicated raisin cultivars including Sultana, Merbein, Selma Pete, and Sugra 39.

Raisin production requires good healthy soils, sufficient water, and good climatic conditions, and Raisins SA noted that without these basic resources it would not be possible to produce quality fruit.

“Safeguarding and managing our soils are key to future productivity of quality raisins,' Jordaan added.