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South Africa: Mango season in an off cycle

Mango Picture: Rural Marketing

After what was possibly the largest harvest in the history of the South African mango industry in 2016/2017, the new season’s volumes will be down. After a season of heavy bearing, mango orchards are now in an off cycle and it’s already visible that flowering intensity is down compared to last year, says Jaco Fivaz, outgoing chairperson of the South African Mango Growers’ Association (SAMGA).

While it is impossible to quantify the exact volumes of the past mango season, because a portion of mangoes are cultivated for atchar production (a spicy condiment using unripe mangoes) and therefore not noted through fresh marketing channels, a rough estimate of the past season’s volume comes to approximately 80 000 tonnes.

There is still drought pressure on growers, particularly in areas like Malelane where growers are already experiencing water restrictions. The critical period of the fruit is now starting across Limpopo Province, in which water shortages can have far-reaching consequences on yield.

SAMGA will have a better idea of what the new season looks like for growers across the country after their annual meeting in October.