Jacques du Preez, general manager for trade and markets at Hortgro says the size, colour and eating quality of both peaches and nectarines are exemplary this year. The challenges that the drought bought to other sectors in the agricultural industry, did not affect stonefruit quality.

Crop estimates remain mostly unchanged with a decrease of 3% in nectarine volumes, and 4% less for peaches. South Africa has long had a strong domestic market for nectarines, which also earn, both locally and overseas, more than peaches.

Jacques went on to add that the weather was actually an advantage to the harvest of the fruit. Normally the soil in the Cape remains moist well into springtime after winter rains, and the late rains of this season have won growers around three weeks’ grace, which will be invaluable later in the hot and dry summer. -Freshplaza

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