Cape Town – After eleven years of negotiations, South Africa’s citrus industry has been given the go-ahead to export to the Philippines, with the signing of a work plan between the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and the Philippines Bureau of Plant and Industry.

Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza made the announcement yesterday as the South African citrus industry estimates that close to 500 000 tons of additional citrus would be available for export by 2024.

“The South African citrus industry remains an important sub-sector in agriculture and the department appreciates the ongoing efforts of all concerned parties to ensure promotion, retention and optimisation of South Africa’s export markets for fresh fruit. Both industry and the department will soon communicate to all relevant role players the detailed prescripts of the exports agreement reached with the Philippines towards ensuring full compliance,” the department said.

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Francesca Villette