Gerrit Nel (right) and Franco Krugel of Perde Eiland Farming
11 Mar 2020 | Article published in IEG VU Agribusiness
South African raisin grower looks to boost yields
South African raisin producer Perde Eiland Farming has introduced the Selma Pete variety to its orchards and initial yields are expected to be around 11-12 tonnes per hectare.
Nel was talking to trade visitors to his farm on March 3 as part of a business tour organised and hosted by Raisins South Africa and its UK marketing and PR representative Red Communications.
Nel pointed out that there is a gap of about 3.2 metres between each row of grapes in the orchard and the company aims for 480-550 grapes per bunch. Its yield average is currently 10.89 tonnes (dried) per ha. This compares with the 5.4 tonnes/ha across the South African raisin industry as a whole.
Nel said that in his experience raisins dry slightly faster when placed on a concrete base at ground level than the alternative sun drying method of elevated netting, but added that the raised netting method is the future of the industry for Thompson raisins and sultanas in South Africa.
“We are using the raised netting to prevent stones and we get a premium for the raisins dried this way as we find you get a better quality raisin from the raised netting,” he explained.