South African crops in Western Cape damaged by winter storms 

Tue 27/06/2023 by Richard Wilkinson

A series of destructive winter storms sweeping over the South African Western Cape region has affected citrus crops. For ten days, all citrus harvesting in the Oliphant’s River Valley, the most important region supplying summer citrus to the US, has been suspended. Infrastructure in the Valley and in other parts of the Western Cape has been damaged, with key roads washed away and communities in rural regions flooded.

The storms struck just when major volumes of South African citrus were due to be shipped to the US. Industry leaders said that before the storms started enough fruit had been packed for the first three vessels, but that their departure could be delayed.

There has been significant road infrastructure damage and the main road into Citrusdal, the centre of production in the Oliphant’s Valley, has been washed away. Alternative routes out of the Valley have been partially opened, but it is not thought that growers will be able to harvest this week.


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