Pomegranate production and export during the past decade in South Africa and incidence of postharvest losses – a review

I. K. Opara, O. A. Fawole, U. L. Opara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is an important fruit due to its high nutritional content and economic value, hence its rapid increase in production and demand globally. In the past decade, production has significantly increased, with a corresponding economic contribution to the South African gross domestic product (GDP). The objectives of this review are to highlight the production pattern of pomegranate fruit in South Africa during the past decade and to discuss the incidence of postharvest fruit losses and waste. Historical industry production and export data (2012 to 2021) were sourced from the Pomegranate Association of South Africa (POMASA) and other relevant literature. The results revealed that the total planted area increased by about 28%, from slightly below 800 ha in 2012 to 1,099 ha in 2021. During this period, total fruit export volume increased from 483,609 to 1,664,717 equivalent cartons (3.8 kg), with the majority destined for the Middle East and Europe. Based on case studies in the major pomegranate producing area (Western Cape), reported incidence of postharvest fruit wastage at the farm and packhouse levels were 15.3-20.1% and 6.74-7.69%, respectively. Environmental factors such as sunburn, crack and split were the major cause of losses and waste at the farm level, while downgraded fruit that did not meet the high market standards in the importing countries caused wastage at the packhouse level. Therefore, with the increase in fruit production and export, there is a need for more proactive measures to reduce postharvest loss and waste at the farm and packhouse levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalActa Horticulturae
Volume1349
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • South Africa
  • fruit
  • impacts
  • losses
  • pomegranate
  • postharvest
  • production
  • waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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