Dragon Fruit Info
Dragon Fruit Farming in South Africa
South Africa’s warm climate is ideal for dragon fruit, which prefers temperatures of 21°C - 29°C, but sufficient irrigation or rainfall of between 650 mm and 1200 mm is required. Dragon fruit is sensitive to intense sunlight and frost. Dragon fruit grows well in climates where avocados, bananas and macadamia nuts are grown and will fit in well with the productions systems of this produce. The same packhouses and logistics can be used and harvesting does not overlap.
Dragon fruit is grown in the Natal Midlands and coastal regions of KwaZulu Natal, the Lowveld area from Nelspruit to Tzaneen, Eastern Cape and in the Western Cape. The biggest new dragon fruit plantings in South Africa are around Dendron and Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province.
According to Max van Heerden of Dragon Fruit South Africa (DFSA), dragon fruit production in South Africa is still small with about 100 tonnes produced per year (2019). Most of this is exported via airfreight, with only a few crates available for local consumption. However, the commercial production of dragon fruit in South Africa is expected to grow enormously between 2019 and 2021 as extensive new plantings come into production.
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