Apples to boost Free State economy

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The deciduous fruit industry in the Free State is set to bolster the economy of the province as the Department of Agriculture prioritises apple farming.

A 10 million rand cash injection into the Remmoho Investment in Agriculture project, is expected to assist the Bethlehem-based farm to achieve a turnover of more than R50 million per annum. The apple hub initiative will see the region producing up to 180 000 tons of apples per year.

Pitso Sekhoto, one of the apple producers, says they are busy expanding a dam after they were granted water rights on 100 hectares.

The ultimate goal is the agro-processing space, says Sekhoto.

“We are concentrating on apples and we want to take the whole value chain of apples around this area. We also want to process the apple to put it under the juice concentrate. The country is in a big shortage of juice concentrate so we want to put at least 15 to 20 percent of the juice concentrate to be localised. So that’s our objective.”

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