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Safj Sa Fruit Journal Hortgro Valencia Featured
December 2023 / January 2024

Valencia orange selections Letsitele citrus production region

SA Fruit Journal: December 2023 / January 2024

Letsitele is one of the best Valencia orange production regions in Southern Africa and is classified as a hot-dry climatic zone. By Johan Joubert and Prof Paul Cronjé (CRI)

Historically achieved fruit quality, fruit size, yield and colour development all contribute to the suitability of Letsitele in the Limpopo Province for Valencia production. Consumer expectations for quality fruit in the export market are high, and prolonged shelf life is vital.

Valencias, collectively referred to as "hard citrus", can withstand long shipping periods due to their inherent characteristics. This ensures good value in the production chain.

Citrus Research International (CRI) established a Valencia cultivar evaluation project in Letsitele, to expand the Valencia options for this production region. The cultivars included were Bennie 1 and 2, Jasi, Kobus du Toit Late, McClean, McClean SL, Midknight 1, Skilderkrans and Turkey. Jasi, McClean and Skilderkrans are open cultivars; the rest are privately managed. The selection includes a range from the early ripening until the later maturing cultivars based on the ripening times in this hot-dry production region.

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