December 25, 2020
The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza recently gazetted the new statutory citrus export levy for 2021, which has been welcomed by the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA).
Justin Chadwick, CEO of the CGA, said the statutory levy increased from 74c per 15kg carton in 2020 to R1,64 per carton in 2021.
The levy has been gazetted for four years from 2021 to 2024. The increases for 2022 to 2024 were R1,68; R1,73; and R1,79 respectively.
He added that the response from export citrus producers had been overwhelmingly positive.
Chadwick said that there were about 1 400 citrus growers that exported their fruit and paid levies on export cartons, which would provide an additional income of R134 million.
The funding received from these levies would be utilised for research, transformation in the sector, increased market access and administration, logistics, and information.
The improvements in terms of research would take the industry to the next level by providing government with all the information they needed to finalise market access negotiations, he said.
He added that it would also “provide the industry with the tools to remain compliant with phytosanitary and sanitary requirements, to produce excellent quality [fruit] and to be responsible environmental stewards.”
According to the Government Gazette of 11 December as set out by Didiza, the statutory citrus export levy built on the statutory levy introduced in 2008, and would not be detrimental to the number of employment opportunities or fair labour practice, and would only affect role players in the citrus industry.
The statutory export levy aimed to maintain the position of South Africa as one of the largest producers of fresh citrus in the world.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly