A proliferation of home-brewed alcohol, following bans of such products to prevent the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), is among the factors behind a surge in domestic demand for pineapples in South Africa.
The fruit is a key ingredient of backyard liquor, also known as bootleg leg beer for its being unlawfully made, sold, or transported, without registration or payment of taxes.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pretoria office estimates an 18 percent increase in South Africa’s pineapples production to 132 000 tonnes in 2019/20 production season.
USDA, America’s executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and food, noted the expansion in area planted, improvements in yields, and generally favourable weather conditions underpinned the growth.
Domestic pineapple consumption is also forecast to increase by 14 percent year-on-year to 33 000 tonnes, and the rest of the output will be for the export market, with South Africa generally a net exporter of the tropical fruit.