South Africa: SAFGA visit to Kwazulu Natal

Under the leadership of Dr. Pierre Adriaanse, Manager of the Unisa Horticulture, section SAFGA (South Africa flower Grower Association) visited flower growers in Kwazulu Natal. SAFGA plans and visits Horticultural industry farms yearly and promotes the Horticultural industry interaction, networks, and relationships.

On the 27th of July 2022, the group of 22 growers and suppliers boarded a plane at Lanseria airport, Johannesburg, and flew to King Shaka Airport, Durban. There the group traveled with a bus to Eshowe, about 150km north of the airport, and was welcomed by Hamish Godbold who is the Managing Director of Zuluflora farms who are large growers of Leucospermum for the local and mainly export markets.

The group spent some time in the packing shed and visited the production fields. Lots of production questions were answered and information was exchanged.

After the visit, the group traveled to Umhlanga Rocks, close to Durban, for an overnight stop at a City Lodge Hotel.

On the 28th they traveled back north of Durban and visited Lali Farms, in Ballito, owned by Roc Tucker. Being close to the Indian Ocean, with an almost tropical climate, they grow Gerbera, Anthurium, and Ruscus for the local market. The group visited several greenhouses on the farm.

Recently the North Coast experienced very heavy rains and a lot of damage was done to the infrastructure of the farm with irrigation pipes washed away and their pack house flooded.

The next visit was to Bloemendaal Flower Farm, also in Ballito, and owned by Sean O’Connor. They experienced the same storm damage to their greenhouses and pack house which they survived and welcomed us to their farms. Bloemendaal also grows Gerbera, Anthurium, and Ruscus and supplies Vegmo Flora a flower wholesaler in Durban.

After a lovely lunch in a restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean, the group departed further north and visited a Macadamia nut farm. Something different from growing flowers but still very interesting and one learns techniques from other types of horticulture as well. Many Sugar cane farmers change to Macadamia nut production which seems to be more lucrative. The bulk of the Macadamia nuts is exported to China at present.

The successful tour ended with a 1-hour flight back to Johannesburg.

SAFGA encourages new growers and participants in the Horticultural industry to become members and make use of the network advantages SAFGA can offer.

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