Caused by the fungi Nalanthamala psidii, South Africa’s guava industry seems to be facing tough times.
“The guava production in Western Cape province is increasing due to the absence of the guava wilt which is rife in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in the north of the country. The national guava industry depends entirely on one single cultivar, Fan Retief, which would come under serious threat if the disease were to spread south” , according to a report by Fresh Plaza.
Similar problems already occured way back in 2000 hence a cure was developed but eventually became disease resistant in 2009 when certain pathogens break into the host. Unfortunately, the disease has become more aggressive and uncontrollable since then.
Everyone is hopeful that the production of guava in the northern and western parts become sustainable to make better substitutes in case fungus spreads south, which is where Fan Retief is located.
“The importance of the industry in South Africa is shown in the approximate value of the crop. In 2001/02 the total value of approximately 22 900 tonnes of guavas was R23.2 million. The value of guava production has increased significantly the past year when compared to the production.”- Agricultural Research Council of Africa
Guava production from South Africa mostly sustains canned products, puree , pulp and fresh market needs.
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