South Africa has exported its first batch of lychee to the USA in December 2015, said the country’s department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries
The shipment arrived in Atlanta, was irradiated and then transhipped to the relevant agents, said officials.
South Africa is a major lychee producer and experts believe the USA is a good market for the fruit. So far, the country mainly exports to the EU as well as to the Middle East.
Don Westcott, chairperson of the South African Litchi Growers’ Association (SALGA) Market Access Committee, said the lychee industry was hoping to have more commercial consignments being airfreighted out to the USA this season.
It was through negotiations between relevant government departments and the lychee industry for enhanced market access that ensured the first shipment be sent out of South Africa. The feedback has been encouraging, said the agriculture department, adding that first commercial orders were being placed.