Despite the challenges of the year, Westfalia Fruit Mozambique (WFM) had many achievements to celebrate in 2020, including the implementation of water-saving technology at its newest operation.

WFM recently completed installation of a low-flow drip irrigation system at its newest farm in Catandica. The 1000ha property was selected for its suitability in developing more than 500ha of early-season avocados. By the start of 2021, 100ha of avocado will have been planted on the farm, which boasts rich and fertile soil.​​​​​​​

The Engineering team from Westfalia Fruit Estate in South Africa assisted in the installation of the low-flow drip irrigation system, which will promote the production of good yields while ensuring that water is used as efficiently as possible. The technology has the potential to drastically reduce water and electricity use, automate irrigation, reduce labour costs and improve the overall health and development of the orchards. This is the first irrigation and fertigation system of its kind to be introduced in Mozambique – a particularly significant achievement given the remote nature of this region.

WFM is also looking forward to what is expected to be its largest crop to date when its 250ha Hass orchards are ready for harvesting in March 2021. This is a very early harvest for the southern hemisphere, and supports the Group’s strategy of providing year-round supply to its customers, particularly on the shoulders of the season.

More on Westfalia Fruto Moçambique

Westfalia Fruto Moçambique was created in 2014 with the start of a litchi out-grower programme that successfully exported a few tons of litchis to the EU in November. During 2015 and 2016 the operation established a 250ha avocado orchard on Zembe Farm in Sussundenga with Hass and Carmen®-Hass varieties planted.

Avocado exports began in 2017 with the fruit of two of WFM’s commercial out-growers. As of the 2019/2020 season, WFM packed and exported 240 gross tons of litchis and 2222 tons of avocados, mainly to the EU.

More on the out-grower programme

WFM has been working in close collaboration with small-scale litchi growers in the Catandica area since 2014. This out-grower programme has expanded into most of the Manica province, with growers joining from Gondola, Vanduzi and Macate. The Manica Litchi Growers Association was created in 2016 to facilitate the growers’ GlobalGAP accreditation as an Option 1 Multi-site.

In 2018-2019, WFM successfully applied for and received grant funding from the World Bank to provide irrigation systems to help 200 out-growers improve their fruit quality. Application of the fund terms began in mid-2019. Installation of the microjet irrigation systems began in March 2020 with completion expected by the end of this year.

As part of the project, Westfalia is to provide 20 000 Pinkerton seedlings to its out-growers over the course of three years. The seedling production has begun, with the first batch to be delivered in early 2021.