A Danish company, United Plantation Africa Ltd, established the Tekwane Lemon Project in Mpumalanga, South Africa, in 1972. In 1994, the Mpumalanga Agricultural Development Corporation (MADC) took it over – funding the planting of new lemon trees and replacing old lemon trees to avoid production collapse.
Situated approximately 20km east of Mbombela, the capital city of Mpumalanga, the Tekwane lemon farm currently has 42 000 trees planted on 118 hectares and employs 40 full-time employees and 250 seasonal workers.
Lemons produced on the farm go to the export market, while the remaining fruit is sold to the national consumer market and to fruit juice and oil processors.
The Tekwane Lemon pack-house is Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-accredited and can handle 450 000 15-kilogram cartons per year. It has its own packhouse, office block and storerooms, and offers several opportunities, including diversification into lucrative crops like macadamia nuts, the development of its mountainous area into an eco-housing programme and the revitalisation/building of gravity dams.