Oranges are one of South Africa’s biggest citrus fruits and they account for roughly 60% of all South Africa’s citrus exports. Valencia is the biggest orange produced and exported, and it accounts for more than double the production volumes of oranges. More than 83 000 hectares of land were registered for citrus production in South Africa and more than half of orange trees are planted in Limpopo. In addition to Valencia Navel oranges were the second most-produced citrus type of fruits. This type of orange accounts for almost 20% of citrus exports. Today South Africa is one of the largest orange exporters in the Southern Hemisphere. The country accounts for more than 60% of the area’s exports. If you are interested in becoming an orange farmer this article will highlight some of the important factors you need to consider in order for you to become a successful orange farmer.

Land For Orange Farming Business

In order for you to profitably run an orange farming business you need enough land with good fertile soil. Oranges can be grown on different types of soils, sandy, loamy, and red to black soils. However the best type of soil for orange farming is light loam soil that is high in fertility with good drainage and limestone free with high salt absorption power. The ideal pH level for citrus production is 6 to 7. It is advisable to do a soil test before you do any commercial farming. Apart from the type of soil you need to locate your orange farm in an ideal location where transportation is available. The climatic conditions of your location should be considered because oranges do not do well in extreme cold winters.

Machinery & Equipment For An Orange Farming Business

It is essential to invest in the right equipment as a farmer. Quality equipment and tools are essential for a citrus farm. The right equipment will help you boost efficiency, convenience, as well as productivity.  Some of the equipment you need includes a compact spreader that is well suited for an orchard, tractors hand tools, irrigation equipment as well as harvesting and sorting machines. You also need to buy the right seed for your orange farm, you can either grow your oranges from seed or propagation. In order to maximise the profit from this business you need to implement good agronomic practises. Ensure that pests and diseases are controlled with the right pesticides and that you purchase the right inputs including fertilisers. It is important to have a business plan that will outline all the necessary machinery and equipment you will need for your business as well as all the costs associated with running an orange farm.

Labour For An Orange Farming Business

For you to successfully run a profitable orange farm in South Africa, you need to employ the right people. It is best to hire workers who already have experience in this kind of business. You may require supervisors, farm managers, finance & accounting staff, and logistics personnel depending on the scale of your orange farm. Also, orange farming is labour intensive so your workers should be well equipped, if not, extensive training will be necessary. Your business plan should have a clear operational plan that takes the number of people you plan to employ into account and any costs that you anticipate. The duties and responsibilities of your workers should be clearly laid out in your business plan as well.


Oranges can be enjoyed in a variety of ways namely, fresh, juiced, in cooking, in baking, in teas, canned or made into marmalade. Orange fruits are also used as food and as industrial flavourants, in cleaning products as well as facial products. Most of South Africa’s oranges are exported. The largest buyers of Oranges grown in South Africa include, the European Union, being the biggest destination at 33% of the fruit, the Middle East being the second biggest destination in 2018, accounting for 19% of the fruit, followed by South-East Asia, which accounts for 18% of the fruit exports. There has been an increase in the demand for oranges locally as  more people resort to healthy eating habits. Oranges are packed with health benefits. They are required both locally and internationally for their nutrients. The fruits are rich in vitamin A and C, minerals, antioxidants,  and fibre. In addition, oranges are acidic but they have a lot of alkaline minerals that help to de-alkalise the body and improve digestion.

Is Orange Farming A Good Investment?

Orange farming can be risky and costly but, with proper planning and management you can successfully grow oranges and generate a lot of income in South Africa. Knowledge and the right tools are essential for this type of business. Also, marketing your produce is important.  There is no denying that oranges  are widely consumed  locally and all over the world but there is intense competition due to the little or no barriers to entry. In order to succeed in your orange farming business you need to implement good agronomic practices to get a good yield, employ the right staff and market your business intensively. Also, the demand for oranges is expected to grow in the coming years thus, an orange  farming business is worth considering. The demand for healthier food options will continue to increase and drive the demand for fruits and vegetable locally and all over the world so a vegetable farm can be a profitable business.

An Orange Farming Business Plan

Many people underestimate the importance of a business plan but in order to successfully set up a profitable citrus farming business you need to develop a business plan. A business plan will help you develop your strategy as well as the steps you need to take in order for you to run a viable business. Therefore, a business plan is essential. Apart from helping you to obtain funding, a business plan also helps you determine whether or not an idea is practical. Planning your operations, marketing plan and financial plan forces you to become disciplined in your thinking. A great idea is not good enough without a business plan so having one will help you set up and structure your business.