One of SA’s biggest passion fruit farms is moving to Ghana, thanks to problems at the ports

Business Insider SA
Passion fruits tree. (Image: Getty)
Passion fruits tree. (Image: Getty)
  • A granadilla farm in White River, Mpumalanga, is uprooting its orchards and moving to Ghana due to South Africa's port constraints.
  • It has said the issues at the ports like delays and inefficient cooling systems cost it millions as fruit got spoilt.
  • Instead of farming passion fruit on its Mpumalanga farm, it will now grow macadamia nuts.
  • It said Ghana had favourable climatic conditions for passion fruit and said an added advantage is that the country is closer to Europe.
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A leading passion fruit farm in Mpumalanga, Roslesia Farming, has decided to move its operations to Ghana, following financial losses incurred from Transnet’s poor operation of the country’s ports, Farmer's Weekly reported.

The farm, situated in White River with 200 hectares of granadilla orchards, is rooting out its trees.

A shareholder in the farm, Charles Rossouw, told Farmer's Weekly that the land on which the passion fruit is grown will now be used for macadamia farming, citing that the nut was less susceptible to being affected by port disruptions.

He said the disruptions led to the company’s fruit being spoilt, as a result of shipment delays and faulty cooling systems, costing it millions last year.

The company sees Ghana as a viable country for its operations not only because of its suitable climatic environment but because it is also closer to Europe.

More than 80% of Ghana’s trade operations go through its Tema and Takoradi seaports. Both ports were recently upgraded. A $1 billion investment was recently made to upgrade, improve and expand systems at the Tema, and it was ranked the largest port in west and central Africa in 2020.  

Roslesia is not the only company that has suffered setbacks because of disruptions at South Africa’s ports.

Last year, the citrus industry contended with a number of challenges, including a cyber attack on rail, port, and pipeline company, Transnet, which impacted container terminals at major ports, including Durban, Ngqura Gqeberha, and Cape Town.

More recently, prices for citrus were forced lower due to export and logistical port constraints, which caused an oversupply of the fruit.

Business Insider reached out to Roslesia, which declined to talk to the media about the company’s decision.

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