SA Cactus Pear Growers Association | SA Turksfykwerkersverenig

Cactus pears (Optunia species) are native to the semi-arid parts of Central America and the southern USA. Cactus pears, formerly called prickly pears, were first introduced to South Africa more than 300 years ago and were used as fences to protect crops against wild animals.

The spineless "Burbank" varieties cultivated today were introduced into South Africa in 1974, mainly as a drought-tolerant crop for the arid Karoo regions. The excellent characteristics of their fruit has led to the cultivation of a number of these varieties for fresh fruit production.