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Abstract

The objective of the paper was to study seasonality in citrus prices, for informing food security policy. Secondary data was collected from the Joburg Fresh Produce Market. Analysis of the data followed two steps. First was the construction of price indexes and second, statistical significance using the ARIMA model. Grapefruit, oranges, lemon and soft citrus were considered for analyses. Results show that the highest price index for grapefruit at 189% was recorded in February against a low of 51% in July. Orange came second, with a high of 157% in February and a low of 60% in June; Soft Citrus a high of 153% in December and a low of 66% in April whereas lemon had high of 120% in January and low of 80% in June. The average high price index for the four species was 156%. On average, the difference between high and low price index among the four species was 92%. For the Lemon, the aforesaid figure was 45%. ARIMA seasonal terms are statistical significant at 1%, 5% and 10%. The length of period for high price index and the rate of price index renders citrus seasonality high. Government to invest in agro processing and storage infrastructure. Key words: Seasonality, price index, citrus species, nutrition, food security

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