Introduction

  • Vegetables offer a unique market for the South African producer since they are a basic requirement of every person.
  • Vegetables play a central role in addressing food security and providing nutritional supplements and requirements to people.
  • Vegetable production is largely driven by the expansion of the domestic market and is important for job creation and food security. It has been placed in the quadrant of having both high-growth potential AND being labour intensive (Sihlobo, 2018).

International business environment

Find international news on vegetables at www.freshplaza.com.

South Africa exports and imports

Vegetable exports in 2022 were made up of butternut (32%), sweet potatoes (25%), pumpkins (24%), onions (16%), carrots (2%) and potatoes (1%) (FPEF, 2023).

  • Carrot exports went to the Indian Ocean Islands (38%), Africa (30%), the Middle East (19%), Europe (12%) and the UK (1%) (FPEF 2023).
  • Butternut exports went mostly to Europe (43%), UK (39%) and the Middle East (17%) (FPEF 2023)
  • Onions were exported mostly to the UK (57%), Europe (38%), Africa (3%), the Indian Ocean Islands (1%) and Middle East (1%) (FPEF 2023).
  • Tomatoes went to the Middle East (83%) and Africa (17%) (FPEF, 2023).

The annual Food Trade SA and the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF)’s Export Directory publications are good sources of export statistics for fresh produce. Find these at https://ppecb.com/documents and www.fpef.co.za respectively.

Getting started in Precision agriculture (Queensland Agriculture, 2020), demonstrated on vegetable farm

Local business environment

Using the Abstract of Agricultural Statistics (DALRRD, 2023), the reader would be interested to see that the most produced vegetables in South Africa are as follows:

  • Potatoes (45.4%)
  • Onions (13.2%)
  • Tomatoes (9.5%)
  • Green mealies (7.5%)
  • Pumpkins (4.9%)
  • Carrots (4.2%)
  • Cabbage & red cabbage (3.4%)
  • Sweet potato (1.5%)
  • Beetroot (1.2%)

Other vegetables for which there are figures are green peas, cauliflower and green beans.

 

Further reference:

Find the annual market value chain profile reports for beetroot, cabbage, carrots, garlic, lettuce, onions and sweet potatoes on the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) website, www.dalrrd.gov.za.

Recent Bureau for Food & Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Baselines include a short study on the relative affordability of vegetables.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands study The Current State of Fruit & Vegetable Agro-Processing in South Africa (February 2019) can be found at https://agbiz.co.za/uploads/AgbizNews19/190215_Current-state-of-agro-processing-in%20SA.pdf

For the newcomer

Producing vegetables is a farming activity which needs to be planned well. It is a business in that it involves finances such as buying, selling and the management of funds.

  • You must plan in order to decide which crops to plant and to know which actions to perform at specific times, e.g. fertilising, planting, irrigating, weeding, trellising, harvesting and distributing. It is important to plan twice a year as different crops require planting in different seasons.
  • How to plan: (1) Use a year planner and a calendar to organise your actions. (2) Obtain knowledge and decide on implements, workers, pest and disease control and market prices (3) Find out when the market prices will be at their best.
  • Remember to rotate your crops and never to plant the same or closely related crops on the same soil during the next planting season. Crop rotation prevents poor soil and it prevents pests and diseases.

A well-planned vegetable production results in better profits, higher yields, healthy vegetables and happy families.

Source: Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) booklet “Vegetable production”

Further reference:

Find recommended reading under both “Websites & publications” (last heading in this article) and the individual vegetable type headings. Here we will refer to useful, general information when starting out.

On the DALRRD website at www.dalrrd.gov.za, find:

  • Vegetables – Compost
  • Vegetables – Create a peace garden
  • Vegetables – Crop rotation
  • Vegetables – Manure and other organic fertilisers
  • Vegetables – Mulching
  • Vegetables – Plan and prepare your garden
  • Vegetables – Sowing guide
  • Vegetables – Soil
  • Vegetables – Sowing seed and planting seedlings

Find the guideline “Practical application of vegetable regulations for the local market” at www.dalrrd.gov.za. 

The VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN KWAZULU-NATAL heading at www.kzndard.gov.za website of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (KZNDARD) provides general notes on the following crucial factors: Climatic Requirements, Expected Yields, Fertilisers, Importance of Quality and Presentation, Investigation of Growth Problems, Length of Growing Period, Marketing, Planning, Plant Establishment, Plant Nutrition, Plant Populations & Plant Spacings, Principles of Weed, Pest & Disease Management, Seasonal Variation in Prices, Soil Preparation, Successional Cropping, Water Requirements and Irrigation, and Weed Control.

Asparagus

In South Africa, asparagus is mainly grown in Tarlton to the west of Krugersdorp, Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg and the Eastern Free State.

 

Further reference:

  • Find the DALRRD Production guidelines Asparagus at www.dalrrd.gov.za.
  • From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Root Crops (Asparagus, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, parsnip, kohlrabi, turnips)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za.
  • Find the latest Overview Global Asparagus Market on the Fresh Plaza website, www.freshplaza.com.

 

Beets

Beetroot, sugar beet and Swiss chard

  • The cultivated form of the plant Beta vulgaris of the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae) is one of the most important vegetables. It is a biennial plant with four distinct types that are cultivated for different purposes: (i) Garden beet, beetroot or table beet, as a garden vegetable; (ii) Sugar beet, a major source of sugar; (iii) Mangel-wurzel or mangold, a succulent feed for livestock; and (iv) Leaf beet or Swiss chard for its leaves, which may be eaten or used as a seasoning.
  • Beets are very common, popular crop in Southern Africa. Pests and diseases are not major concerns and it is relatively easy to grow. Beetroot is sown throughout the year to supply market demand. Beets take longer to mature when growing into the winter cool season and should be given ample time to mature. South Africa has a significant fresh market for beet where both bulb and top are consumed.
  • Two niche markets in the fresh market beet arena are: (i) Baby round beets for both the local and export markets. The requirement is for these varieties to produce uniformly round beets that are harvested at diameters between 20-30 mm. (ii) Baby beet leaves of various colours to be used in fresh salad packs.
  • Historical fresh-market grower prices indicate that the highest prices are received in April due to difficulty in establishing beet in the warm season and then in July and August due to cool winter conditions.
Source: SAKATA Seed Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd. Find the SAKATA reference guides for beets and Swiss chard at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/. Contact them at 011 548 2800.

 

Further reference:

From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Root Crops (Asparagus, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, parsnip, kohlrabi, turnips)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za.

On the DALRRD website, take a look at the annual Beetroot Market Chain Value Profile. Also find the following brochures and production guidelines:

  • Brochure Beetroot
  • Production guidelines Beetroot
  • Brochure Swiss chard
  • Production guidelines Swiss chard
  • Vegetables – Spinach beet (Swiss chard)

On www.kzndard.gov.za read the grower notes on Beetroot and Swiss chard.

Cabbages and kind (Cole crops)

Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel sprouts

  • The production of cabbage is always an attractive option. As with most vegetable crops, cabbages are mostly produced for and marketed through the national fresh produce markets, the informal market and chain stores. Like most vegetables, a market for quality and diversity has been developed that creates lucrative opportunities of which the producer can take note.
  • Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel sprouts are crops that grow best under cool conditions. Varieties have been developed, however, that grow well under very warm conditions.
  • Temperatures a few degrees below freezing generally will not adversely affect the crop. Broccoli is the most sensitive of these crops to frost, and heads may be damaged if temperatures fall below –2ºC. During very high temperatures these crops may suffer. Matching the proper variety to the season is essential in summer; however, cultivars to be grown should be heat tolerant and have good tolerance to Black rot.
Source: Sakata Seed Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd. Find the SAKATA reference guides for broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/. Contact them at 011 548 2800.
  • Cabbage is used raw in salads (such as coleslaw), as a cooked vegetable, (added to soups or stews) or preserved in pickles or sauerkraut.
  • Cabbage is also dehydrated (dried, flaked or power) for use as a flavouring agent in soups and as an ingredient in other dehydrated foods.
  • Cabbage leaves are used to treat acute inflammation. A paste of raw cabbage may be placed in a cabbage leaf and wrapped around the affected area to reduce discomfort.
  • Cabbage can also be canned, prickled, frozen and cabbage juice can be extracted to make ink.
Source: The Cabbage Value Chain Profile which can be found at www.dalrrd.gov.za. 

Further reference:

From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Brassicas (Broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za

On the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find:

  • Brochure Brussels sprouts
  • Production guidelines Brussels sprouts
  • Brochure Cabbage
  • Brochure Cauliflower
  • Production guidelines Cauliflower
  • Vegetables – Cabbage (Afrikaans)
  • Vegetables – Cabbage
  • The annual Cabbage Market Chain Value Profile. 

On the KZNDARD website, at www.kzndard.gov.za there are grower notes on Cole Crops

Carrots

Carrots are one of the major vegetables consumed in South Africa. Export markets are other African countries (66%), Indian Ocean Islands (22%), Europe (7%) and the UK (5%) (FPEF, 2022).

  • Carrots can be eaten raw, whole, chopped, grated or added to salads for colour or texture.
  • They are also often chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as fine baby foods and select pet foods grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot pudding. The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are rarely eaten by humans.
  • Baby carrots have been a popular ready to eat snack food available in supermarkets.
  • Carrot processing includes canning, freezing and dehydration.
  • Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with other fruits and vegetables.
  • Carrots seed oil is an essential oil extract of the seed from the carrot plant. Carrot seed oil is used as massage oil, in creams and lotions.
Source: The Carrot Value Chain Profile document which can be found at www.dalrrd.gov.za.

Further reference:

Find the SAKATA reference guides for carrots at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/.

On the DALRRD website, www.dalrrd.gov.za, find:

  • Brochure Carrot
  • Production guidelines Carrots
  • Vegetables – Cultivating Carrots
  • The annual Carrot Market Chain Value Profile.

On the KZNDARD website are grower notes on Carrots.

 

Cucurbits

Photo used courtesy of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD)

Butternut, cucumber, pumpkin, sweet melon, watermelon, baby marrow

  • Cucumbers originated in India. Technically this is a fruit, but can be classified as both a fruit and a vegetable. Certainly it is usually perceived and eaten as a vegetable.
  • Cucumber can be cooked, but they are most often eaten raw in salads, in cold soups and cucumber based sauces.
  • Cucumbers are also the vegetable of choice for pickles. Pickles are made by placing cucumber in a seasoned brine or vinegar solution.
  • Cucumber juice is in great demand in various forms as a cooling and beautifying agent for the skin. Cucumber juice is also used in the preparation of cosmetics like soap, glycerine, creams and perfumes
Source: The Cucumber Value Chain Profile can be found at www.dalrrd.gov.za

In the 2020/21 season butternut exports went mostly to the UK (44%) and Europe (39%). The Middle East (14%) and Russia (3%) also feature (FPEF 2022). Find the latest global overviews of butternut, pumpkin, melons and other cucurbits at www.freshplaza.com.

Further reference:

Call 012 842 4017 or email iaeinfo [at] arc.agric.za for the following publication, available from ARC- Agricultural Engineering: “Processing of Cucurbits (Butternut, cucumber, pumpkin, sweet melon, watermelon, baby marrow)”.

On the DALRRD website, find:

  • Brochure Watermelon
  • Production guidelines Pumpkins
  • Production guidelines Watermelon
  • The annual Cucumber Market Chain Value Profile. 

The KZNDARD website has grower notes on Cucurbits.

Find the SAKATA reference guides for cucumber, pumpkin, squash butternut, sweet melon, and watermelon at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/.

Find the Haifa cucumber crop guide at www.haifa-group.com.

Garlic

Garlic is a close relative of onion, leeks and chives. It has nutritional, medicinal and culinary value, being widely used for flavouring and seasoning dishes, pickles and sauces.

  • Imports from the East, where production costs are lower, make up over half of the local market. What counts against the taste of imported garlic is the long time in storage (with the artificial cooling to extend the shelf life) and the irradiation process done for biosecurity reasons.
  • It is also exported to other countries through exports agents and marketing companies. There are grading, packing and marking quality standards for garlic. Complying with these encourage confidence in locally produced garlic.
  • Garlic is a high value crop that can be marketed being fresh, dehydrated or as certified seeds. The majority of garlic is dehydrated and used in a variety of processed foods. Garlic bulb can be peeled, sliced, flaked and dried. This can be packaged or processed further as food spice, vegetable mixtures and sprays. India also produces odourless oil and oleoresin from garlic. Garlic can be used externally for skin problems and fungal infections. It is also uses as insect repellent. Garlic is also alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Source: The Garlic Value Chain Profile at www.dalrrd.gov.za and a South African Garlic Growers Association press release in 2014.

 

Further reference:

Read the latest Fresh Plaza overview of the global garlic market at www.freshplaza.com.

Find “Some tips for growing garlic” at www.farmersweekly.co.za/farm-basics/how-to-crop/tips-growing-garlic/

From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Root Crops (Asparagus, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, parsnip, kohlrabi, turnips)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za.

At www.dalrrd.gov.za, the DALRRD website, find:

  • the annual Garlic Market Chain Value Profile.
  • Brochure Garlic
  • Production guidelines Garlic

Green beans

Photo used courtesy of Fred Shikweni, Precedential Agri. Holdings

Further reference:

  • Find the SAKATA reference guides for beans at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/
  • Find the DALRRD grower guides “Vegetable production: Green beans” and “Brochure Green Beans” at www.dalrrd.gov.za.
  • From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Olives and Legumes (green peas, green beans, cowpeas, lentils, olives, peanuts, mushrooms)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za.
  • On the KZNDARD website under SPECIFIC CROPS are grower notes on Green Beans.

Green Peas

Further reference:

  • Under “Resource Centre” and “Brochures and Production Guidelines” on the DALRRD website, find: Brochure Peas and Production guidelines Garden peas
  • From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Olives and Legumes (green peas, green beans, cowpeas, lentils, olives, peanuts, mushrooms)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za
  • Under SPECIFIC CROPS at www.kzndard.gov.za are grower notes on Green Peas.
  • Kerr, B. 2018, May 2. “Getting the best out of beans”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/farm-basics/how-to-crop/best-beans/

Lettuce

Further reference:

On the DALRRD website:

  • the annual Lettuce Market Chain Value Profile. 
  • Brochure Lettuce
  • Production guidelines Lettuce

Among the KZNDARD notes at www.kzndard.gov.za/resource-centre are ones on growing Lettuce.

Find the SAKATA reference guides for lettuce at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/

Phillips, L. 2019, February 12. “Quality and efficiency drive commercial lettuce production”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/crops/quality-and-efficiency-drive-commercial-lettuce-production/

 

Onions

The country is self-sufficient in terms of onion production. Onions are considered to be the third most important vegetable crop in South Africa after potatoes and tomatoes. Onions are mostly grown in Limpopo (84%) and the North-West (12%) (Fresh Plaza, 2021). In the 2020/21 season onions were exported mostly to the UK (47%), Europe (38%), the Indian Ocean Islands (9%) and Africa (5%) (FPEF 2022).

  • Processing of onions consists of canning, oil extraction, freezing and dehydration. They are most often used to enhance flavour in a wide range of recipes such as casseroles, pizzas, soups, and stews. As a garnish, onions are used on sandwiches and salads. In addition, onions are used as a cooking ingredient in countless recipes, and are frequently used as a condiment on sandwich, side dish and appetizer.
  • Over the years there has been an increase in onion dehydration and freezing activities.
Source: The Onion Value Chain Profile at www.dalrrd.gov.za 

Further reference:

  • Find the latest “Overview Global Onion Market” at www.freshplaza.com
  • From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Root Crops (Asparagus, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, parsnip, kohlrabi, turnips)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za.
  • On the DALRRD website, (1) the annual Onion Market Chain Value Profile.  (2) Production guidelines Onions and (3) the “Info pak” Vegetables – Onions.
  • Under SPECIFIC CROPS at www.kzndard.gov.za/resource-centre are KZNDARD‘s grower notes on Onions.
  • Kerr, B. 2015, February 19. “Getting started with onions”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/farm-basics/how-to-crop/getting-started-with-onions/.
  • Find the SAKATA reference notes for onions at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed.

 

Peppers

Further reference:

 

Photos used courtesy of Fred Shikweni, Precedential Agri. Holdings

 

Photo used courtesy of Fred Shikweni, Precedential Agri. Holdings

 

 

 

Spices and chillies

See the “Herbs and spices” page.

Spinach

Further reference:

Sweet potatoes

For potatoes, see the “Potatoes” page.

Further reference:

  • Find the latest Global Overview Sweet Potatoes at www.freshplaza.com.
  • The ARC-Agricultural Engineering (ARC-IAE) has a publication “Agro-processing of Root Crops (Asparagus, beetroot, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potato)”. Call 012 842 4017 or email iaeinfo [at] arc.agric.za for a copy.
  • A number of leaflets are available from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, including “Sweet Potatoes Production” (also available in isiZulu). Find these at www.kzndard.gov.za.
  • Grower notes are available on the DALRRD website. Find Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) production.

 

 

Tomatoes

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a fruit, botanically speaking. Nutritionally, like the cucumber and squash, it is categorised as a vegetable, and so is included on our vegetables page.

  • It is the second-largest traded vegetable on the five large fresh produce markets, after potatoes.
  • Tomato is consumed in diverse ways including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces and also in drinks.
  • In South Africa tomatoes are used in stews to complement the staple diet of maize meal. As a result, it is also one of the main vegetables used for hawking by small-scale entrepreneurs in the informal sector.
  • Limpopo is the major production area, followed by Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Production is very limited in winter months and tomatoes can only be produced in frost-free area during winter, or under protection like tunnels.
  • Processing of tomatoes consists of canning, freezing, dehydration and juice production. Tomatoes are processed into whole pealed, tomato and onion braises, pasta, shredded, puree and pasta concentrate.
  • Most exports go to the Middle East (70%) (FPEF, 2022).
Source: The Tomato Value Chain Profile at www.dalrrd.gov.za.

 

Further reference:

On www.dalrrd.gov.za, the DALRRD website, find:

  • Brochure Tomato
  • Production guidelines Tomato
  • Vegetables – Tomatoes
  • The annual Tomato Market Chain Value Profile. 

On the KZNDARD website, www.kzndard.gov.za read the grower notes on tomatoes.

Find the SAKATA reference guides for tomato at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/

Find the Haifa tomato crop guide at www.haifa-group.com.

Read the latest Fresh Plaza overview of the global tomato market at www.freshplaza.com.

Turnips

The turnip is a root vegetable. Turnip leaves and smaller turnips are eaten by humans, while larger varieties of turnips can be used as feed for livestock.

 

Further reference:

  • From ARC-Agricultural Engineering order “Agro-processing of Root Crops (Asparagus, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, parsnip, kohlrabi, turnips)”. Call 012 842 4017 or visit www.arc.agric.za.
  • Find the SAKATA reference notes for turnip at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed.

Vegetable soybeans

Vegetable soyabeans (Glycine max (L.)) are speciality cultivars that have been bred for human consumption as a green bean.

  • The pods are harvested when still green and the beans have filled 80 – 90% of the pod. The pods are boiled for a few minutes, shelled and only the bean is eaten, usually as a snack or included in salads and stews. The beans are larger, sweeter, more tender and have a nuttier flavour than grain soybeans.
  • They are regularly eaten in Eastern Asia where they are called edamame (“beans on branches”) in Japan and mao dou (“hairy bean”) in China.
  • In South Africa this high protein crop has the potential to fill a niche market and ensure food security in rural communities. Research on the crop is currently being conducted at Cedara and Dundee Research Stations.
Source: James Arathoon, Cedara, who is doing research on this crop. Contact him at james.arathoon [at] kzndard.gov.za. 

 

Further reference:

Read more at www.soyinfocenter.com/HSS/green_vegetable.php.

Witlof

Witlof, also known as Belgian endive, costs more to produce than many other leafy vegetables.

 

Further reference:

Other vegetables

Photo used courtesy of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD)

There are several other vegetable types not covered here, to which there are grower guides at www.dalrrd.gov.za. These include:

  • Brochure Chives
  • Brochure Eggplant
  • Brochure Globe artichoke
  • Brochure Jerusalem artichoke
  • Production guidelines Chinese cabbage
  • Production guidelines Muskmelon
  • Production guidelines Squash
  • Rhubard
  • Vegetables – Brinjals
  • Wild cucumber guidelines

Under SPECIFIC CROPS at www.kzndard.gov.za/resource-centre are grower notes on Brinjal – Eggfruit and Loofah.

Find the SAKATA reference guides for Chinese cabbage, eggplant, okra, pak choi, radish, squash butternut, squash other and rootstock at http://sakata.co.za/vegetable-seed/.

National strategy and government contact

Find information on the different directorates of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) at www.dalrrd.gov.za.

The Vegetables sector is vital for the country’s food security and livelihoods – from the farm labourers or subsistence growers to the multipliers in the value chain i.e. the people transporting vegetables; working in processing plants, packaging factories, supermarkets or fast food outlets; or working as informal traders. Interventions like the Industrial Action Policy Plans (IPAPs) and Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP) have looked at ways to strengthen the vegetable sector.

Read about the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) at www.ppecb.com.

The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) does research on vegetable production in South Africa. Find their reports at www.namc.co.za.

Role players

Companies

Note: Click to expand the headings below. To get a free listing on our website like the ones below, visit here for more information or place your order here. Disclaimer: The role player listings are not vetted by this website.

Mayford Seeds/SAKATA https://mayford.co.za https://sakata.co.za Visit the website for details of distributors in the different provinces and in other African countries. These include C Baard, HAL Fennell, McDonalds Seeds, Seedplan Distributors and SAKATA branches across Southern Africa.
Daisy Fresh Hydroponics https://daisyfreshhydroponics.com VERT-GRO systems (vertical semi-interlocking pots) enable more plants per square metre than conventional methods. Training courses also offered.
RSA Group www.rsa.co.za Markets fruit and vegetables
Training, Consulting & Research Service Providers
Agri Start https://agristart.co.za Agri Start trains people top establish their own vegetable gardens at home and produce their own basic food at home.
Garlic Growers https://garlicgrowers.co.za Find details of the five-year garlic business plan.
Foundations for Farming https://foundationsforfarming.org Foundations for Farming does training in planting a vegetable garden and growing herbs, among other things.
Community, NGO and NPO Service Providers

Further reference:

  • Consult the annual Fresh Produce Exporters Forum (FPEF) directory, which gives details of companies exporting vegetables.
  • Agricultural Colleges provide courses in vegetable production, and in vegetable and fruit drying. Madzivhandila College presents training in vegetable achaar processing. Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute runs short courses on vegetable production. Details of Agricultural Colleges can be found in the “Agricultural education and training” article. Research is also conducted.
  • NGOs are involved in training food insecure communities to grow vegetables. Consult the “Food security” page.
  • Universities offering agricultural degrees do research and training in vegetable production.
  • For additional training providers, see the “Agricultural education and training” page.

Websites and publications

Visit the websites listed earlier on this page.

  • Find the bi-monthly Fresh Produce Market Trends at www.absa.co.za/business/sector-solutions/agribusiness/agri-smart-insights/
  • Two general grower guides are available from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC)Production Guideline for summer vegetables and Production Guideline for winter vegetables. There are also over 100 grower guide leaflets. These cover general vegetable topics (e.g. crop rotation in vegetables), onions and garlic, root crops (e.g. the production of carrots, turnips, beetroot), leaf crops (e.g. spinach, lettuce), green beans and broadbeans, green and dry peas, eggfruit, cole crops (e.g. cauliflower and cabbage cultivars), cucurbits (e.g. pumpkin and squash cultivars) and other vegetables.
  • Order online at www.arc.agric.za, call 012 842 4017 or send an email to stoltze [at] arc.agric.za for the following publications, available from the ARC Agricultural Engineering: (i) Agro-processingof Root Crops (Asparagus, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, parsnip, kohlrabi, turnips) (ii) Agro-processingof Legumes (Cowpeas, beans, green beans, lentils, green peas, peanuts) (iii) Agro-processing of Cucurbits (Butternut, cucumber, pumpkin, sweet melón, baby marrow, watermelon) (iv) Agro-processingof Brassicas (Broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower) (v) Agro-Processing of Field Crops (chilli, bell peppers, tomatoes) (vi) Agro-processing of Olives and Legumes (green peas, green beans, cowpeas, lentils, olives, peanuts, mushrooms).
  • CD Roms from the ARC-PHP (Plant Health and Protection) include: Crop Pests, Vol. 3: Potatoes and Other Vegetables (also available as a book). Write to booksales [at] arc.agric.za or infopri [at] arc.agric.za.
  • Find the “Vegetables” option at https://wikifarmer.com.
  • The AgriSETA Assessment Guide Primary Agriculture “Monitor the establishment of a crop” includes tunnel crops and vegetable garden beds. Other learning material includes “Harvesting agricultural crops”.
  • Available at www.kzndard.gov.za is the downloadable Vegetable Production in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Itsweng M. 2021. Veggie Licious. Cape Town: Human & Rousseau.
  • Stork, P. 2017. The Vegetable Producer’s Manual: A Practical Guide for Cultivating Vegetables Profitably. Watch the overview on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdUaKitbuWY and order it at www.kejafa.com.
  • Veg Power https://vegpower.org.uk “Eat more veg”. Resources like posters and charts for children (and adults!)
  • An Introduction to Growing Vegetable Gardens / Intshayelelo Ekulimeni Imifuno / ‘N Inleiding na Groentetuine, written and made available by Nelson Mandela University (NMU) is a NMU introductory guide to growing vegetables for schools. Read it at bit.ly/agriVEG.
  • Guide to Growing Vegetables, a handy A6 booklet. Order from 021 406 4962, or fax 021 405 1031.
  • The publication The people’s guide to farming: growing plants handbook is an adaptation of David Phillip’s earlier The people’s farming workbook. It was developed for the Environment and Development Agency Trust by Shelley Epstein and several others, and is published by Lansdowne: Juta Education.
  • Find the Nation in Conversation overview of the vegetable industry (Feb 2017) on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy6HD0IcicE
  • Companies involved often have Grower guides for different vegetables. Find the frequent references to SAKATA notes in earlier headings, for example.
  • Find the many grower guides at www.growveg.co.za.
  • The home of the Vegetables & Fruit/Groente & Vrugte magazine is www.mediacomcc.co.za/magazines.

 

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