Organic Farming in South Africa

© Marinda Louw
The Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is a non-profit urban farm producing organic herbs and vegetables in Cape Town.

Organic farming in South Africa involves producing food crops and livestock in harmony with nature. Seen in the light of water shortages and deterioration of soil quality in South Africa, it becomes vitally important to preserve our natural resources. This means using water-wise crops, improving soil quality, the economic use of water as well as ensuring the humane management of animals.

SouthAfrica.co.za aims to help farmers to operate in a more sustainable way by providing easy-to-read content on organic farming in South Africa. These ‘how-to’ guides are translated in all 11 official South African languages in the hope to empower old and young to grow food and rear animals in a way less harmful to nature.

Fungal Control in Organic Farming

Fungi can be difficult to control in an organic farming system; the fungicides on the market are not suitable for organic farming. Commercial fungicides are often copper-based sprays....more

Green Manure and Soil Health

Green manure is the planting of a crop with the sole purpose of improving the soil. Green manure (cover crops) improves the soil quality in the following ways: Increase organic material...more

How Do I Register as an Organic Farmer

The South African Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO) is the umbrella under which PGS‐SA and Afrisco can help producers become formally recognised organic producers. The adoption...more

How to Improve Soil Health

Important steps to improve soil health: Use organic material in the soil as it stimulates the growth of bacteria. Soil microbes - effective microbes (EM) can be purchased and added to the soil....more

Manure and Organic Farming

Animal manure is often used in organic agriculture because it is rich in organic material and nutrients. Raw or untreated manure may burn plants and may not be used on crops for human...more

Organic Pest Control

The most natural and cost effective way of pest control is to protect the natural enemies of pests. In turn, these natural predators can help control pests in your crops. An excess of one species...more

Pests and Organic Pest Control

Biological control methods include a wide variety of options, including pheromones, repellents and natural enemies as well as biological ‘toxins’. When there is an excess of one species of...more

Recipes for Natural Pest Control

In organic farming, the use of pesticides is not allowed, so natural pest control is done. There are commercial products such as neem oil and insecticidal soap available to use, but some...more

Weed Control in Organic Farming

Weeds are considered by organic farmers as ‘indicator plants’. Plants grow preferably where they find the food they need in an environment at which they are adapted. ‘Weeds’ can therefore indicate...more

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting and intercropping is when two or more crops, both beneficial to each other, are planted in close proximity of each other as they chemically enhance (or can inhibit) each...more

What is Crop Rotation?

Crop rotation is the variation of different crops in consecutive planting seasons. Annual crops (such as vegetables or grains) should not be planted in the same area for two consecutive...more

What is Foliar Feeding?

Foliar feeding is a highly effective way to supply nutrients to plants. This is done by spraying soluble minerals as a fine mist on the leaves. With foliar feeding nutrients are absorbed more...more

What is Organic Farming?

Organic farming is the process of using environmentally friendly farming methods to improve soil health, to protect the environment and to ensure human health. Farmers use traditional and...more

Why Organic Farming?

The current worldwide food and financial crisis has demonstrated the inability of the chemical model of agriculture to alleviate hunger and poverty. The chemical industrial model of agriculture...more