Table of Contents

Refer also to the "Crop protection", "Fertilisers", "Animal feeds" and "Animal health" chapters.


1. Overview

Agrochemicals are an intervention that assists farmers grow their product – be it fruit, grain, vegetable or livestock – and for use in the various forms of processing and post-harvest treatments.

Choosing the right chemicals can be bewildering, and a wrong choice can lead to marketing and financial problems. The misuse of agrochemicals too introduces a negative note. Many of them are toxic with potential hazards for the environment and wildlife, and humans. For this reason, trade in chemicals is well regulated and great emphasis is placed on the correct handling and storage of chemicals. Agrochemicals help ensure food security.

Major initiatives by CropLife SA (under the umbrella association AVCASA)

In addition to the training courses mentioned in the “Crop protection” chapters, the following is undertaken:

  • Retrieval and disposal of obsolete stock. AVCASA runs a waste management programme in line with the National Waste Management Act which is aimed at retrieving and disposing of obsolete stocks in South Africa.
  • Pesticide Container Management. AVCASA works on various environmentally sound container management strategies for adoption and implementation by industry in line with the above.
  • Aerial Application. CropLife SA, in alliance with the SA Aerial Applicators Association, has modern calibration equipment from the USA which ensures a more efficient aerial application of products.
  • South African Pollinator Forum. (see “Crop protection” chapter).


Poison Information Centres

For advice on cases of poisoning:

  1. Tygerberg Poison Information Centre (Human Poisoning), 021 931 6129
  2. Red Cross Children’s Hospital Poison Line, 021 689 5227
  3. Public Emergency Communication Centre, 021 480 7700
  4. Griffon Poison Information Centre (Wildlife Poison), 082 446 8946
  5. Nashua Pesticides Helpline 082 325 6223 Tim Snow

2. African business environment

  • Food demand and water scarcity are the main drivers of chemicals industry activity in Africa.
  • Significant opportunities must be balanced by the perils of moving toxic products across the continent’s often badly-maintained roads network. Africa’s shaky transport infrastructure is a major obstacle to the development of a continental chemicals industry.
  • Agrochemicals (a generic term for pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and other chemical products used in agriculture) are forecast to be particularly busy, as accelerating population growth and an expanding middle class in emerging countries increase the need for food production.
Source: Business Day article “Road barrier to African chemical trade” which discusses an international Deloitte report on the chemicals industry. Refer to