The operations of the Horticulture business division are carried out through the following business units:

ARC-Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops (Nelspruit)

The purpose of the ARC-ITSC is to provide sustainable and appropriate technologies for production and post-harvest handling of citrus and subtropical crops in order to enhance food security and nutrition, global competitiveness and wealth creation by addressing national priorities through its research agenda and related activities. Post-harvest technologies include agro-processing and export protocols; thus, catering for both the commercial and developing agricultural sectors of South Africa. The main campus is in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, where the growth of said crops is highly favoured due to the regional climatic conditions and several other research farms in the regionh and other selected provinces. The mandate crops of ARC-ITSC include the following:

  • citrus, avocado, mango, litchi, banana, guava, macadamia nut, pineapple, papaya, granadilla, pecan nut, coffee and ginger
  • medicinal plants, herbs and essential oil crops
  • indigenous fruit crops
  • exotic crops such as carambola, surinam cherry, white sapote, and jaboticaba


ARC-Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute (Pretoria)

The ARC-VOPI situated at Roodeplaat, north-east of Pretoria, is mandated to do innovative, need-driven and environmentally friendly research, technology development and technology transfer on commercial vegetables, Afican leafy vegetables, medicinal plants and ornamental plants. Research involves a variet of disciplines, including crop science, crop protection, breeding, genetics, biotechnology and agronomy. The aim is to enhance food and nutrition security, crop productivity, competitiveness, sustainability as well as wealth and job creation. Mandate crops include:

  • vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes and garlic
  • indigenous vegetables, such as amadumbe, anaranth, spider plant and indigenous leafy Solanaceae and indigenous potatoes
  • indigenous ornamental plants, such as Lachenalia, Ornithogalum, Veltheimia and Eucomis; and
  • indigenous medicinal plants, such as Agapanthus, Scilla, Tulbaghia, Hypoxis and wild ginger

ARC-Infruitec/Nietvoorbij (Stellenbosch)

The mandate of this Institute is to conduct research, development and technology transfer on deciduous fruit, grapes, alternative crops (e.g. berries, figs, olives), indigenous herbal teas and regional medicinal plants. Research involves a number of disciplines, namely soil and water science, viticulture, horticulture, post-harvest and wine technology, plant protection, breeding and germplasm. Post-harvest activities include wine and brandy production, cold storage and other forms of shelf-life extension (drying, canning, juicing and jam production). The major portion of research and development is focussed on food security and mitigation of agricultural risks, but the generation of new knowledge as well as the sustainable use of natural resources is also addressed.

The Institute is located outside Stellenbosch in the Western Cape and has 6 research farms representing different climatic regions. Unique facilities include a winery, cannery, irradiation facility and rooms for cold storage, as well as for controlled atmosphere storage. Infruitec-Nietvoorbij is also the custodian of grapevine, deciduous fruit and wine yeast genebanks that preserve genetic resources for breeding purposes, training and comparative descriptions.