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The research done by this Unit is providing South African growers of both the first and second economies with improved cultivars of pome-fruit, stone-fruit,  table and raisin grapes that are easy to grow and easy to sell – whether for the fresh market, for drying or for canning. In particular, cultivars should:

  • be well adapted to mild winters and hot summers

  • need minimal pesticides to control pests and diseases

  • crop reliability (stable yield)

  • have attractive fruit with good appearance, texture and flavour (for fresh market)

  • keep well in cold storage (for fresh market)

  • look good and taste good after drying or canning (for processing)

Breeding and  Genetics​


Plant Breeder’s Rights are registered in the name of ARC-Infruitec/Nietvoorbij on all cultivars released by this division. Licensing and commercialisation of new cultivars are the responsibility of our commercial collaborator which currently is Culdevco.




Stone and Pome Fruit Database

More then 300 deciduous fruit cultivars are listed in this database. The main aim of the database is to describe the most important cultivars of apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums and rootstocks' characteristics and to assist interested parties to select cultivars for their specific needs and conditions.


It is of the utmost importance for all commercial as well as resource-limited farmers to plant deciduous fruit crops, other fruit crops and rootstocks that are adapted to their specific climatic and soil conditions.


  • To develop practical and innovative horticultural technology in harmony with the environment, to provide South African commercial and resource-limited growers of deciduous and temperate fruit crops with a competitive advantage over other industries and countries. 
  • To identify, import, propagate, evaluate and manage pome and stone fruit rootstocks in different planting systems.
  • To find alternatives to Methyl Bromide as a soil fumigant in orchard replant situations and to optimise production by the use of biological root stimulants.
  • To develop technology to alleviate the effects of insufficient winter chilling on pome and stone fruit.  Read more...


This Horticulture Research Focus Area started the investigation for the selection and evaluation of especially clonal rootstocks for deciduous fruit trees in South Africa, was responsible for the installation of over sixty automatic weather stations and made a substantial contribution in the identification and application of artificial rest-breaking chemicals in deciduous fruit areas where a lack of enough chilling units prevails.  Read more....


The main objective of Fynbos research is to develop new floriculture crops for the fresh cut flower market, by using the indigenous flowering plant genetic resources of the Flora Capensis. Fynbos development includes the genebank maintenance, breeding, propagation, cultivation methods and plant protection methods.  


The successful development of new floriculture products requires a holistic approach including:

  • Improving/Promoting the availability of germplasm material for breeding (genebanks).

  • The development of quality cultivars through conventional and alternative breeding techniques taking into account the specific market and cultivation requirements.

  • Technology development and packaging with regards to cultivation, disease and pest management, harvesting, quality control, post harvest management and packaging. Read more...


The Proteaceae breeding programs had the largest impact in the floriculture industry. Fynbos researchers also published extensively, and publications in scientific and semi-scientific journals, books, proceedings etc., and presentations at international conferences led to the recognition of the Fynbos group as the leader in fynbos research in the 1990’s. Posters and booklets containing information on cultivars became popular with scientists, growers and the general public. Read more...

Contact person for Horticulture and Fynbos:
Antoinette Crous, Email:, Tel: +27 (0) 21 809 3380, Fax: +27 (0) 21 809 3400

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