Sustainable agriculture

Market intelligence

Our market intelligence report is for investors, farmers, agri-businesses, manufacturers and service providers in a number of areas – conservation agriculture, controlled environment agriculture and precision agriculture, with a strong focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency and water efficiency. 

Opportunities: fast facts

The biggest opportunities for farmers, green technology manufacturers and service providers are in:

Alternative energy sources and energy efficiency

Opportunities in energy audits and greener technologies for Western Cape’s 22,574 agriculture sector facilities, including packhouses and cold stores.

  • Energy efficiency market: Estimated market for SA agriculture and agri-processing is R45.5 million, with significant scope for growth. In the wine sector, savings of up to ⅔ of energy costs has been realised.
  • Solar PV in agriculture: Investments to date total R97.8 million with market size for solar-powered irrigation at R2.9 billion. With plummeting technology costs and municipalities allowing grid feed-in, the market potential is significant.

Water use efficiency technologies in irrigation

  • Precision agriculture optimises farming inputs with savings of 30% in water using drip irrigation.

Conservation agriculture (CA)

  • 70% of grain producers in Western Cape practice CA, with significant scope for expansion in other agriculture sectors.

  • Market for manufacturing of no-till machinery is worth R1.14 billion, with opportunities for local manufacturing and export to the rest of Africa.

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA)

  • CEA involves controlling the growing environment of a crop or animal through the use of technology (from netting to computerised systems).
  • There are opportunities for local manufacture of CEA components and systems; private and equity finance; specialised skills.
  • The market for CEA in the Western Cape is valued at R600 million with 15% growth per annum predicted.

GreenCape’s work in this space

Our work aims to drive the greening of agricultural value chain in the Western Cape in two ways:

  • Growing the market for green technologies, systems and processes in agriculture and agri-processing.

  • Developing sustainable and competitive agricultural value chains

We do this through GreenAgri and the support we provide through the agriculture sector desk - market intelligence, advocacy and networking opportunities to investors, businesses and farmers in the agriculture sector. For more information, see the links on the left.

For other related tools, resources and information see the library below.  

News and events

More Value, Less Waste: workshop on realising business opportunities through value-add to livestock value chain residues

As part of international bioeconomy expert, Kees Kwant of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency's visit to the Western Cape a workshop was held on the 9 May 2017 at the Graham... Read more

Dutch expert on biobased value addition to visit Western Cape

Kees Kwant, a Senior Expert on Bioenergy and Biobased Economy at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency ( Read more


Sustainable agriculture: A website for farmers

GreenCape, in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, launched the GreenAgri portal in September 2015. Read more

SA Business Funding Directory

This directory (link on the left) provides South African businesses and entrepreneurs with information on available business funding particularly for small and medium sized businesses. Read more