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Safj Sa Fruit Journal Hortgro Intro To Act 36
October / November 2023

An introduction to Act 36

SA Fruit Journal: October / November 2023

What should growers know to protect themselves while protecting their crops? By Anna Mouton

Act 36 of 1947 regulates fertilisers, farm feeds, agricultural and stock remedies. It also regulates their importation, manufacture, distribution, sales, and advertisement. This article focuses on fertilisers and agricultural remedies.

Examples of agricultural remedies are chemical or biological remedies for pest and disease control, herbicides, and plant growth regulators. The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development can also designate anything else as an agricultural remedy. Note that efficacy claims are central to the definition of agricultural remedies.

Fertilisers are substances used to improve or maintain plant growth or soil fertility. Act 36 makes provision for three groups of fertilisers. Groups 1 and 2 are nutrient formulations with no associated efficacy claims. Group 3 fertilisers include synthetics and biologicals that are claimed to improve plant or soil performance.

Some substances – like disinfectants – used during fruit production and handling, are regulated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act 54 of 1972 and will not be discussed here.

The 1980 amendment of Act 36 provides for the registration of pest control operators – persons qualified to administer agricultural remedies. More about their responsibilities later.

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