1. What is stewardship?
    • Stewardship is a life-cycle approach to crop protection product management to ensure safe production, transportation, storage, handling, application and use of the product, as well as the proper disposal of waste.
  2. Why do we need stewardship?
    • The use of crop protection products is essential for maintaining and increasing agricultural productivity and improving farmer livelihoods in South Africa. However, this must be achieved with minimum risk to human health and the environment so as to ensure sustainable, safe and affordable food production, and therefore food security, in South Africa.
  3. What is the life-cycle approach?
    • The life-cycle approach to stewardship is a responsible and ethical way to manage crop protection products from their discovery and development to their use and the final disposal of any waste. The overall aim of the stewardship approach is to maximise the benefits and minimise any risk, from using crop protection products.

Research and Development

Many of CropLife SA's supplier members develop new products, some of which may be international companies developing new chemistry or new biologicals while local companies develop new products based on existing chemistry and biologicals. Research into new combinations of existing chemicals often results in innovative pesticides that are marketed to address difficult pest issues with new combinations to replace harsh chemicals.

New adjuvants are developed to make applications more effective by preventing drift, sticking active ingredients to plant surfaces, and making formulations safer to handle. There are at least 4,000 field trials commissioned annually to test new products and the costs of these run into hundreds of millions of Rands. There is a significant shift towards more environmentally compatible pesticides and slowly disinvesting in highly hazardous chemistry.

CropLife International’s video “Research and Development in Plant Science” shows the complex, lengthy, and resource-intensive R&D process from finding the right chemical compound to extensive safety testing of the final product and beyond. The video gives an insight into the number of people and the enormous amount of time and resources necessary today to bring even a single product to the market.
Click here to see the video.

  • The aim of R&D programmes is to develop new products, as well as improving the activity and safety of older products through improved formulation, packaging and delivery.
  • Crop protection is one of the most research-intensive industries globally.
  • R&D activity enables our industry to innovate, which creates jobs and contributes to economic growth while enabling even safer and more effective products to be launched.

The goal of the industry’s research and development programmes is to improve the range and quality of its crop protection products. These advances include both the refinement of existing products and the development of new products and applications.

The value of R&D expenditure on conventional chemical crop protection products and seeds and traits by the 15 leading companies in the agrochemical sector has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% raising the level of R&D expenditure from $4,533 million in 2007 to a total of $6,728 million in 2012 (Phillips McDougall, April 2013).

All companies are working to create new products or reformulate older products so that they are biologically efficient, environmentally sound, user-friendly, and economically viable.

A new crop protection product takes ten years and approximately $250 million to develop (from discovery to first sales); on average around 25%, and as much as 40%, of the cost, is on researching non–target (including mammalian) toxicology, environmental fate, and impacts.


The majority of pesticides sold in South Africa are locally formulated using imported technical materials. The manufacturing and formulation plants are operated by professional scientists and engineers to deliver high quality products for the agricultural and public health sectors.

  • Responsible manufacturing of crop protection products is an integral part of our industry’s stewardship programmes.
  • Plant science companies aim to protect both their employees and the environment to the fullest extent possible.

Manufacturing of crop protection products is done with a view to protect both employees and the environment. The chemical industry, from which much of the modern plant science industry evolved, has always had a good safety record. Naturally, all regulatory standards are complied with, but the industry commonly takes its responsibilities further and takes part in voluntary initiatives. In addition to ensuring the safety of workers, significant improvements have been made in the reduction of waste streams and carbon dioxide emissions.

Through the adoption of good manufacturing practices, the industry aims to protect its neighbours, its employees and the environment. National and international standards are strictly adhered to, and international standards are adopted (ISO 14000 and 9000 in particular).

Storage, Transportation and Distribution

CropLife SA has developed guidelines for members to acquaint themselves with the compliance issues around warehousing, storage and transportation of pesticides. Most members use the services of registered and licensed dangerous goods transport companies while others have their own fleets of certified vehicles and drivers. Pesticide stores at distribution and agent levels are built according to the SA National Standard 10206 for safe use and storage of pesticides.

  • CropLife SA supports the establishment and enforcement of an appropriate regulatory environment with regard to the storage, transport and distribution of crop protection products.
  • Voluntary stewardship initiatives complement this regulatory regime and the activities are tailored to the local needs.
  • Training programmes for retailers are actively supported.

Crop protection products need to be handled safely to ensure the protection of the environment and safety of workers. In addition, the provision of misleading or inadequate information during distribution and marketing may also pose a risk to the environment and human health by allowing these products to be used in inappropriate ways. In the case of storage, these guidelines and standards address, for example:

  • the location of warehousing facilities away from houses, schools and shopping areas
  • facilities for easy loading together with access for emergency vehicles
  • non–combustible and heat–resistant construction materials
  • flooring that is impervious to liquids

For transport, guidelines cover the preparation, loading and unloading of the goods and their subsequent carriage. It is vital that there is effective planning and management of all of these functions if the possibility of an accident taking place is to be minimised. Additionally, in the event of an accident, instruction and emergency plans are in place to rapidly address the incident directly or advise those that are dealing with it. 

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management or IPM, as it is commonly known, is a system of managing pests which is designed to be sustainable. IPM involves using the best combination of cultural, biological and chemical measures for particular circumstances, including plant biotechnology as appropriate. This provides the most cost-effective, environmentally sound and socially acceptable method of managing diseases, insects, weeds and other pests in agriculture. The plant science industry has endorsed IPM practices for many years and has publicly declared its commitment to promoting IPM. IPM is a flexible approach which makes the best use of all available technologies to manage pest problems effectively and safely.  IPM strategies consist of three basic components (please see the latest video on IPM here)

  • Prevention of pest build–up through the use of appropriate crop cultivation methods
  • Observation of the crop to monitor pest levels, as well as the levels of natural control mechanisms, such as beneficial insects, in order to make the correct decision on the need for control measures
  • Intervention where control measures are needed

An elementary principle of effective IPM is to develop pest control strategies that take into account all relevant control tactics and locally available methods and are sensitive to the local environment and social needs. The successful use of IPM will evaluate the potential cost-effectiveness of each alternative as well as the whole control strategy. See the infographic on IPM here

IPM principles are included in industry training programmes for farmers and other stakeholders across the world.  A number of training and information documents have been produced to support these programmes, including a web-based training modules which can be accessed here.  Ultimately, development and adoption of IPM strategies require mutual support and collaboration from a range of stakeholders, including government and non-government organisations, international research organisations, distributors, dealers and retailers, and producers themselves. Further information on IPM can be downloaded as a leaflet here and as a brochure here. Case studies are available here, and an IPM training manual is available here.

Responsible Use

The majority of CropLife SA's supplier and distribution members offer basic training to clients and farm workers on responsible use. An advanced responsible use training module is also available for members to train their own staff and agrochemical agents. 

  • CropLife International, along with its regional and national associations and leading companies, has promoted programmes providing training in the responsible use of crop protection products for more than 20 years.
  • Training is given in the context of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy.
  • A number of guidelines and web-based training materials have been produced.
  • Messages in the responsible use of crop protection products reach many millions each year through various media campaigns.

The plant science industry is committed to promoting practices that encourage the responsible, safe and efficient use of its products. This is undertaken within the context of promoting an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy and forms an important part of the industry’s life-cycle approach to product stewardship.

There are two new manuals for use of the network: the Responsible Use Manual and the Retailer Manual.

Container Management

CropLife SA has a well structured empty container management system with collectors and recyclers that have been vetted and approved as reliable and ethical operators. They assist farmers by redeeming triple-rinsed empty plastic pesticide containers and recycling the containers into other valuable plastic commodities.

All CropLife SA approved service providers issue farmers with a Certificate of Adequate Disposal that export producers require for their GlobalG.A.P. certification. More than 76% of empty containers are collected and recycled through the effective services of the 110+ CropLife SA approved collectors and recyclers.

CropLife International has recognised CropLife South Africa as one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of effective container management. CropLife SA is also in negotiations with recyclers to start collecting and recycling woven polypropylene bags that are used for some of the granular formulations and chemically treated seed.

Getting Started

Guidelines for Cleaning and Disposal

Other Resources

Triple rinse

Triple rinsing empty containers is the recommended method promoted by the global CropLife network. Triple-rinsing containers with water can remove 99.99% or more of product residue (click here to download the ECPA report). Similar results can be achieved with integrated pressure rinsing using specialised equipment incorporated in some modern spray application equipment. Containers that are rinsed as described above should be regarded as non–hazardous as described here.

Please find below the triple-rinse brochure and the triple rinse posters in various languages, which illustrates the three key steps of triple rinsing. CropLife South Africa encourages the use of these posters to help educate farmers about preparing empty containers for collection and recycling:

Management and Disposal of Obsolete Stocks

Since 1990, the plant science industry has been working in a variety of countries to facilitate safe disposal projects. Facilitation has involved finding additional donor funding, organising projects, supervising operations in the field or, when appropriate, reconditioning usable stocks. Such projects typically last for 2–3 years.

Between 1991 and 2003, the crop protection industry participated in over 25 multi-stakeholder projects in 20 countries, in collaboration with over 30 organisations, leading to the safe disposal of an estimated 3,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides.

From 2003, CropLife International collaborated with other partners to implement the Africa Stockpiles Program (ASP), which sought to safely dispose of obsolete pesticide stocks and associated waste across Africa. By 2018 an estimated 9,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides will have been destroyed.

Following the end of the ASP, CropLife International has continued to partner with organisations such as FAO and the World Bank to eliminate obsolete stocks on a country–by–country basis.

Additionally, since the 1990s, another 15,000 tonnes were collected and destroyed in OECD countries by CropLife national associations, in partnership with local governments and others.

CropLife SA has developed specific guidelines for the disposal of obsolete pesticides as well as a protocol for pesticide depots, stores and warehouse spill management.

Resistance Management

Agricultural production has historically endured huge losses to pests and disease, and many methods of pest control have limited life spans — pests adapt or evolve resistance, which can reduce the long–term utility of control methods.  Insect and herbicide resistance management are challenges that all farmers must face.

Similar to all stewardship programmes, resistance management practices require a diversity of tools and must evolve and be flexible.  Local agricultural conditions will help define what types of resistance management programs are needed, and they must be continuously reviewed and reconsidered.

Fungicide Resistance Management

Fungicides are chemicals that can inhibit the growth or development of fungal pathogens. They are important tools that farmers use proactively to protect and maintain plant health, quality and yield.

Certain species of fungi can become resistant to fungicides. This not only diminishes the fungicide’s long–term effectiveness but can reduce the amount of food brought to market.

CropLife South Africa has a regional specialist working group, the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC), comprising of industry experts to provide fungicide resistance management guidelines in the South African landscape.

Below is a list of useful documents and links related to fungicide resistance:

Herbicide Resistance Management

Herbicides are essential tools used by farmers to protect crop yields and quality by controlling weeds that compete with plants for nutrients, sunlight, space and water.

Herbicides allow farmers to control weeds and preserve their crop’s yield and quality. If farmers rely too heavily on one type of herbicide, however, weeds can naturally adapt and become resistant.

CropLife South Africa has a regional specialist technical working group, the Herbicide Resistance Action Committee (HRAC), comprising of industry experts, with the objective to promote the correct and responsible use of herbicides, to monitor new herbicide resistance cases in South Africa, to develop integrated management strategies for herbicide-resistant weeds and to provide and disseminate information about weed resistance.

Below is a list of useful documents and links related to herbicide resistance:

Insecticide Resistance Management

Insecticides are valuable tools used by farmers that can contribute to efficient food production because they control invertebrates that reduce a crop’s yield and quality.

While insecticides are among the most effective tools for controlling pest populations, all farmers are challenged by the fact that every insect control method has a limited life span because pests naturally evolve and become resistant.

CropLife South Africa has a regional specialist technical working group, the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC), comprising of industry experts to facilitate communication and education on insecticide resistance and to promote the development of resistance management strategies so as to maintain efficacy and to support sustainable agriculture and improved public health in the South African landscape.

Below is a list of useful documents and links related to insecticide resistance:

Rodenticide Resistance Management

Rodenticides are valuable tools used by farmers and pest management professionals to protect human and animal health from rodents, which can spread disease and destroy food crops and property.

Fifty years of research shows that the use of anticoagulant rodenticides, which prevent blood clotting, is the most effective method for controlling rodent infestations. The continued use of the same rodenticides can lead to the development of resistance in some rodent species.

CropLife South Africa has a regional specialist working group, the Rodenticide Resistance Action Committee (RRAC), comprising of industry experts to develop an understanding of resistance and resistance management in order to maintain the effectiveness of currently available rodenticides in the South African landscape.

Below is a list of useful documents and links related to rodenticide resistance:


Forums and Committees

CropLife SA drives a number of working groups, forums and action committees consisting of key industry role–players to address pressing matters affecting the crop protection industry. The following are examples of subjects covered by these forums and committees:

  • Stewardship
  • Pesticide Application
  • Pollinator Health
  • Seed Treatment
  • Small Pack Issues
  • Resistance Management
    • Herbicide Resistance
    • Fungicide Resistance
    • Insecticide Resistance
    • Rodenticide Resistance
  • Regulatory Matters
  • Training and Continuing Professional Development

If you would like more information about these topics, kindly contact us at

Education & Training


Basic Crop Protection Course (Online)

The online Basic Crop Protection course provides an overview of the crop protection industry and aims to set a minimum standard for people active in the industry.

The following individuals will benefit from the course:

  • Employees of companies that operate in the crop protection industry
  • Pest Control Operators
  • Producers, farm managers and farm workers who have a good command of English
  • New entrants to the crop protection industry (students, first time employees, job seekers etc.)

The course has been structured in such a way that a student can enrol at any time during the year and complete the course at his/her own pace, providing it is within a 12-month period. The course is entirely online, therefore a student will need reliable internet access. The fee for 2022 is R8 625 ex vat per student and is payable online via Netcash.

There are 4 modules that need to be completed before the final assessment, each with its own number of training sections:

  • Module 1: Plants
  • Module 2: Pests, Weeds & Diseases
  • Module 3: Crop Protection
  • Module 4: Integrated Pest Management

A course brochure can be downloaded here. This course is the same course that is sometimes referred to as the AVCASA course, however, the entity AVCASA no longer exists and is now CropLife South Africa. Due to this change, the course accreditation for CropLife SA is not yet in place.

Click here to register or visit For any queries, please email 

Aerial Application Course (Contact course)

The dates and costs for the next Aerial Application course have not been confirmed as yet. If you would like to receive a notification when the dates are confirmed, please send an email to


Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

CropLife South Africa spearheads a CPD programme aimed at distribution agents of crop protection chemicals. The programme covers topics such as technical training, business-related training, all aspects of safety, health, and environment, responsible use of pesticides, and overviews of responsible marketing and sales at the retail level.

Once the agent has obtained the required number of CPD points, he/she is issued with a CPD accreditation card with a unique member number. CropLife SA encourages all producers to insist on this accreditation before procuring agrochemical products.

If you are a CPD participant and would like to access the CPD site, click here (you will need your username and password to log in). For any queries, please contact

Who can participate?

A sales agent can only be accredited if he/she is in the employ of a CropLife SA distributor member company. Although CropLife SA has supplier and associate members, currently, only the distributor members’ sales agents can participate in the CropLife SA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

What is a CropLife SA accreditation number?

Sometimes there is confusion between the Basic Crop Protection course certificate number, and the CropLife SA accredited crop adviser number.

The Basic Crop Protection Course

  • This course can be completed by any individual and is accredited through the AgriSETA. 
  • Completion of the course is also the minimum requirement for a sales agent to become accredited under the CropLife SA CPD programme.
  • However, it does not mean that a person who has completed the course is a CropLife SA accredited crop adviser.

CropLife SA accredited agent number 

  • Only individuals with a valid CropLife SA card, are accredited for the period indicated on the card and is referred to as a crop adviser.
  • These cards expire with each cycle and the crop adviser needs accumulate enough CPD points in order to maintain his/her accreditation.
  • If they are compliant, they will be issued with a new card for the cycle.

It is important to note that neither the CropLife SA accreditation number, nor the Basic Crop Protection course certificate number, should be included on a business card as this is not a valid form of confirmation that an individual is a registered participant in the CropLife SA CPD programme. Only the official CropLife SA accreditation card, or, in exceptional circumstances, a letter on a CropLife SA letterhead confirming the number, may be used for identifying a CropLife SA accredited crop adviser.

What does a CropLife SA accreditation card look like?

Be certain that the card is valid for the current period, that the agent is employed by the company stated on the card, and that the photo matches the agent.



What does it mean if a CropLife Adviser is CropLife SA accredited (has a CropLife SA card)?

The card serves to confirm that the accredited CropLife SA crop adviser:

  • is committed to uphold the CropLife SA code of conduct for the recommendation and sale of pesticides;
  • is accredited through CropLife SA’s CPD programme to recommend and sell pesticides;
  • is committed to recommending and selling only pesticides that are registered in terms of Act No. 36 of 1947 strictly according to the label instructions.

*Note: CropLife SA CPD accreditation is not a guarantee of the crop adviser’s conduct and CropLife SA cannot be held liable for any damage whatsoever arising from the conduct of any crop adviser.


Guidelines for specific pest management
Guidelines for Regulatory Compliance
Guidelines for Obsolete Pesticides and Empty Pesticide Container Management


CropLife South Africa hosts a wealth of crop protection product information as well as a database of IP summaries of products available for integrated fruit production.

One of CropLife SA’s biggest success stories, however, is the launch of Agri–Intel, arguably the most powerful tool for users within the agrochemical industry to access registered crop protection product information.

Agri–Intel offers easy access to a comprehensive database of all chemical, biological and natural crop protection and public health products registered for use in South Africa including product labels, safety data sheets (SDS) and information on maximum residue limits (MRL) and withholding periods. Users are able to search for product information by active ingredient, crop or uses, targets, registration holders, registration numbers, categories or trade names. Users are also able to compare the label information of these products. Visit www.agri– for more information.

Industry Information

Information about glyphosate
Industry Presentations
Position Statements


Guidelines for Regulatory Compliance

Acts & Regulations


Regulation Tarrifs

Application Forms

Marketing & Communications


Brochures and Posters



Click on the links below to see CropLife SA in the media:

RSG Landbou - Toename in die gebruik van ongeregistreerde veemedisyne
SA Grain - Stewardship How non-compliance can cost you in the long run
AgriAbout - What does the CropLife CPD programme mean for farmers
RSG Landbou - Wat verwag ‘n produsent (groot en klein) van ‘n gewasadviseur of verspreider van gewasbeskermingsprodukte?
SA Graan - Foute met fosfied kan fataal wees
SA Grain - A new direction in waste management
SA Graan - Hoe lank bly plaagdoders gevaarlik?
GROOTplaas - Gebruik van plaagdoders
SA Grain - Weed resistance poses global challenge for producers
AgriAbout - Uitgebreide Produsente Verantwoordelikheid
GROOTplaas - Bruinsprinkane in die Noord-Kaap
RSG Landbou - CropLife SA waarsku landbouers teen peste en plae wat tans groot skade aanrig
RSG Lanbou - Wat staan boere te doen om verdere verspreiding van Palmer amaranth te voorkom?
Senwes - Beware of the spread of the resistant palmer amaranth
GROOTplaas - Aggressiewe plantonkruide
SA Grain - Pollinator Safety: Just Bee Responsible
AgriAbout - Die stand van sake met bruin sprinkane
Grain Guide - Watch out for this with the purchase of inputs
Cotton SA - CropLife SA - Who are they and what do they do
RSG Lanbou - Maatreëls wat goeie gehalte gewasbeskermingsprodukte verseker
RSG Landbou - [03m16] Jaco Theart van AECI Plant Health gesels oor die belangrikheid van die gewasbeskermingsadviseur vir die boer
AgriAbout - The future of crop protection lies in IPM
GROOTplaas - Die gevolge van plaagdoders wat onder ernstige druk is
Landbouradio - Current Brown Locust outbreak in the Eastern Cape
Landbouradio - Seed treatments and the regulation thereof
SA Graan - Pesticide behaviour in soil – adsorption, mobility and leachability 
SA Graan - Formulering belangrik vir werking van middels
Newzroom Afrika: Air quality worsens in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KZN
NMBM - NMBM in partnership with SAPS and other stakeholders conduct a By-law Enforcement Operation. 
OFM - Deel 1: Weerstand teen onkruiddoders moet bo-aan elke boer se prioriteitslys wees
GROOTplaas - Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn van CropLife SA, wangebruik van plaagdoders
SA Grain - Aerial application of agrochemicals – crucial factors to consider
SA Grain - Easy Calculations: From Pesticide Container to Spray Tank
SA Graan - Weerstand teen onkruiddoders raak jou sak op die lang duur
CHIPS - The basics of managing fungicide resistance 
AgriAbout - Strategie teen Snywurms
GROOTplaas: Stock control and expiry dates of pesticides
AgriAbout - Summer rainfall area must brace itself for cutworm infestation
AgriAbout - Collaboration to ensure pollinator safety
SA Grain - Buy agrochemicals from an accredited crop adviser
ProAgri - Summer rainfall area must brace itself for cutworm infestation
Senwes - Voorkoms van snywurms laat die gevaarligte flikker
Harvest SA - Critical Pest Alert: Migratory Locusts
AgriAbout - SPRINKANE!!
SA Graan - Wurmplae wat kan pla
Pula Imvula - Safety of farm workers handling pesticides not negotiable
GROOTplaas - Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn, uitbreking van sprinkane Februarie 2021
GROOTplaas - Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn, integrasie van biologiese middels met chemiese middels
GROOTplaas - GROOTplaas - Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn, sprinkane Desember 2020 - Talle uitbrekings van snywurms in somerreenstreek aangemeld
RSG Landbou - Plastiekverwerkingsbedryf het plastiekhouers nodig wat skoongemaak is: Dr Gerhard Verdoorn
SA Grain - Who are you buying your agrochemicals from?
Grain Guide - Don’t walk on the wild side with inputs

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