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  • Green bean micronutrients: requirements Green bean micronutrients or trace elements are often a forgotten aspect, not just in green beans but in general vegetable farming. Micronutrient deficiencies are rare…
  • Green bean planting times Green bean planting times are crucial since they are sensitive to frost They can be cultivated only when there is no longer any danger or…
  • Pests found commercial lettuce… Lettuce pests can be controlled in large commercial plantings. Due to the high planting densities and large fields, scouting is often neglected. Most pests are…
  • How to grow lettuce… According to botanists the current variety, Lactuca sativa, was developed from Lactuca scariola, which is a common weed in Europe, Abyssinia, East Asia and the…
  • The production of pumpkins… Pumpkins and squashes belong to the family cucurbitaceae and are related to calabashes, watermelons and muskmelons. Pumpkins and squashes probably originated in America from where…
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Substitution – Be aware so you don’t lose market share

vegetable horticultural substitution produce

Substitution is takes place when one products price is to high or becomes unavailable and households find a new product to substitute it.  A classic example is butter and margarine.  The price of butter started to increase up to a point where the manufacturers found it feasible to add colorants to margarine and sell it…

Marketing and the relative value of goods

vegetable marketing small scale farmers south africa brits

Each household has a limited income. This income is usually fixed if at least one person has a job. The total household income is limited. A household cannot decide one month to spend all its money on milk and the next month on bread. There are various fixed cost items that households have. Items such…

The life cycle of a product

agricultural products life cycle marketing

All products have a life cycle. Even your standard tomato variety. Note I said variety not the tomato itself. It is a lot like fashion, fashion comes and goes. There is a reason it is a cliche, because it is true.  In the case of varieties its because of science and technology. It is better…

The marketing system

fresh vegetable marketing south africa informal markets

When Jan van Riebeeck landed in the Cape on the 6th April 1652, one of the first priorities was to establish a vegetable industry to provide passing ships with fresh produce.  It was not until the 19th century, with the discovery of gold and diamonds, that the vegetable industry started to develop and expand into…

Quality of vegetable crops

Quality is one of those elusive characteristics upon which so much depends but about which is so little known.  The number of definitions for quality probably equals the number of writers on the subject and the various interpretations range from those of extreme simplicity to others which are complicated and detailed.  It is important to…

Packaging and grading of vegetables

spinach informal marketing swiss chard south africa

Vegetables are sold in various from of packaging depending on the quality and quantity of the product and the price the farmer would like to obtain.  The trend is to pack high quality vegetables into smaller quantities i.e. smaller packaging and lower quality vegetables in to larger containers or sell them in bulk.  Thus the…

Marketing of horticultural products

marketing horticultural vegetable products advice south africa

Marketing is the distribution, promotion and direction of horticultural products or services to your customers.  Marketing includes a wide range of activities and starts at selecting a name of your farm and produce, its location and how you will interact with clients and customers.  All businesses marketing environment consist of: Product Price Place and Promotion…

Life cycle of a product

life cycle of vegetable products

The life cycle of a product has four distinctive stages; Introduction, growth, maturity and decline.  During each of these stages the marketing costs of promoting the product declines (see Figure below).  This is because more and more people start to know the name of the product.  Each phase of the life cycle will be discussed…

Horticultural sectors

informal market sector

The horticultural industry is a complicated network of intensive businesses that all seek to obtain a slice of the horticultural pie. The South African agricultural business sector is highly competitive and diversified. A simple graphical layout of the businesses that play a significant role in the horticultural industry is presented in the figure below. Each…

Fresh produce marketing

marketing vegetables herbs produce agriculture

Marketing of the final product is a complex dynamic as it evolves over time. Not all buyers will stay in business and most of them will change their buying patterns to suit their own market needs. So many growers have told me that growing is easy, it is the marketing that is so difficult. If…