Table of Contents

1. Overview

Canola, Brassica Napus, (also known as rape seed) is an oilseed crop. It is an excellent rotation crop, and should be used to increase profits of crops such as maize and wheat. Advantages include the lowering of root knot nematodes and Phytophtera.

The growing of canola needs good management. Special care should be taken with harvesting of the small pips. Road and rail trucks need to be sealed tightly in order to prevent losses in transit.

Canola is primarily used for manufacturing of the following:

  • Canola oil (crude oil and bottled oil-used as a salad and frying oil, in margarines, shortenings and in foods that contain vegetable oil such as baked goods, potato chips, French fries, etc.).
  • Canola oil biodiesel
  • Canola based mayonnaise
  • Canola oil cake
  • Canola meal (the by-product of canola oil processing, used as a high protein feed ingredient in the rations of animals)
  • Canola can be used for forage for pigs and poultry.
Source: Canola Market Value Chain Profile at and Canola brochure from the same website.


Photo used courtesy of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF)


2. International business environment

The major producer of canola is Canada, followed by the EU, China and India. The major exporter is Canada with the EU a distant second. China, the EU and Japan are the major importers (USDA, 2018).

Further reference:

  • In its study the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Baseline 2018-2027 found that canola yields in the Southern Cape production region are lagging behind Northern Hemisphere producers. The BFAP prototype farm’s yields compared well with Southern Hemisphere growers - except when cost of production is taken into account. The higher cost was “mainly driven by the cost of seed and fertilisers”. Find the document at
  • - Canola Council of Canada
  • - a Canadian website for “everyone who wants to know more about the world's healthiest oil”.
  • Oilseed information is also available on the Oil World website at a fee.
  • Find the monthly “Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade” on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service Home Page. The address is