“Group 3 fertiliser” is a natural or synthetic substance or organism/s that improve/s the growth or yield of plants or the physical, chemical or biological conditions of the soil and does not qualify for registration as a group 1 or 2 fertiliser.

This includes:

  • Biofertiliser (Fungi, Mycorrhizae, bacteria)
  • Soil enhancers (water retention)
  • Fulvic and humic acid
  • Sea weed
  • Amino Acids
  • Products of plant and animal origin (exclude bone and blood meal)
  • Fertiliser coatings
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Novel products

Speciality fertilisers can be applied along with irrigation water, or in a controlled-release way where a pre-plant application releases nutrients for the plant throughout the time when it is growing. Speciality fertilisers might also be applied by foliar feeding where the plant absorbs nutrients through its leaves rather than through the roots.

Owing to some promising results, this is an area that has caught the attention of role players from all corners of the market, from the agrochemical to the organic/sustainable agriculture sectors.

Source: DALRRD presentation at FertASA workshop, November 2017 (see last heading).

Role players





Websites & publications

Visit the websites listed earlier on this page.

Neil Miles, renowned soil scientist, runs the Agrispex Soil Productivity Expertise website. Find the biostimulant option at http://agrispex.co.za/category/biostimulants.

Find the reports by Markets And Markets at www.marketsandmarkets.com. These include:

  • Biostimulants Market by Active Ingredient (Acid-Based & Extract Based), by Application Type (Foliar, Soil, & Seed), by Crop Type (Row Crops, Fruits & Vegetables, and Turf & Ornamentals) & by Region – Global Trends & Forecasts
  • Biofertilizers Market by Type (Nitrogen-fixing, Phosphate-solubilizing & Potash- mobilizing), Microorganisms (Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, Cyanobacteria & Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria), Application, Crop Type & by Region – Global Forecast
  • Water-soluble Fertilizers Market by Type (Nitrogenous, Phosphatic, Potassic, and Micronutrients), by Application (Fertigation and Foliar Application), by Crop Type (Field, Horticultural, and Turf & Ornamentals) & by Region – Global Trends and Forecast

Find the presentations given at the FERTASA Biofertilizer Workshop (November 2017) under “Events” at www.fertasa.co.za. These include “Registration of Biological Remedies vs. Bio-Fertilizers in South Africa” by Thilivhali Nepfumbada (of the then DALRRD) and “Biofertilizers, Biostimulants, Biopesticides: Definitions, Differences & Challenges” by Stephanie Roberts (Omnia). The bioproducts market, currently worth US$3 Billion, is predicted to reach US$11 Billion by 2025.

Watch videos on YouTube like “PHC Film: Soil is a living organism”, “The Magic of Soil” and “Using Biofungicides, Biostimulants and Biofertilizers”.


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