Laboratories play a vital role in the monitoring and effectiveness of the agricultural value chain.

  • Resources like soil and water are evaluated. Precision agriculture and its accurate application of fertiliser, for example, depend on the soil tests.
  • Inputs like animal feed and fertiliser are analysed. Using tainted inputs like fertiliser can have a detrimental effect on a whole sector.
  • Tests and monitoring which happen in laboratories play a vital role in the country’s livestock industry and biosecurity.
  • Agricultural products, both in their primary and secondary form, are monitored to ensure quality and food safety.

A look at the company websites will give an indication of the services available.

National strategy and government contact

Associations involved

  • Agri-Laboratory Association of Southern Africa (AgriLASA) www.agrilasa.co.za Contact details of the various personnel are on the website.
  • South African Association of Veterinary Technologists (SAAVT) www.saavt.co.za
  • The South African Wine Laboratory Association (SAWLA) is a division of the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture (SASEV). Find information at www.sasev.org.
  • Find the International Dairy Federation’s Dairy Laboratories Database at www.idfdairylaboratories.org

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Companies and other role players

Find a list of AgriLasa members at www.agrilasa.co.za.

 

Agricultural services

Many agricultural companies have their own laboratories e.g. De Heus (Pty) Ltd and Chemtech (Omnia).

Parastatals like the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) provide laboratory services. Find details on the “Research and development” page.

The Provincial Departments of Agriculture provide laboratory services e.g. find the Western Cape Department of Agriculture Analytical Services information under “Services and Programmes” at www.elsenburg.com. At Cedara, contact the Scientific Manager at 033 355 9450 or email les.thurtell [at] kzndard.gov.za. Contact details of the provinces are given on the “Agriculture in the Provinces” page.

 

Suppliers of equipment

 

Training and research

  • Universities have laboratories for training and research, and also offer services to companies.
  • Some of the role players [e.g. Southern African Grain Laboratory (SAGL) and Merieux NutriSciences] listed earlier in the chapter offer training.

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