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Growing Essential Oils in BioAfrica

The essential oils industry is a very exciting field when handled correctly and it can be very profitable. There are however many pitfalls that can cost a farmer dearly, farmers who intend to grow essential oil plants must be aware of the following. The correct genetic plant material for the plant extract industry must be used and this requires appropriate soil, local climate conditions and water quality. Specialised planters and soil cultivation equipment are required as well as weeding and tilling equipment, harvesting equipment and extraction machinery. In addition to the equipment and suitable growing conditions, the grower must have high quality control, marketing intelligence i.e. quantity and quality, Capital, Enthusiasm, and enjoy hard work.

BioAfrica has all these qualities, all the farmer must have is a suitable growing environment, capital and cash to pay for planting and the enthusiasm and dedication to produce quality essential oils.


What criteria are needed to become a BioAfrica farmer?

  • Land under irrigation , at least 10 Ha , preferably centre pivot
  • Enough water as allocated as per legal requirements
  • Input costs i.e. the cash to pay per ha for essential oil crops planted.
  • Honest, sober Dynamic in character
  • Enthusiastic willing co workers

If you fulfil these basic criteria then you could become part of the fast growing essential oils market

How do we make money for our farmers?

  • BioAfrica sells the extracted plant extract and pays the farmers 70% of the sales price.
  • BioAfrica makes its profit form the 30% of oil sales.
  • BioAfrica only seeks serious farmers who are willing to have a long term relationship
Checking for germination

How is BioAfrica funded?

  • BioAfrica makes a profit from sales of extracts. As extracts are sold farmer are paid within 21 days
  • BioAfrica combines extracts from the various farmers.
  • This enables BioAfrica to regulate the quality and the quantity of the extracts, markets and profits are therefore easier to control.

Why is BioAfrica in the essential extracts market?

  • A unique competitive advantage.
  • Profits are good for both farmers and BioAfrica.
  • We work with large international markets.

Why should you become a BioAfrica farmer?

  • Sharing of resources
  • HUGE CAPITAL SAVINGS - BioAfrica owns all planters, picking equipment as well as the Steam stills saving farmers millions in equipment
  • Trained personnel for all processes involved
  • Easier access to information
  • Market influence by combining the extracts to increase quantities
  • BioAfrica gives advice and mentors the growing process
  • Farmers can count on BioAfrica as We only make money IF they do!!

What does BioAfrica offer you?

  • Farmers don't need expensive apparatus like special planters or extraction machines which are only required twice per year.
  • BioAfrica has trained personnel to do all necessary work.
  • BioAfrica supports you during the planting, germination, growth, harvesting and extraction process.
  • BioAfrica has several years experience in the planting and extraction from herbs and medicinal plants.
  • Market influence by combining the extracts to increase quantities
  • BioAfrica can influence the market by combining extracts received from various farmers
  • Farmers can count on BioAfrica as We only make money IF they do!!
  • If batches are out of spec they can be enriched with extracts of a different source sold, provided that enough quality extracts are available.


  • Farmers contact BioAfrica
  • BioAfrica explains the process and prepares quotations
  • Farmers pay planting per ha costs
  • BioAfrica makes appointments with farmers for planting


Field preparation for a fine seed bed is the farmers responsibility

Planting is BioAfrica's responsibility

  • BioAfrica insists on using its own seed as this was tried and tested
  • BioAfrica brings planter and trained personnel
  • Farmer must provide accommodation and food for BioAfrica personnel
  • As soon as the planting has been completed, seeds need to be irrigated
  • After the first irrigation top soil must be kept moist for good germination


The growing phase is the farmers responsibility which includes the following:

  • Farmers are to compile written reports each and every week and forward these to BioAfrica either by email, fax or using our online facilities.
  • Reports must contain information regarding to the progress, condition and quality of the plants, i.e. current meteorological, climate and weather conditions, frequency of irrigation and amount of water administered, the administering of manure, fertilizer; and any other organic and /or inorganic material.
  • Information regarding the identification and administering of poison, herbicide and insecticides and other chemicals to plants and/or the soil in which such plants have been planted.
  • Weed control is the farmer's responsibility
  • BioAfrica will do regular inspections
Chamomile harvest


Harvesting is the farmers responsibility, but in close consultation with BioAfrica

This is an exciting part of this of the process care should be taken to ensure that no weeds or foreign plant matter in harvested with the essential oil. As this could contaminate the crops and affect quality.

  • Farmers will need tractors or people to harvest
  • After the plant matter has been harvested care should be taken to extract this in as soon as possible as the plant matter will start to ferment, thus heating the plant matter which could result in evaporation of essential oils from the plant matter reducing yields.
  • Some plant matter will need to be dried and even stored before it can be extracted. Most other essential oils bearing crops need to be extracted with in hours of harvesting.
  • Usually a shed with adequate ventilation is good enough to store the plant matter before extraction.


Distillation is BioAfrica's responsibility

  • The farmer must supply a shed or "afdak" under which extraction can take place
  • During the extraction process he must provide 14 000 litres of water per hour per day (this water is recycled for cooling)must be made available and three phase electricity at 50 KVA, as well as a neutral and earth wire with a distributor board (also known as DB board).
  • Food is also required as well as accommodation
  • BioAfrica will be responsible for the extraction process
  • BioAfrica takes responsibility for the selling the extracts
  • Payment will take place 21 days after the extracts have been sold

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