In the world of farming and agriculture, there’s a green and leafy opportunity that’s hard to ignore—cabbage farming in South Africa. This versatile crop offers numerous benefits, making it an attractive venture for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned farmers alike. As South Africa grapples with growing demand for fresh, healthy vegetables and works towards achieving food security, cabbage farming emerges as a promising avenue for success. There’s a high demand for cabbages in South Africa owing to its high nutritional value and the ease with which the vegetable can be prepared. Cabbages are an easy pick when it comes to crops that are less hectic to grow and wielding several advantages. For instance, cabbages have high yield rates, can thrive in virtually any climate and require much less chemical inputs.

Cabbages are relatively affordable and within the reach of any income bracket. They are also less perishable as they have a substantial shelve life at room temperature. Their versatility is also demonstrated in their suitability for being turned into dried vegetables. Plus they can also be used as food for poultry production, cattle or rabbit production, amongst others. Easy handling and transportation also adds on to the long list of characteristics that make cabbage farming more appealing. This article will outline how to start a cabbage farming business in South Africa, and the cabbage farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

Before you start the cabbage farming business, there are some important decisions which you have to make. You have to decide on the size of your cabbage production business ie how many hectares of cabbages you will farm.  There are many different cabbage varieties/cultivars, so you have to select which one you will farm, the season you are going to carry out your cabbage farming, and your target market. The size of your cabbage farming business will depend on the size of land you have, the amount of capital you have, and your target market. It’s important that you have a good cabbage production business plan before you venture into this business.

Market Research

Market research is a crucial step when embarking on a cabbage farming venture in South Africa. To establish a successful cabbage farming business, it’s essential to gain insights into the local agricultural landscape, consumer preferences, and market dynamics. As part of your market research, it’s crucial to carefully select the cabbage variety to plant, taking into account several key factors. First, assess the availability of seeds for different cabbage varieties in South Africa, ensuring you can source them reliably. Second, consider the local climate conditions and how well specific cabbage varieties thrive in the region where you plan to farm. Third, align your choice with the preferences and needs of the market. To ensure a smooth flow of your cabbage produce to the market, investigate the local supply chain and distribution channels. This includes understanding the logistics involved in transporting cabbage from the farm to retailers or consumers. Are there established wholesalers or distributors who can help you reach a wider audience? Evaluate the costs and efficiency of various distribution options.

In your market research, it’s essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of cabbage pricing within your target market. Analyze the current pricing trends and fluctuations, considering factors such as supply and demand dynamics, competition, and seasonal variations. Identify potential customers and their pricing preferences, whether they are individual consumers, wholesalers, or foodservice establishments. Additionally, delve into the seasonality of cabbage prices to anticipate when prices may peak or drop, enabling you to make informed decisions on planting schedules, harvesting times, and pricing strategies to maximize profitability and market competitiveness.

Land for Cabbage Farming Business

Choice of location is crucial in that there’s certain type of soil that’s most appropriate for the cabbages. Cabbages require well-drained, loamy soils that have good water retention. Caution must be exercised in avoiding soils with high acidity as they are detrimental to healthy growth. Organic farming approaches must also be applied by the use of organic material such as animal waste or compost matter. Cabbages tend to have moderate sensitivity to saline soils so bear that mind. Optimum soil pH is 5.5 to 6.5 (the pH must never fall to below 4.5). Once you notice that leaves are becoming dark and leaf margins are dying back, it’s usually because the pH is now way above 6.5. So its important for you to determine whether your soil type is suitable for cabbage farming first before starting the cabbage farming business.

Machinery & Equipment for Cabbage Production Business

You will need different kinds of machinery and equipment for your cabbage horticulture business. The land will need to be prepared and that’ll require varying levels of mechanisation. Small tracts of land might be prepared with hand-held implements without any problems. In some areas such as rural areas the use of animal drawn implements can come in handy. However, for much bigger cabbage farming businesses, there’ll be need for machinery & equipment such as tractors, fertilizer spreaders, sprayers, diggers, harvesters, irrigation equipment, ridgers, amongst many others. You might not necessarily have to purchase all this equipment; most of it you can simply hire.

The other needs will have to do with power generation as some of the operations such as irrigation will need power. You can incorporate the use of fuel-powered pumps also or leveraging on solar energy. You’ll also need to have to stand-by generators to cushion yourself against lengthy power outages. Higher level of mechanisation in your cabbage farming operations will lead to higher efficiency hence higher profitability. Your cabbage farming business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing or hiring machinery and equipment.

Cabbage Farming Inputs

You’re going to need cabbage seeds or seedlings. You can start your cabbage farming business by purchasing seeds, or alternatively you can just buy seedlings which are ready for transplanting from a nursery. There are many different cabbage cultivars/varieties available in South Africa. Some of the varieties used by South African cabbage farmers include Conquistador , Bobcat , Grandslam , Green Boy , STAR 3301 , Hercules, Drumhead, Grand Slam, Megaton Hybrid, Star 3306, Green Coronet, Brunswick, Tenacity, Green Star and Matador. The cabbage varieties you choose should suit local climatic conditions, have good pest and disease resistance, suit the season you want to farm in, and meet your market needs. Ensure that you buy your cabbage seeds or seedlings from certified and reputable suppliers. Never take this lightly because once you’ve started growing you won’t be able to reverse intrinsic properties of flawed seeds or seedlings that you would’ve acquired. Cabbage yields in South Africa average 30 000 – 50 000 heads per hectare depending on the variety and size of the cabbages.

Fertilizers are required to ensure soil fertility and support cabbage growth. For effective growth, cabbages require plant nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients should be provided via fertilisers and manure to promote growth of the cabbages.  Herbicides for effective weed control are important when carrying out cabbage farming. You can use herbicides like Agil 100EC, Agriquat among others depending on the type of weeds at your cabbage farm. Fungicides and insecticides are essential  for protection of your plants against insects and fungi. The chemicals you can use include Dimethoate 40EC, Malathion 25 WP, Dedevap 100 EC  just to mention a few.

The costs of acquiring all these inputs should be included in your cabbage farming budgets.

Pests, Weeds and Disease Control

Effective pest and weed control is a critical component of successful cabbage farming in South Africa. Keeping pests and weeds at bay not only preserves the health and vigor of your cabbage crop but also ensures higher yields and greater profitability. Pests, weeds and diseases can wreak havoc on your cabbage crop, leading to reduced yields and potential financial losses. To safeguard your cabbage farm and ensure a healthy harvest, a comprehensive approach to pest & weed management is essential.

Cabbage crops in South Africa face an array of persistent pests, including aphids, caterpillars, and diamondback moths. Vigilant management is essential to mitigate their potentially devastating effects. Regularly monitor your fields for signs of infestations and utilize natural predators, such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps, to maintain pest populations. When necessary, employ targeted pesticides judiciously, adhering strictly to recommended application rates and safety protocols. Precision in pesticide use not only safeguards your cabbage crop but also helps manage production costs while maximizing yields.

Equally crucial is the vigilant control of fungi and weeds. Weeds not only compete with cabbage plants for vital resources but also serve as breeding grounds for pests and diseases. Employ mulching to effectively suppress weed growth and conserve precious soil moisture, thus reducing the need for labor-intensive manual weeding. When it comes to diseases like black rot or downy mildew, immediate action is paramount. Timely detection and the removal of affected plants are essential to halt the spread of disease. For both weeds and diseases, judicious use of fungicides and herbicides, following stringent guidelines and environmental considerations, is vital. A proactive approach to fungicide and herbicide management ensures the robust health of your crop, translates into higher yields, and significantly enhances the profitability of your South African cabbage farming business.

Labour for Cabbage Farming Business

When doing cabbage farming business, you will need to hire part time farm workers as and when necessary. Part-time labourers will be required because there’s a lot of seasonal work to be done. Some of the activities will include seed planting, transplanting, applying fertilisers, ploughing, harvesting, amongst several others. The part time farm workers should be paid according to the number of days worked so as to cut costs.  You also require supervisors, farm manager, finance & accounting staff, and logistics staff depending on the scale of your cabbage farming business. The wages and salaries of your workers should be included in your cabbage farming business plan.

Cabbage Farming Business Model

In the cabbage farming business model, the foundation lies in securing the right land for cultivation and efficiently managing the entire crop production process. You begin by selecting suitable land for cabbage farming, ensuring that it meets the necessary soil and climate requirements for optimal growth. Once the land is prepared, you plant cabbage seeds or seedlings, marking the inception of your crop’s growth cycle. Throughout this period, it’s essential to provide the necessary inputs, including regular watering, appropriate fertilizers, and effective pesticide management to promote healthy cabbage development. Labor costs also play a significant role, encompassing activities such as planting, maintenance, and pest control.

After approximately 3-4 months, your cabbage crop will have reached maturity, and it’s time for harvest. This is a critical stage in your business model, as cabbages typically yield a substantial quantity of heads, ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 heads per hectare. With such a significant cabbage output, you can tap into the wholesale market, where you can sell your produce in bulk quantities. The revenue generated from wholesale cabbage sales surpasses the inputs, production costs, and operating expenses incurred during the entire farming cycle. As a result, a well-managed cabbage farming operation yields a good profit, making it a lucrative venture in the South African agricultural landscape. This profit potential underscores the importance of effective planning, resource management, and market engagement in your cabbage farming business model.


The market for cabbages in South Africa is very huge and is ever increasing. South Africa consume more than 170 000 tonnes of cabbages per year. Most of cabbages in South Africa are produced for domestic consumption. Fresh cut cabbage is used raw in salads such as coleslaw and as cooked vegetable (added to soups or stews). You can supply your cabbages to individuals, national fresh produce markets, schools, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, wholesalers, hawkers etc. Your cabbage business plan ought to include a proper market analysis and marketing plan to use in your cabbage farming business.

Cabbage Farming Business Plan PDF

Woolworths Food Cabbages for sale

Keys to Profitability

The cornerstone of profitability in cabbage farming in South Africa lies in efficient resource management. From land and water to labor and inputs like fertilizers and pesticides, optimizing resource utilization is paramount. Careful land selection, soil testing, and crop rotation can enhance soil health and productivity. Implement precision farming techniques to minimize wastage and ensure that water and nutrients are distributed precisely where needed. When it comes to labor, strike a balance between hiring an appropriate workforce and mechanizing certain tasks to reduce labor costs. By managing your resources judiciously, you can keep production costs in check and improve your bottom line. Understanding the market dynamics and consumer preferences is also vital for profitability. Stay attuned to price fluctuations, demand trends, and seasonal variations in the cabbage market. This knowledge will enable you to make informed decisions regarding planting schedules, harvest timing, and pricing strategies. You should always have a ready market for your cabbages.

Successful cabbage farming also hinges on sound financial planning and budgeting. Develop a comprehensive budget that accounts for all expenses, including land acquisition, inputs, labor, and operational costs. Monitor your financial performance regularly and adjust your budget as needed to ensure you stay within your financial targets. Consider seeking financial advice or assistance to secure necessary funding or loans for your cabbage farming operation. By maintaining a clear financial plan and adhering to your budget, you can effectively manage costs, optimize revenue, and work toward profitability.

Advantages of Cabbage Farming Business In South Africa

Embarking on a cabbage farming venture in South Africa offers several distinct advantages that make it an attractive and viable agricultural endeavor. South Africa’s diverse climate zones provide cabbage farmers with the advantage of year-round cultivation possibilities. Whether in the temperate regions of the Western Cape or the subtropical climates of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, cabbage can be grown throughout the country. This flexibility allows farmers to stagger their planting and harvest schedules, reducing the risks associated with seasonality and maximizing the potential for continuous production and sales. Furthermore, cabbage is a hardy and resilient crop that can withstand a variety of climatic conditions. This adaptability minimizes the risk of crop failure due to adverse weather, making cabbage farming a relatively low-risk venture. Additionally, cabbage has a long shelf life when properly stored, reducing the urgency to sell immediately after harvest. This allows farmers to wait for favorable market conditions, ensuring optimal returns on their produce.

Cabbage holds a prominent position in South African cuisine, featuring prominently in traditional dishes  as well as in modern, health-conscious diets. The consistent demand for cabbage makes it a sought-after commodity in local markets, supermarkets, and foodservice establishments. Additionally, South Africa’s growing urban population and changing dietary habits have increased the demand for fresh and healthy vegetables, further bolstering the market for cabbage. Entrepreneurs in the cabbage farming business can tap into this growing demand, ensuring a stable market for their produce and opportunities for profitable sales. Another significant advantage of cabbage farming in South Africa is its remarkable yield rate per hectare. Cabbages are known to produce a high volume of heads within a relatively small area, typically yielding between 30,000 to 50,000 heads per hectare. This abundance translates directly into larger harvests and, subsequently, more substantial revenue and profits. With a robust yield rate, cabbage farmers can tap into the wholesale market, selling their produce in bulk quantities to fresh produce markets, distributors, retailers, or foodservice providers. This scale of production not only enhances income potential but also strengthens negotiating power, ensuring better pricing and market access. In a competitive agricultural landscape, the high yield rate of cabbage is undeniably a key driver of profitability and makes it an attractive crop choice for South African farmers seeking a lucrative agricultural venture.


For an in-depth analysis of the cabbage farming business in South Africa, purchase our cabbage farming business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the cabbages production business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a cabbage production business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the cabbage production business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the cabbage farming business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The cabbage production business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your cabbage farming business
  • As a cabbage farming project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the cabbage farming business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Cabbage farming guide (Technical Details of how to plant, grow and harvest the cabbages)
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the cabbage production business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your cabbage farming business in South Africa
  • Directory [Contact Details for South African suppliers of inputs (seeds, seedlings, fertilisers, equipment etc) and contacts of cabbage farming training companies in South Africa]

The Cabbage Farming Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Cabbage Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 87 pages)
  2. Cabbage Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 87 pages)
  3. Cabbage Farming Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 43 pages)
  4. Cabbage Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of hectares, cabbage price per head etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change. 


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

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The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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