A hydroponics farm business is a type of horticulture and a subset of hydroculture, which involves growing plants without the use of soil, by using mineral nutrient solutions. This type of business is a profitable business to set up in South Africa. As the average income in South Africa has risen steadily, and more consumers are becoming health conscious the consumption of fruits and vegetables is going to increase over the coming years. Also fruits, herbs and vegetables are significant commodities in the agro-processing sector; both are high-value crops. It is evident that setting up a hydroponics farm is a business that you can explore. This article will outline how to start a hydroponics farming business in South Africa, and a hydroponics farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.


The location of your hydroponics farm is an important decision to make before you open your business. It’s important that you locate your operations close to your target market. Consider your customers and find an easily accessible location where people can travel to and quickly get service. Proper site selection and location with relation to markets, labour, utilities, and future expansion make a difference in how profitable your business will be. Also consider the land, and labour supply when setting up your hydroponics system. Hydroponics farming can be done indoors or outdoors, and there are various housing types which can be used. These include greenhouses, indoor grow rooms, container farms and vertical farms.

You need various equipment for your hydroponics business. The equipment you need will depend on the size of your business, the kind of crops you will grow, and the hydroponics system which you decide to set up. Equipment needed include the hydroponic system, lighting system, climate control equipment, water pumps, pH meters, drainage and irrigation equipment etc. You may need to purchase a delivery vehicle and other office equipment for your business. Your hydroponics business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing all the relevant equipment that are required for your business.


There are several different types of hydroponic systems which you can choose from when starting your hydroponics farming business in South Africa. Each of these hydroponic systems has their own unique characteristics and advantages.

  1. Wick systems: This is of the simplest types of hydroponic systems. It consists of a container filled with a growing medium, such as gravel or rockwool, and a wick, such as a rope or strip of fabric, that extends into a nutrient solution. The wick draws the solution into the growing medium, where the roots of the plants can absorb it.
  2. Ebb and Flow (Flood and drain systems) : This hydroponics system consist of a tray or container filled with a growing medium and a nutrient solution that is periodically flooded into the tray, and then drained back out. This allows the roots to be constantly oxygenated and allows easy drainage of any excess water
  3. Drip systems: The drip hydroponic system includes a container filled with a growing medium, and a network of tubing that carries nutrient solution to the roots of the plants, typically through a series of emitters that release the solution drop by drop.
  4. Nutrient film technique (NFT): The NFT hydroponic system consist of a sloping tray or channel filled with a growing medium, such as rockwool, and a thin film of nutrient solution that flows over the roots of the plants. NFT hydroponic systems are highly efficient and require minimal growing space. However they are difficult to set up and to maintain.
  5. Aeroponic systems: In aeroponic hydroponic system, plants are grown in a chamber with no growing medium, and their roots are suspended in the air. Fine mist of nutrient solution is sprayed on the roots to keep them moistened, this allow them to absorb more oxygen which is important for faster growth.
  6. Deep water culture: Often referred to as raft systems, plants in this system are grown in a container filled with nutrient-rich water and a buoyant raft. The roots of the plants dangle into the water where they absorb nutrients directly. This system also allows the roots to absorb more oxygen as they are submerged in water.


The inputs required for hydroponics farming include seeds/seedlings, water, growing media, nutrient solution/fertilizers and pesticides. Growing media refers to the medium in which the plants grow, as hydroponics doesn’t use soil. Examples of growing media for hydroponics include rockwool, perlite, coconut fibre, clay pebbles, sand, oasis cubes, saw dust and air. You need to purchase the right seeds and seedlings for your plants. Ensure that you select a reputable supplier who can provide affordable and quality seeds/seedlings as that’s affect the success of your hydroponic farming business.


Your products can vary, you can grow, vegetables, fruits or herbs. The products you sell will depend on your target niche and the suitability of the products for hydroponics farming. South Africa is one of the leading African countries when it comes to exporting fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables which perform well in hydroponics include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, kale, blueberries, peppers and beans. Herbs which are suitable for hydroponics include basil, mints and chives. It’s essential to select the right produce for your customers. As such market research is important before you can decide the crops to grow.


In order to become a customer-centric hydroponics farming business, its important that you hire employees that are friendly and efficient. Your employees should be passionate about agriculture in general. If you want to hit the ground running it’s better to hire a team of people who have experience in this kind of business. Your staff members should be able to grow, and diligently take care of your crops according to certain specifications. Inexperienced staff members need to get extensive training before they can be given intricate tasks. The chemicals used to treat pests and diseases can be harmful so you must hire qualified personnel. Depending on the size of your hydroponics farm, the number of your staff may vary. Some of the required staff members include a farm manager, general workers and management. Your hydroponics business plan should cater for the salaries and requirements of your employees.


The market for fruits, herbs and vegetables is huge in South Africa. Overall, the agribusiness sector in South Africa is important to national wellbeing, employing a significant number of the working population in the country. More people are flocking into urban areas from rural areas and pushing the demand for food products including fresh products. As more people become aware of the kind of food they consume on a regular basis there has been an increase in the demand for healthy food items such as fruits and vegetables. You can supply your fruits, herbs and vegetables to individuals, caterers, restaurants, food processors, supermarkets, national fresh produce markets etc.


Hydroponics farming has got several advantages as compared to the traditional soil-based farming. With hydroponics farming, you can farm continuously through out the year, regardless of the weather conditions and seasons. This is because with hydroponics farming, you can control the climate. Water and nutrients usage is efficient in hydroponics, thus reducing water wastage and minimizing costs. You can achieve a higher crop yield per square meter with hydroponics, thus it requires less land. The land usage can further be minimized by combining hydroponics farming with vertical farming. Hydroponics can be done anywhere, even in arid areas where traditional farming is not feasible. Hydroponics enables precise control of nutrient levels, leading to higher crop yields.


There is no denying that there is a reasonable number of farmers with a large market share in South Africa. However, very few have ventured into hydroponics.  There is no better time to enter into this type of business. Of the total vegetable production, a small part is under greenhouse production and an even smaller section is under hydroponics. Hydroponics farming can shorten the production period and improve yields. Building your own hydroponics business from scratch can be rewarding if done well. Investing in a hydroponics farm can be a profitable venture, but obviously, this will depend on many factors such as your target market. The input costs of setting up such an operation as well as the equipment, and labour are all important considerations. Apart from the obvious advantages of becoming financially independent and becoming your own boss, running a hydroponics enterprise can be a rewarding way of uplifting your community.

Given that the South African market is one of the leading emerging economies on the African continent there is potential for high growth. The agriculture sector has been growing steadily for the past 10 years, thus setting up a hydroponics business can be a good investment. Also, South Africa is a well-known exporter of fresh produce and exports other various fresh fruits and vegetables to its neighbouring countries. In addition, the increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables in the country indicate that farming in general is a good business venture. Whether you are a young entrepreneur, a professional seeking to start your own business or someone who needs a retirement plan, investing in a hydroponics farming business is something worth considering. One thing that can set you apart before investing in any business venture is developing a business plan. A well thought out business plan will help you in both the short term and long term for your investment. There are so many risks that are associated with running a business, like any other venture, your business plan should clearly outline these risks and the various ways to minimise them.


For an in-depth analysis of the hydroponics farming business in South Africa, purchase our hydroponics business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the hydroponics farming 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 hydroponics 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 hydroponics farming business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the hydroponics business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The hydroponics farming 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 hydroponics farming business
  • As a hydroponics farming project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the hydroponics 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
  • Hydroponics farming guide
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the hydroponics farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your hydroponics business in South Africa
  • Directory [Contact Details for South African suppliers of inputs (seeds, hydroponics supplies, hydroponics equipment etc) and contacts of hydroponics farming training companies in South Africa]

The Hydroponics Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Hydroponics Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 115 pages)
  2. Hydroponics Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 115 pages)
  3. Hydroponics Farming Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 44 pages)
  4. Hydroponics Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the costs, salaries 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.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

Payment Method 1 (Visa card, Mastercard, Credit card, Debit Card)

Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Visa Card/MasterCard 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 sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

Payment Method 2 (Instant EFT - FNB, Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank, CapitecBank, Investec, TymeBank and African Bank. )

Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

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 sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

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