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our departments


Stargrow Cultivar Development (SCD) is adding value to fruit production supply chain with the development of a unique range of new varieties as well as with the commercialisation of these varieties, locally in South Africa or internationally. SCD’s essence is to play a role in bringing the very best of internationally bred varieties to South Africa and to offer the best selection of its own breeding program to contribute to the success of the South African and the international fruit industry.

            • Value adding services include:

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Importation and/or export of material and facilitation through quarantine

            • Administration of import process
            • Facilitation through quarantine

Protection and management of varieties under the applicable IP protection acts in the different territories Management of all applicable propagation functions

Evaluation of new varieties in different climatic conditions

            • Establishment in secure evaluation blocks
            • Capturing of evaluation data
            • Processing of evaluation data
            • Post-harvest storage evaluation
            • Reporting to the variety owner of all development aspects

Commercialisation of new varieties

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Permit application and import logistics

SCD will ensure that the necessary import permit is supplied, the parcel is tracked, custom cleared and established in quarantine

Quarantine (Administered by the South African Department of Agriculture) 18 months

SCD Appoints a dedicated team member who regularly visits the quarantine facility to ensure that the material receives the optimum treatment and the relevant indexing is performed to reach a prompt release and issue of propagation material

Material released to the importer (+- 24 Months)

Stargrow has its own nurseries where propagation of the new variety will then be facilitated. By having this done "in-house" Stargrow will have full control over any plant material that is planted and distributed. Commercial propagation is also facilitated at these sites

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Plant Breeders Rights - PBR

South Africa is a UPOV member country, therefor adequate legal protection exists for effective control of varieties under the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act. PBR application and management is another important responsibility of SCD. SCD will together with the owner ensure that the necessary application documents are being completed and submitted. Description of the variety starts as soon as the plants bear their first fruit. If the variety is believed to be unique, distinct and uniform, Plant Breeders’ Rights can be granted. SCD is currently involved in the management and maintenance of more than 70 PBR protected varieties and another 130 have been provisionally protected and are currently undergoing technical examination


PBR protection is only one aspect of the protection of a variety under Stargrow’s management. Further to PBR protection SCD is also dedicated to contractually protect the variety in consultation with an expert legal team where necessary

Secure test sites

SCD has established secure evaluation plots at different locations in the Western Cape to offer optimal growing conditions. Further, Stargrow would establish secure evaluation sites at growers in different climatic conditions under a non-propagation testing agreement where it is allowed under the head license

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Production nurseries

Stargrow has its own commercial nurseries situated in Citrusdal (Rooihoogte), Kouebokkeveld (Suikerbosrand) and Clanwilliam (Marthinusrust) in the Western Cape. All the nurseries are certified to conform to the standards required for the Southern African Citrus and Deciduous fruit Improvement Schemes. We are thus able to produce and supply high quality certified trees to all growers across South Africa.
All propagation aspects of trees are undertaken at the various nursery facilities and are managed by dedicated experienced production teams.

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Evaluation process

SCD has a dedicated team that is responsible for the evaluation of new varieties. The main objective of this team is to gather the necessary data during the year to efficiently and effectively evaluate varieties with the aim of commercialization. Varieties are evaluated compared to industry standards. The team, led by our chief evaluator, consists of trained and experienced staff with a technical background. In addition SCD consult with independent marketers, consultants and growers giving exposure to new varieties and to get feedback on the market acceptance of a new variety.
The following data is recorded by our evaluation team at specific times during the year and include:

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This evaluation data is then interpreted and will be presented in a comprehensive evaluation report to the owner of the variety according to the terms of the Testing and Evaluation Agreement.

Breeding program

SCD also has its own breeding program for pome, stone fruit and table grapes. The main goal of the program is to provide new varieties to contribute to sustainable production. Focusing on local challenges such as climate adapted varieties along with varieties from early to late and good production.
Stargrow is a member of the INN (International New Variety Network) which is a partnership with international nurseries and breeders which work to the advantage of both parties.

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Commercialisation of new varieties

Stargrow is developing and managing varieties according to the different commercial models. These models include:

        - “open model”: any grower can plant the variety and any marketer can market the fruit.
        - “semi open model”: any grower can plant the variety and only specific marketers are appointed that can market the fruit.
        - “closed model”: selected growers can plant allocated hectares of the variety and only certain marketers is appointed that can market the fruit.

A dedicated financial team is in charge of managing the royalty model according to the specific development model of the variety and according to the terms and conditions of the head license agreement.

Please contact us for any additional information or further correspondence:

Email us at: cultivar @ stargrow . co . za