University of the Western Cape
Overview of innovation

The UWC Kraalbos Biostimulant (UKB) is a proudly South African, cost-effective, safe, natural and organic botanical fertiliser and pesticide with promising commercial applications in the agriculture sector. The UKB is a natural plant extract product, derived from the indigenous plant kraalbos (Galenia Africana), containing a combination of several flavonoids that display antimicrobial properties as well as can increase the polyphenolic and sugar content of plants, thereby improving overall plant health and yield.

Based on work done at the University of the Western Cape, spraying the UKB on crops increased the total soluble solids (TSS) content in fruits and vegetables, thereby increasing the sugar content of the plant and the quality of the harvest. As such, it has been registered as a Group 3 Fertiliser under Act 36 of 1947, and its biostimulant activity is patented in a number of territories.

The UKB is also able to increase the polyphenolic content of plants, increasing the health benefits of the plant, as well as the plants' natural defence system against pathogens. When used as an adjuvant in combination with fungicidal/bactericidal compounds (pesticides), the UKB has been shown to reverse resistance of crop pathogens to pesticides, as well as having inherent antimicrobial properties allowing it to act as a standalone pesticide, thereby resulting in less environmental contamination due to reduced use of commercial pesticides.

The commercial value of the patented and registered UWC Kraalbos Biostimulant is thus driven by its special characteristics as a natural chemical-free bio-fertiliser for the organic fertiliser and pesticide market. 

Type of Intellectual Property protection
Innovation Opportunity Type
Technology Readiness Level
Agricultural Research Council