African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6693

Full Length Research Paper

The Impact of contaminated fertilizer on pineapple growers in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

  Gary Hill1, Gavin Fraser1* and Lloyd Baiyegunhi2
  1Department of Economics and Economic History, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. 2Discipline of Agricultural Economics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 May 2012
  •  Published: 17 July 2012



A framework has been established to determine the economic impact of contaminated fertilizer on pineapple growers in the Eastern Cape. Farmers in the region unwittingly made use of contaminated fertilizer which infected pineapples with higher than permissible levels of the heavy metal toxin, cadmium. The fruit was deemed unfit for use, translating into large financial losses for growers and influencing all participants in the industry. The pineapple trade was devastated. Pineapple production costs and revenues are adapted from previous studies as much of the necessary data was sub judice because of the pending legal action. Despite the problems with data, it was established that the farming operations were severely compromised because of the contamination.


Key words: Cadmium, fertilizer, crop contamination, pineapple, Eastern Cape.