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AfriKelp mines health from the sea

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The sea hides many treasures.There is one, however, which is not hidden but very conspicuous because of its vibrant colour – the red and brown sea bamboo found in only a few locations in the world’s oceans, of which one is the southern region along the South African West Coast and in the Gansbaai/Hermanus area.

The high nutrient content, clean water and robust wave action cause the sea bamboo to grow very fast and simultaneously absorb the required nutrient elements, which can be transferred to other plants. This sea bamboo species is one of the fastest growing plants on earth and can reach a height of 15 metres. It will be no easy task to eradicate it from the AfriKelp concession area.

The scientific name of the sea bamboo is Ecklonia maxima and the miracle content, found in high concentrations in the plant, is the plant growth hormone auxin. This is very rich in critical bio-stimulants and natural growth elements (NGEs). AfriKelp was founded in 1971 and is presently part of the Ascendis Group. It has experienced strong growth since its establishment and at present has a harvesting concession and processing plant in Gansbaai. They do testing, blending, packing and distribution at their head office and factory in Cape Town.

AfriKelp’s secret lies in the fact that they can, at all times, provide a uniform product to farmers. A harvesting team leaves for the sea early every morning and hand-cut only selected sea bamboo stalks The bamboo is transported to the factory and processed to deliver an extract containing the correct elements. Due to seasonal and climate factors, the biostimulant and NGE content of the bamboo may vary. To prevent this in the product, a standardised manufacturing process was developed. A sample of each production batch is sent to an independent control laboratory in Germany to ensure that the levels of biostimulants, nutrients and nuclear ingredients remain constant.

The AfriKelp team recently celebrated the launch of their organic plant growth products at their factory in Gansbaai. The firm now also produce a growth stimulant of which the preservatives are also of organic origin.

How does the AfriKelp LG-1 Plant Growth Stimulant work?

When the solution is sprayed on the leaves it is easily absorbed and transported from cell to cell until it reaches the roots to stimulate the growth of existing and new hair roots. The more hair roots there are, the more water and nutrients is absorbed. The hair roots then produce natural growth elements transported upwards by the xylem (the water-conducting tissue in a plant) to stimulate growth of shoots and improve fruitset.

This process takes seven to ten days and produce a stronger and healthier plant which can also protect itself better againist biotic and abiotic stress factors. Eventurally this results in higher yields and better quality crops.

A summary of what the AfriKelp Plant Growth Stimulant offers:

  • Improves nutrient and water absorption;
  • Increases production of natural cytokinin and resultant leaf growth;
  • Improves photosynthesis and carbon hydrate production;
  • Improves fruitset and fruit retention; and
  • enhances fruit production, size, colour and sugar content.

The AfriKelp Growth Stimulant is widely adaptable and farmers can utilise it in mixtures in conjunction with most fertilizers, wetting agents, pesticides, fungicides, glyphosate and other weed killers to eliminate multi-spraying. Elements such as zinc, boron and other microelements can be added to the mix.

Extensive testing has been undertaken on, amongst others, tomatoes, citrus, grapes, almonds, walnuts, raspberries and blueberries.

Control tests over the world have verified the following yield increases:

  • Maize in the USA + 31%;
  • Tomatoes in Mexico + 26,8%;
  • Bell peppers) in India + 27,2%;
  • Strawberries in the USA + 24%;
  • Table grapes in South Africa + 71%;
  • Tomatoes in South Africa + 19,6%;
  • Walnuts in Chili + 11%;
  • Onions in Spain + 6,9%;
  • Sugar cane in Brazil + 85%;
  • Potatoes in Mexico + 50%; and
  • Wheat in France + 9,2%.

“We regard ourselves as the most successful growth stimulant manufacturer and supplier in the world regarding ethical business practice, efficiency en environmental responsibility,” says Kobus Lindeque, managing director of AfriKelp.

Natural solutions are the way to go in future. Contact (landline) 021-551-3556, or email . To ensure healthy production and crop growth you can also visit the Afrikelp website at www

The AfriKelp final product is a biostimulant manufactured so cost-effectively that it is even affordable and viable for extensive maize growers.

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