Agro-processing is the subset of manufacturing that processes and transforms raw materials and intermediate products derived from the agricultural sector, forestry and fisheries for intermediate and final consumption.

The RBIDZ is seeking investors to set up a plant for the agro processing of perishable and non-perishable goods in KwaZulu-Natal. The focus is specifically directed at investors that are export-oriented and have the potential to create significant employment opportunities.

The RBIDZ has identified agro processing as one of the priority sectors. Richards Bay is the ideal location for light to medium, resource intensive industry and agro processing projects. Being within the vicinity of one of the largest deep-water ports in Africa, it serves to boost economic activity and attract international investors.

Agro-processing facility in the RBIDZ

The RBIDZ has earmarked land in Phase 1A on which the agro-processing infrastructure will be located. This is serviced land only two kilometres away from the Port of Richards Bay.

Agro-processing activities at the RBIDZ comprise of two major categories:

Primary – this involves activities such as crop-drying, shelling/threshing, cleaning, grading and packaging.

Secondary – this entails increasing the nutritional or market value of a commodity, and changing the physical form or appearance of the commodity. Examples include: milling grain into flour, grinding groundnuts into peanut butter and pressing juice out of fruit.

Advantages include:

  • High growth in demand of agro processed products both locally and for export
  • Government prioritisation of the sector as a key economic driver
  • Supportive regulatory frameworks in place
  • KZN has favourable climate conditions and a variety of bio-climatic regions and typography allow for virtually any crop to be grown, which makes the RBIDZ location a world-in-one.
  • KZN has the advantage of high rainfall, moderate to subtropical temperatures, access to markets, export facilities, and a growing economy.
  • High export growth potential in sub sectors

World-class solutions include:

  • Serviced industrial land within Customs Control Area (CCA)
  • Business facilitation (one stop shop)
  • Technical assistance support
  • Critical infrastructure and optimising supply chain efficiency by providing appropriate logistics support
  • Comprehensive investor support services
  • The RBIDZ facilitates easy accessibility to government incentives schemes offered by the Department of Trade and Industry available to RBIDZ investors

Specific services offered include:

  • A dedicated warehouse for the export of fresh and value added products
  • A manufacturing facility for various commodities
  • A dedicated warehouse for processed products for export
  • Logistics and strategic linkages with farmers
  • Market intelligence to local producers
  • Service to international investors


Agricultural production is most dominant in the KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN) and includes amongst others sugar cane production, fresh produce production, field crop production, livestock production and forest plantations.

The following primary agricultural industry activities are taking place in KZN:

  • Poultry
  • Flowers
  • Citrus
  • Soya bean
  • Maize
  • Leather
  • Fresh produce
  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Tropical fruits and nuts
  • Forestry and timber
  • Sugar cane
  • Biofuels

The following agro processing industry activities are taking place in KZN:

  • Biofuel
  • Sugar cane
  • Forestry
  • Dairy and beef
  • Frozen fresh produce
  • Leather production
  • Poultry

Areas with great potential that have not yet been explored include indigenous teas and aquaculture.