A learner achieving this unit standard will be able to apply soil nutrient preparations in a safe, effective and responsible manner to the benefit of plant/crop growth.

Learners will gain specific knowledge and skills in soil fertilisation and plant nutrition and will be able to operate in a plant production environment implementing sustainable and economically viable production principles.

They will be capacitated to gain access to the mainstream agricultural sector, in plant production, impacting directly on the sustainability of the sub-sector. The improvement in production technology will also have a direct impact on the improvement of agricultural productivity of the sector

Unit 1

Apply appropriate nutrient substances to soils or crops under close supervision.


  • The ability to apply a pre-measured amount of the correct soil nutrition substance on an indicated area of soil is demonstrated.
  • The ability to identify nutrients that will be applied is demonstrated.


Unit 2 

Understand how to make compost and when to use it.


  • Basic understanding of Carbon-Nitrogen ratios, familiarity with the value of common local sources of organic waste; understanding of the importance of soil organic matter and its role in holding soil nutrients and water, and in combating soil acidity.
  • Making a compost heap, mixing manure (or other nitrogen source) with organic matter, adding appropriate amounts of water is demonstrated. 
  • The composting process is managed and it is recognised when compost is ready to use, and the nutrient-loss dangers of leaving the heap too long is recognised. 

Unit 3

Identify basic symptoms of nutritional deficiencies in different crops.


  • The colour change on plant leaves, and/or fruit/ plant abnormalities, compared with healthy plants is recognised.
  • The position of the discoloured leaves is described.


Unit 4

Demonstrate a basic understanding of soil properties.


    • Soil structure and texture are identified using simple tests/ observations.
    • Composition of soil based on simple tests and observations is described. 
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different soil types in a specific context. 

Unit 5

Apply soil preparation tasks that require hand-held tools and low-technology ploughing implements.


  • The advantages and disadvantages of effective and ineffective soil preparation are described, as well as their effects on plant roots.
  • The function and correct use of simple ploughing tools in soil preparation are explained and demonstrated

Duration: 1 Day

Delivery: Classroom/Online



SAQA ID: 116206

NQF Level: 1

Credits: 5

Certificate Validity: 2 Years