National Certificate: Plant Production 48975 NQF Level 2
Learner Guide and Workbook
Module Three

Notes to the Learner

Dear Learner,

Welcome to this Learning programme. We trust that this Learning programme will be of great value to you during your studies and in your new learning experience. To succeed in anything in life requires a lot of hard work.

It will be expected of you to work through this study guide with a great deal of attention. It provides you with information on how to work through the material, details exactly what will be expected of you and what objectives you need to achieve during the study of this Learning programme.

  • Complete your assignments with dedication and submit them in time.
  • Complete the self-study sections for your own benefit. The self-study sections provide you with the opportunity to practice what you have learnt.
  • Act as adult learners

The theory you are learning helps you to understand why you are doing things in a specific way. It also gives you a way to compare what you are doing to the way others do things. However, the only way to become competent is by doing the actual work according to the unit standards. This Learning programme provides you with a step-by-step method that you must apply to all unit standards.

As all parties to this learning intervention have duties and responsibilities to fulfil, so do you, in your capacity as the learner. On the final page of this section, you will find a commitment letter which serves to confirm your commitment to this learning intervention. Please read it and sign it, if you agree thereto. Should you not agree, please notify your facilitator so that the matter can be resolved.

The learning approach

You have to participate and complete tasks. Actively participate in the teaching and learning process.


The learning content will be to your benefit. Be constructive and actively convert your learning by integrating the new knowledge you gain in this learning programme with previous experience.


The learning content builds on your existing experience. The cumulative character of learning implies that we need to build new knowledge into you existing knowledge. Therefore, you have to resort and refer to what you already know to ensure that this learning programme is of value to you

Goal Oriented

Certain goals have to be met to complete the qualification competently. You also have to be goal-directed. Work according to and achieve the learning programme objectives as well as your personal learning objectives. Know what the learning program’s objectives are!

How to complete this qualification successfully?

These guidelines have been compiled to assist you to complete the qualification. This programme is a mixture between a self-study programme and a coaching programme to provide you with the tools that you would need to demonstrate to an independent assessor that you have met all the criteria to attain the qualification: National Certificate: Plant Production.

The National Certificate: Plant Production is an Outcomes Based Qualification. This means that you do not necessarily have to sit in a classroom to learn (who can in any case learn how to run a business by only sitting and listening to a lecturer anyway? – you have to get practical experience!). To attain the qualification, you would have to show that you know, and can do, all the things required!

Any learning does however require effort; and the effort that the average person has to put in to learn the skills in this qualification is reflected in the credits associated with each of the unit standards (learning objectives). Experience has shown that the average learner requires about 10 (notional) hours for each credit attained.

The whole National Certificate: Plant Production qualification consists of at least 120 credits.

This programme is going to be an exciting experience for you since it looks at the world of Plant Production in an agricultural farming businesses aspect from a practical viewpoint.

The Student Guidelines and the rest of this book are structured as follows; Each chapter represents a Unit Standard and therefore each has a title that corresponds with a specific Unit Standard, a set of objectives (which corresponds with the Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria of that Unit Standard) and a list of the Resource Material that would be of assistance to you to achieve competency.

These guidelines and information will therefore not only assist you to start your own business but will be the guiding principles by which you could attain the National Certificate: Plant Production qualification.

It makes absolute sense to obtain the qualification since it will also help you should you ever need to find a job again. Businessmen are known to have to find employment during times of hardship but even subsequent to that, most still return to their own enterprises after a while.

This programme has been designed to meet the outcomes of the Qualification: “National Certificate: Plant Production”. The programme is outcomes based which means that we take the onus of learning away from the facilitator and put it in your hands. The facilitator’s role is to assist you to work through the material and guide you in the activities that will lead you to competence.

Learner Guide Introduction


The purpose of this qualification is to allow Junior Personnel and elected candidates to progress towards a position of farm labourers (operators) with specific reference to Plant Production.

The contextualised purpose and usage of the qualification is as follows:

  • A learner assessed against this qualification will have the necessary competence to participate as part of a working team, performing the agricultural processes as applicable to Plant production in an established and familiar context under general supervision.
  • The Learner will be able to perform directed activities and take responsibility for the guiding others at lower level within a Plant Production context.
  • Competency will be gained in any of the specialized sub-fields of Plant Production as specified under Areas Of Specialization (i.e. Vegetables, Fruit Production, Hydroponics, etc.)
  • The learner will be able to take responsible decisions within a familiar range based on a sound understanding of the basic principles of agri-business and good agricultural practices, in meeting the set objectives and targets within the broader farm plan which includes the economical application of general resources, agricultural production and technical knowledge and skills, all in an Plant Production context.
  • The Learner will be able to carry out familiar procedures in a limited environment and will be able to adhere to the relevant safety, quality, hygiene and technical standards as applicable within the industry.
  • In addition to the above, the learner will be well positioned to extend learning and practice into other sub-fields such as Plant Production and Mixed Farming, since such efforts will only require additional learning within the elective scope of other qualifications at this level.
  • The learner will be well positioned to progress towards higher levels of Management and Technical production practices as defined by qualifications at the next level.
  • Learners will be enabled to actively participate in the Primary Agricultural Sector through the production of quality agricultural products, enhancing the overall agricultural process and gain opportunities to access local, national and international agricultural markets.
  • This qualification will allow qualifying learners to become economically active in farming practices that will have a direct impact on Local Economic Development through the production of food, the improvement of household food security and access to mainstream agriculture.
  • Finally, Learners will be able to guide and direct others in terms of the implementation of smaller development projects within a Plant Production context.


This qualification provides learners the opportunity to gain a qualification in Plant Production. The range of typical learners entering this qualification will vary and includes:

  • Junior farm labourers who wish to progress to the level of Labourer within farming operations in Plant Production;
  • Farm owners, in possession of an equivalent qualification at NQF 1;
  • Learners in possession of different levels of practical experience in farming operations, which will be assessed and RPL’ed;
  • Possible candidates for promotion identified by the community as leaders.
  • Learners may come from both genders.


The learner will engage in supervision and operational activities relevant to Plant Production. Requests and expressions of need for this qualification, coming from the broad, but also specific farming communities (Plant Production) forms the basis for the development of this qualification.


This qualification will form the basis for learners to extend their learning into more specialised areas of plant production and provides the basis of the establishment of sustainable farming operations through the inclusion of a wide spectrum of competencies required by farmers in South Africa.


Whilst technical production orientated competencies are ensured, other aspects such as agri-business and good agricultural practices are included in the range of competencies required by farmers in order to enable them to strive towards agricultural management standards and practices at higher levels.


Competent qualifying learners in this qualification will oversee quality agricultural products in Plant Production whereby enhancing the overall agricultural process and gain opportunities to access local, national and international agricultural markets.


It is assumed that a learner entering a programme leading to this qualification has achieved numeracy, literacy and communication equivalent to NQF 1 and technical skills pertaining to agricultural activities equivalent to NQF 1.


Recognition of Prior Learning:

This qualification may be achieved in part or in whole through the recognition of prior learning. Credit will be given to learning, which has already been acquired, through the appropriate process of assessment.


For example:

Learners who have acquired skills and competencies in this qualification through for instance experience in the industry will be assessed against the unit standards the qualification comprises of prior to entering learning. Credits will be allocated to those unit standards and exit level outcomes in which the learner is found competent. The outstanding unit standards will then be sequenced according to an appropriate learning programme. Should a new entrant into the industry wish to enter this learning programme, recognition will be given to al appropriate learning acquired through the schooling system.

In terms of fundamental unit standards, competencies could be acquired through life experience.


Any learner wishing to be directly assessed may arrange to do so, without attending further training or education. The assessor and learner will decide together on the most appropriate assessment route to take.




Fundamental – A minimum of 42 credits should be achieved in fundamental.

Core – 72 credits should be achieved in core.

Elective – A minimum of 6 credits should be achieved in Elective, depending on the context of application of the unit standards.


Exit Level Outcomes are divided into five categories of competencies, namely:

Fundamental Competencies:

  1. Apply various communication skills within the agricultural environment.
  2. Apply mathematical calculations within the agricultural environment.
  3. Collect and collate agricultural data and recognize and report on deviations.
  4. Explain basic functions of the environment by recognising patterns and processes, knowing local resources and basic sustainable agricultural processes using environmental indicators.