The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (www.csir.co.za) has selected cold-climate plant species for essential-oil trials for use in the flavour, fragrance, herbal medicine and cosmetics industries.

Agronomy trials at experimental farms of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) (www.arc.agric.za), South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), agricultural colleges and universities based in rural areas will involve Helichrysum odoratissimum, basil, lemon balm, Palmarosa and yarrow.

In the past no essential oil projects funded by the Department of Science and Technology and implemented by the CSIR were based on organic farming principles or organic oil premiums. The purpose of this aspect of the project is to cultivate clusters of highly marketable essential oil species under organic conditions on a single site.  This three-year project has been allocated R5.1 million for its first year; it will create over 50 jobs.