SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 9 February 2022 at 10:00 at the PRF Office building and also by means of a virtual platform (MS Teams)

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened in prayer by Mr C Louw with reference to Proverbs 16.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed everyone to the meeting with a special welcome extended to Dr Rene Prins from Cengen and Dr Solomon Ntladi from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

  3. Attendance


    Ms A Botha Chairperson
    Mr G Keun Chief Executive Officer
    Ms A Prinsloo Bureau Veritas
    Mr PA Visser SA Peanut
    Dr A van der Vyfer SACOTA
    Mr A Van Rensburg Tiger Brands
    Mr B Schultz SAGIS
    Mr C Vercueil Grain SA
    Mr GC Nortje GWK
    Mr CJ Louw Grain SA
    Ms C Laubscher RCL Foods
    Mr D Boltman LB Nuts
    Mr E Goldschagg SANSOR
    Dr E Briedenhann OAC
    Mr G Van Wyk VGM
    Mr H Lazarus LB Nuts
    Mr H Engelbrecht PPECB
    Mr J Greef SA Peanut
    Mr K van Huyssteen SANSOR
    Mr GL de Kock Roba Foods
    Ms M Mamogobo Bureau Veritas
    Ms M Du Preez PRF
    Ms M Scheepers DALRRD
    Ms M Mattsson Bridge Procurement
    Mr N Wegner PPECB
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr PJ van Heerden PPECB
    Ms P Mondhlane Bureau Veritas
    Dr R Prins Cengen
    Ms S Heilbron PPECB
    Dr S Ntladi ARC-GCI
    Ms S Steenkamp ARC-GCI
    Ms L Swart SGS
    Mr T Clark RCL Foods
    Mr TG Jansen C. Steinweg Bridge
    Mr RW Higgs Triotrade
    Ms W Haasbroek SGS
    Ms W Louw SAGL
    Mr W Snijman ARC-GCI


    Mr L van der Walt Grain SA
    Mr W Lemmer Agbiz Grain
    Mr T Prinsloo ARC-GCI
  4. Governance/Personalia

    The Chairperson reminded the forum members that the terms and rules of the Competition Commission needed to be considered.

    It was noted that Mr Luan van der Walt would be leaving Grain SA by mid-March 2022. He was thanked in his absence for the valuable contributions made to the Forum and wished well in his future endeavours.

  5. Confirmation of agenda

    The agenda was adopted with minor amendments noted:

    1. Item 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 would be combined and the Cultivar DNA presentation from Cengen would be included as part of item 7.2.3 (Research Projects).
    2. It was requested that the topic of Transparent Market Information be added to item 7.4 Industry infor­mation as per previous minutes.
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 24 August 2021


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum, held on 24 August 2021, be approved.
  7. Matters for discussion

    1. Strategy/Organisational Structure

      1. Groundnut Value Chain Group

        No further meetings to that held on the 23 August 2021 was convened. The Group would be reconvened as and when required.

      2. Operational Co-ordinating Position

        Based on the strategic discussions of 2021, the Constitution and forming of the South African Groundnut Association, representing selection, processing and marketing sectors of the industry, were being finalised and it was considered that the position was best addressed by this association; as such the item would be removed from this forum's agenda noting that the association would be represented at the forum.


        1. That the Operational Co-ordinating Position form part of the South African Groundnut Association.


        2. That the South African Groundnut Association be represen-ted on the SA Groundnut Forum.


    2. Research and Technology Transfer

      1. Breeding Programme (Dr Solomon Ntladi)

        The ARC Groundnut Breeding Programme presentation was tabled. (The presentation refers). The following salient points were noted:

        • ARC worked with industry stakeholders to address challenges; the focus of the current breeding program is to sustain the industry by introducing new and higher yielding groundnut varieties that met market expectations.
        • The Potchefstroom ARC based breeding programme had been mostly addressing disease resistance, high oleic acid, early maturity and high yield/bigger seed;
        • Details of the cultivar trials and cultivar selection process were noted, which included single plant selections based on traits and new line evaluations in three locations, including new lines from ARC and ICRISAT sources;
        • Cultivar evaluation trials were being conducted in seven locations including eleven cultivars and evaluation of eight new lines;
        • Details of the Seed Multiplication Programme were noted;
        • Going forward, the breeding program focus included the import of germplasm from colla­borators, the re-introduction of green-house assisted breeding, molecular markers to comple­ment conventional breeding programme, and intensifying stakeholder collaboration;
        • The various contributors were acknowledged. The forum acknowledged the practical nature of the work being done. Dr S Ntladi responded to the maturity and cultivar considera-tions noted by Mr A Visser; and
        • The Chairperson indicated that the forum was available for support and indicated that a short article would be considered for publication.


        1. That a short article would be considered for publication.


      2. Cultivar Trials – Cengen Presentation (Dr Rene Prins)

        The Cengen presentation was tabled. (The presentation refers). The following salient points were noted:

        • A background to the integrated research approach adopted by the laboratory in the study of the genetics of useful characteristics of food plants, indicated how the work benefited the agricultural sector;
        • The 19-year-old world class laboratory was approximately 75% focused on Cereals R&D work; with other areas of focus being barley and pathogen and shorter-term commercial services (to date 280 projects for 82 clients covering 25 different crops and organisms had been undertaken in addition to over 50 R&D projects for the Wheat and Barley industry);
        • The Groundnut research was premised on the request to establish a DNA Crop Fingerprinting Tool and assess the purity in selected sources (three seed sources, five cultivars), marker pattern details were noted as well as the approach and methodology adopted for the experimental plan;
        • Details and characteristics related to marker testing and optimisation were reviewed and summarised;
        • Preliminary fingerprint findings highlighted that researching the purity of the sources was important;
        • The experimental plan (based on three sources, eight seeds/nuts, and five cultivars) would seek to screen 120 individual plant samples with the 12 best markers. Germination and use of three additional ARC 'Genebank' leaf samples would also be conducted as part of a second round. A spreadsheet was tabled highlighting the outcomes of step 2, noting that additional research was required from step 3;
        • Depending on the outcome of the second germination phase, Dr R Prins indicated that a further meeting with the ARC may be required to clarify the status of the project and purifying process; this would include sampling some of the other ARC plants representing the three sources. The option of verifying purity earlier in the process was proposed noting that this could only be established post step 3 and once the 'true' fingerprint of each variety was known; and
        • The Chairperson proposed that the team meet online to determine whether the scope of the project and plan should be extended and to present the outcome to the forum.


        1. That the status of the project and purifying process be clarified; that the team meet online to determine whether the scope of the project and plan should be extended and to present the outcome to the forum.

          Mr Keun

      3. Research Projects

        1. Peanut Smut

          The importance of protecting the local groundnut industry of inadvertent contamination with the Peanut Smut virus was again reiterated. Updated, but preliminary copies of the import requirements (for Phytosanitary certification or declaration) from DALRRD Plant Health had been received. The rules addressed the South American exporting jurisdictions as well as any other country seeking to export seed and raw product intended for further processing and consumption to South Africa. The final versions of the updated import requirements would be circulated to the forum for information once received from DALRRD (and after accepted by the specific exporting counties' certifying authorities).


          1. That the updated standards of the import requirements would be circulated to the forum for information.


        2. Research Funding 2022/2023

          A new project proposal, "Addressing Aflatoxin contamination in the South African peanut value chain", had been received and was still under consideration. A list of projects approved specifically for groundnuts for the new financial year would be drafted.

          In respect of projects the Sunflower, Soybean and Canola topics were well addressed, but Groundnuts was not well researched. The forum was invited to propose potential or necessary research (including transformation projects) in order to ascertain whether suitable researchers and funding could be allocated to these topics.


          1. That a list of projects approved specifically for ground-nuts for the new financial year would be drafted.

            Mr Keun

          2. That the forum propose potential or necessary research (including transformation projects) in order to ascertain whether suitable researchers and funding could be allocated to these topics.

            Mr Keun

    3. Tariffs and Levies

      1. Import Tariffs

        A MOU had been signed with DTIC in July 2021; the two applications for import tariffs (Roasted Groundnut and Peanut Butter) were confirmed pending review and a decision by Minister Patel. A general delay was being experienced with ministerial approvals and the consultants had advised that the inaction presented an undue delay in finalising the applications and could be construed as a denial of administrative justice. The first step would be to communicate in a letter the implications of the delay on the industry; if necessary and approximately two-weeks later, a legal official letter of demand would be submitted. The forum agreed with the proposal.


        1. That a letter be drafted to the Minister outlining the implications of the delay on the industry; if necessary and approximately two-weeks later, a legal letter of demand would be submitted.

          Mr Keun

      2. Leaf Services

        The larger grain groups had lodged appeals to DALRRD stating additional consultation was required for the inspection process to be fully implemented. DALRRD had published the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and the comment period on the document had been extended to mid-February 2022. The large grain group had requested a meeting with DALRRD prior to signing-off on the SOP. Progress on the matter would be provided in due course.


        1. That progress will be provided on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document published by DALRRD.

          Mr Keun

    4. Industry Information

      1. Crop and Area estimates (Ms Maria Scheepers)

        The Groundnut Preliminary Areas Planted to 2022 presentation, 9 February 2022, was tabled. (The presentation refers). The following salient points were noted:

        • Evidence of a decreasing trend, the area planted over the past four years was below the five, ten and twenty-year averages; at 34 000ha in 2022, this being 12% less than what had been planted in 2021;
        • The areas planted for each province over the past ten years as well as the proportion of the national area planted over the same period, were graphically reflected. The Northern Cape proportion of the National area had decreased over time; the Free State proportion had remained stable; Limpopo's contribution had increased over time, similarly the North-West, albeit that this increasing contribution trend was modest; and
        • The revised area planted and first production forecast of the summer crops for 2022 would be released 28 February 2022.
      2. SA Grain Information Services (SAGIS)

        The contents of the document included in the agenda as Annexure D were noted.

        Notice was taken of the presentation in respect of SAGIS, general feedback and market information.

        It was noted that Mr N Hawkins will be retiring and that Mr B Schultz will be taking over the management at SAGIS on 1 March 2022. Mr Hawkins was thanked for his long and dedicated service to the agricultural sector and specifically his contributions to the Forum. He was wished well in his future endeavours.

      3. Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) (Mr Hein Engelbrecht)

        Notice was taken of the presentation of Mr Engelbrecht in respect of the PPECB Aflatoxin report and general feedback.

        The Chairperson undertook to write a letter requesting that all the laboratories that are involved with aflatoxin testing investigate the possibility of collaboration in supplying similar reports or information to the industry.


        1. That the other testing laboratories be contacted to ensure full local / import testing coverage and that the emerging testing patterns be addressed, together with the authorities at an industry level.


      4. Transparent Market Information

        Mr C Louw queried whether the Pricing and Marketing Model had been launched as previously proposed. Noting that the model had not received sufficient attention, the Chairperson suggested that both the existing and independent SAGIS and GrainSA models continue but that some additional information would be incorporated into the industry model which report on farm gate related parity price trends. It was proposed that SAGIS and the forum engage to address the practicalities and formalities of running an industry model.

        Mr N Hawkins indicated that SAGIS, being a data organisation, was not addressing pricing and costing and could not be directly involved in an industry published model; SAGIS could however assist in updating and publishing the model based on industry information.

        Mr C Louw noted that market transparency, including Price Discovery, were important principles for the joint venture to adopt. The meeting agreed that although this model only reports on historical information available in the public domain, that due care will continue to ensure that the requirements set by the Competition Act are strictly adhered to.

    5. International Matters

      1. International Peanut Forum

        The early registration benefit had been extended until mid-February 2022.

  8. Election of Office Bearers

    1. Election of Vice-Chairperson

      The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson term of office is two years and for 2022, the position of Vice-Chairperson is due for election. The Chairperson noted that Mr L de Kock, the current Vice-Chairperson was open to stepping down; however, given his active role in some of the projects, the number of new industry initiatives, and in the interest of continuity, it had been proposed that he continued as Vice-Chairperson for a further year. The proposal was adopted by the forum noting that the tenure of the Chairperson should then also be extended for a further year when this became due for election.


      1. That L de Kock's tenure as Vice-Chairman be extended for a further year.


  9. Dates of meetings

    The dates of the next meetings were confirmed:

    • 20 July 2022
    • 25 October 2022
  10. Adjournment

    The Chairperson expressed her gratitude for the contributions and inputs provided by the participants. The meeting was adjourned at 12h24.