Plantings and production

Groundnuts are mainly produced in the North West Province (61%), Free State (24%) and Northern Cape (11%).

An estimated 82 600 ha were planted to groundnuts for commercial use during the 1999/2000 production season, as against 94 550 ha the previous season, with an expected crop of 122 261 tons as against 124 343 tons. The decrease in plantings was mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions during planting time. However, favourable weather conditions that prevailed during the growing season, resulted in a good yield of 1,48 t/ha for 1999/2000.

A survey, which was done during August 2000, indicated that producers intended to plant 70% more groundnuts for 2000/01 than during the 1999/2000 production season. The expected increase in the planting of groundnuts can mainly be ascribed to the fact that producers intended to plant less maize.

Plantings, production and the yield of groundnuts from 1995/96 to 1999/2000 are as follows:







Plantings (ha)

Production (t)

Yield (t/ha)

152 000

130 300


95 000

95 300


59 100

65 460


94 550

124 343


82 600

122 261


It is estimated that the developing agricultural sector produced between 7 000 and 14 000 tons of groundnuts per year during the past 5 years.

Producer prices

The average producer prices of groundnuts from 1995/96 to 1999/2000 are as follows:








Producer prices

2 200

1 001

1 976

1 538

2 461

The producer price for groundnuts increased by 60% to R2 461/ton during 1999/2000. The domestic price is more or less on a par with the international price and is not influenced much by the size of the local crop, because only a fraction of the domestic crop is produced for the international markets.


The local consumption of groundnuts for 1999/2000 is estimated at 67 000 tons, of which 8 000 tons are used for oil and oil cake, 22 000 tons for peanut butter, 28 000 tons for the direct consumer market, 4 000 tons for seed and the rest for on-farm uses. The per capita consumption is estimated at 1,78 kg, as against 1,54 kg for 1998/99.

Trade balance

Local stocks of groundnuts at the end of February 2001 are expected to be 72 000 tons. Exports of 15 600 tons of groundnuts have already been taken into consideration to arrive at this figure. It is estimated that between 30 000 and 50 000 tons of groundnuts are exported annually. Therefore, it is expected that more exports will take place before the end of the 2000/01 marketing season.


On 30 June 1998, the Oilseeds Board terminated its functions. All assets of the Oilseeds Board were trans­ferred to the Oil and Protein Development Trust to be used for the benefit of the whole oilseeds industry. No statutory levies are applicable and the marketing of oilseeds is free from government intervention. With re­gard to exports, phytosanitary requirements and quality standards must be adhered to and a PPECB certi­fi­cate must be obtained.

The information function is performed by Grain South Africa and the South African Grain Information Services (SAGIS), a section 21 Company funded by, amongst others, the oilseeds industry. Notices regarding Registration and Records and Returns were promulgated in the Government Gazette to be administered by SAGIS.

Research is financed with income from the Trust and performed by the ARC, CSIR and other organisations.

Sweet lupines