deciduous fruit plant
improvement association

In 1954, the Department of Agriculture identified the physical and genetic status of plant material as the most important factors contributing to the increase of agricultural production in South Africa. In 1964, the South African Plant Improvement Association was established to pay particular attention to these aspects of plant material for the wine and deciduous fruit industries. The Department of Agriculture's quarantine facility in Stellenbosch initially identified and tested the deciduous fruit and wine grape varieties (many still used today) to identify virus-free clones and make it available to the industry.

The South African Plant Improvement Organization (SAPO) was founded in 1974 by the Deciduous -, Canning - and Dried Fruit Boards, with the aim of providing improved plant material to the industry. The deciduous fruit industry expanded rapidly and two independent Plant Improvement Organizations - TopFruit in 1983 and Stargrow in 1992, were registered. Meanwhile, in 1988 the Department of Agriculture decided that they could no longer take sole responsibility for the management of plant improvement. Following this, the Deciduous Fruit Plant Certification Scheme was announced in 1993 under the Plant Improvement Act, 1976 (Act No. 53 of 1976).

The Scheme is not compulsory and participation by any organization importing, breeding or selecting new varieties, any nursery or any organization representing producers, is wholly voluntary. The larger majority of breeding programs are managed by the three registered Plant Improvement Organizations, and most tree growers are members of the Deciduous Fruit Plant Certification Scheme. The Inspection Services of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) are fully responsible for all materials not certified within the Scheme. The DAFF Inspectors must inspect all uncertified trees to ensure that the minimum physical and phytosanitary standards of the Act are met. They are also responsible for ensuring that these trees are true- to-type. The DAFF Inspectors are the only officials allowed to prohibit the sale of trees that are non-compliant.

To promote the maximum use of certified deciduous fruit propagation material by all sectors in the deciduous fruit industry.
To exercise the authority, the performance of functions and execution of duties as assigned under the Deciduous Fruit Plant Improvement Scheme in terms of the Plant Improvement Act, 1976 (Act 53 of 1976) to the Executive Council as the authority conferred.
Mr Wiehahn Victor Canning Fruit Producers (Chairman)
Mr Dappie Smit SA Dried Fruit
Mr Hugh Campbell Hortgro Pome
Mr Dana Morkel Hortgro Stone
Mr Burgert van Dyk SAPO Trust
Mnr Michiel Prins Stargrow
Mr Stuart Amos TopFruit
Mr JD van Deventer Deciduous Fruit Nurserymen's Association
Ms Joan Sadie DAFF (co-opted)
Mr Nolan Africander DAFF (co-opted)
Prof Francois Halleen ARC (Co-opted)
Ms Rachel Kriel Secretary
Mr Hugh Campbell Hortgro Science (Chairman)
Ms Sophia Malan SAPO Trust
Mr Michiel Prins Stargrow
Mr Stuart Amos TopFruit
Mr Christo Stemmet Deciduous Fruit Nurserymen's Association
Mr Hennie Gerber BG Plant Inspection Consultants
Ms Lolita Frazenburg DAFF - Diagnostic Services
Ms Isabel du Toit DAFF – Inspection Services
Ms Rachel Kriel Secretary


"Inspiring inclusive growth"

Hugh Campbell
021 870 2900


"Inspiring inclusive growth"

Dana Morkel
021 870 2900


"Canning Fruit Producers Association"

Wiehahn Victor
021 872 1401


"Dried Fruit Technical Services"

Dappie Smit
021 870 2900


“Cultivating future growth”

Burgert W van Dyk
021 888 8463


"Developer of new varieties"

Michiel Prins
021 880 1882


"International leaders in cultivar management"

Stuart Amos
021 874 1033


Members are registered nurseries under the SA Deciduous Fruit Plant Certification Scheme as promulgated in terms of the Plant Improvement Act (Act No. 53 of 1976). The D.N.A. represents members and make inputs to working groups, committees and the boards of the DPA and Plant SA .

JD van Deventer CHAIRMAN
082 896 1048