21st Annual Indigenous Plant Use Forum Conference

2018 marked the 21st Annual Indigenous Plant Use Forum (IPUF) Conference hosted at Surval Boqtique Olive Estate in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa from 01 – 04 July 2018.

IPUF: A Very Short History

IPUF, first launched in August 1992, aims to “promote the cultural, socio-economic and scientific benefits to be derived from the sustainable use of the southern African flora”. Since its inception, the conference has been hosted in various locations across South Africa. The IPUF conference is a unique, multicultural, multidisciplinary event that provides an important platform for businessmen, academics,  students, anthropologists, resource managers, conservationists, policymakers, as well as anyone with an interest in the sustainable use of southern African flora, to meet and discuss a wide range of topics. The first Chairperson of IPUF was Dr Carl Albrecht and since 1996, UJ’s very own Prof Ben-Erik van Wyk has been the current presiding Chairperson. Although IPUF itself has been running for 26 years (1992 – 2017), this conference marks the twenty-first of its kind, in its current format.

This Year’s IPUF Theme

The theme of the conference was “Bridging the gap between academic research and product development” and covered presentation topics such as: Ethnobotany, Plant Chemistry, Horticulture & Crop Development, Biological Activity, Quality Control, as well as a session on topics relating to the overall theme. The conference showcased 51 oral presentations and 22 poster and flash presentations. 17 local institutions attended and one international – Griffith University, Australia.

ACDB Students Take Home Awards

IPUF presents several award opportunities to both students and indigenous plant use products. For the student awards, there are two categories: ‘Best Paper Presentation By a Young Scientist Award’ and ‘Best Poster Presentation’. This year ACDB is very proud to announce that two of its students won prizes.


Ryan D. Rattray won the ‘Best Presentation by a Young Scientist’ award for his presentation entitled “Counteracting counterfeits: Using DNA and Chemical Analyses to Authenticate Pelargonium Herbal Extracts”. In addition, Estherna Pretorius won the ‘Second Best Paper Presentation by a Young Scientist’ for her oral presentation entitled “DNA Barcoding – Promising to Determine Adulteration in Herbal Products Containing Harpygophytum spp.”

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