The objectives of the Protein Research Foundation (PRF) can be briefly summarised as the funding of research aimed at more effective utilisation of protein currently used in animal feed, and increased local production of protein to replace imported protein used for animal feed. The greater part of the funds allocated for research focuses on the latter which, in turn, goes hand in hand with technology transfer - which plays an increasingly important role in the PRF's efforts.
This research report aims to provide a brief account of the research funded by the PRF in an effort to achieve these objectives, as well as related policy resolutions and other activities.
The contractors used by the PRF in various regions to promote the different crops identified by the PRF have already been mentioned in previous reports. Given the expansion of the PRF's activities, increasing attention was given during the year to co-operation with the respective provincial departments of agriculture as well as other organisations that already undertake research on a contract basis on behalf of the PRF in an effort to relieve the pressure on the PRF.
It is disappointing to note, however, that agricultural co-ops and agricultural companies are to a large extent scaling down and have even cancelled all aspects relating to technology transfer. The PRF has great appreciation for those organisations that continue to provide these services, while working together in an attempt to offer the producer a better dispensation.
Years of co-operation with various organisations have also borne fruit. A first patent was registered jointly with the ARC while a soybean cultivar with specific properties was also identified in conjunction with the ARC and has already been contracted to a third party.
Unfortunately three members of the PRF Board of Trustees resigned during the year, either for retirement purposes or because of changes in their field of specialisation. Nominations to fill these vacancies are currently awaited.
In general the Board is of the opinion that the PRF has had a stimulating and successful year although much work still has to be done to come closer to achieving the objectives pursued.