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Research Report 2012/2013



Policy resolutions

One of the most important policy resolutions implemented during the year was the decision to host the WSRC IX 2013 in Durban from 17-22 Fe­bruary 2013. The Board also resolved to allow Mr GJH Scholtemeijer to accept the position as chairman of the Organizing Committee. In addition, the Board resolved to allow Dr Joseph De Kock to accept his nomination as chairman of the Technical Committee. Both were assisted, with Board approval, by members of the Board, especially the Technical Committee and very importantly, PRF members of staff. The pressure on all was so much worse after the Organizing Committee suffered greatly after being left in the lurch by two so-called internationally recognised companies responsible for arranging conferences. The PRF has high praise for all who helped in any way to ensure the success of WSRC IX 2013. The PRF, the soya community and South Africa are proud of the outcomes of this international conference opened by Minister Derek Hanekom. Those South Africans who attended found it highly informative, and it provided an opportunity to forge good friendships within the international soya community. Two South Africans, Mr GJH Scholtemeijer of the PRF and Mr Willem Engelbrecht of K2 Agri were elected to serve as members of the WSRC Continuation Committee. The next conference will be held in 2017 in Savana, Georgia (USA).

Aimed at active involvement in WSRC IX 2013, the Board accepted an invitation for the PRF to become the first non-American member of the World Soya Foundation (WSF). As this organisation has only just been created there is little to report about it.

The WSRC IX 2013 event emphasised that it is essential to establish an official South African soybean association. Until now, the role and activities of such an association have been fulfilled, ipso facto, by the PRF. In addition, a decision was taken to create a similar association in South African for canola. Significant progress has been made in this respect.

Based on the success and impact of the study to determine the potential of soybean production in South Africa, the PRF decided to request a similar study relating to canola. The decision led to an agreement with Dr Mark Hardy, well-known researcher previously involved with the Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape (DAWC). The work is expected to be completed early in 2013. There is significant interest in and anticipation of the results of this study.

The above-mentioned decisions relating to canola resulted in a Board resolution to work with dedication and effort to uplift canola from its current relatively stagnant position. The first positive results have become apparent during the past two years and these are discussed later in the report. In this regard the Board also resolved to acknowledge the DAWC for its significant contribution to the establishment and promotion of the canola industry. The PRF accordingly acknowledged DAWC with a special award made to Institutions that contributes substantially to our Vision and Mission. The DAWC is only the second institution to be honoured in this way by the PRF.

The renewed action relating to the canola industry led to a Board decision to maintain the canola planning task team.

Co-operation between the PRF and the OPDT has been maintained for several years. However, during the past year an official co-operation agreement between the two parties was drawn up. The PRF acknowledges the work done by OPDT as its partner in terms of WSRC, its co-operation in terms of soybeans and now, during this year, for its co-operation in terms of the canola industry.

In the spirit of co-operation, the PRF decided to incorporate the Soybean and Sunflower Forum Meeting of the Oilseeds Industry into the PRF Soybean Working Group. This incorporation is for a trial period of one year and will be renewed if results warrant this.

Establishing canola in the summer rainfall region of South Africa has been discussed for a number of years. No action in this regard took place whilst clarity was awaited on the position of canola in the Western Cape. Based on the successes described above, the Board has established official contact with institutions and producers currently involved in canola in the summer rainfall region. Progress in this regard will be reported in the next research report.

To ensure continuity on the Board, additional Board appointments were approved during the year. Mr Gerhard Keun, PRF Chief Executive Officer for the past 10 years, was elected as a member of the Board. At the same time, Prof Ferdinand Meyer, Director of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), another institution that has co-operated with the PRF for several years, was co-opted as a Board member, initially for a period of one year according to the PRF policy relating to the appointment of Board members.