OPDT   OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST
OAC   OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

OPDT
OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST

OAC
OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE


Minutes

Sunflower and Soybean Forum (SSF)
held on 22 April 2008 at 10:00, at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, Rivonia

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with prayer offered by Mr Frans Potgieter.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson, Mr GJH Scholtemeijer, welcomed all to the meeting, with a special word of welcome to Dr Wynand van der Walt, who had recently been appointed as a member of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee (OAC), Mr Wessel Lemmer, Mr Lindsay Dames, Ms Jennifer Tshupe, and Ms Caroline Leswifi, who were all attending a meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum for the first time.

  3. Attendance

    Present

    Mr GJH Scholtemeijer PRF (Chairperson)
    Mr GJ Pretorius GrainSA (Vice-Chairperson)
    Mr L Dames OVK
    Dr M Griessel PRF
    Mr W Lemmer GrainSA
    Ms C Leswifi National Department of Agriculture
    Mr B Makhafola National Department of Agriculture
    Mr M Mosome National Department of Agriculture
    Dr AA Nel ARC-GCI
    Mr FAS Potgieter GrainSA
    Ms M Scheepers National Department of Agriculture
    Ms J Tshupe OAC
    Dr W van der Walt OAC
    Mr G Keun CEO: OPDT / OAC
    Ms E Harmse Secretariat

    Apologies

    Mr S Coetzee PPECB
    Dr H du Plessis ARC-GCI
    Ms A Enslin SAGIS
    Mr DJ Kok Grain Silo Industry
    Mr W Loubser SANSOR
    Mr PG Louw Grain Silo Industry
    Ms L Mellet Marketing Council
    Mr B Prinsloo OAC
    Mr C Smit SWL
    Mr P van Heerden PPECB
    Mr D van Straaten SWL
  4. Personalia

    None reported.

  5. Confirmation of agenda

    The agenda was accepted as it stood, with the addition of:

    • Item 9.3 – Retention of grain as seed.
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum held on 14 November 2007

      Resolved:

      1. That the minutes of the annual general meeting of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum, which was held on 14 November 2007, be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
  7. Matters arising

    1. Marketing aspects

      1. Crop Estimates / Intentions to plant

        (Resolution 7.1.1.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

        The Chairperson tabled the area and second production forecasts of summer crops for the 2007/2008 season which were issued on 27 March 2008 by the Crop Estimates Committee. He called on Ms Scheepers to comment. Ms Scheepers said that the sunflower production forecast of 769 080 tons was the highest since the 2001/2002 season crop, which amounted to approximately 928 000 tons. She reported that the yield per hectare was expected to be 1,4 tons, with 529 300 hectares planted to sunflower. The Chairperson suggested that the cold and frost experienced during the past few days could have a negative effect on the yield.

        Ms Scheepers reported that the soybean production forecast had been adjusted upward by 5,9% from the first estimate of 280 970 tons to 297 250 tons, with an expected average yield of 1,73 t/ha against the 1,29 t/ha of the previous forecast. She said the area planted to soybeans had also been adjusted upward to 171 800 hectares, following on a 5 000 hectare increase in the area planted to soybeans in the Free State. The Chairperson considered the second production forecast of 297 250 tons to represent a reasonable crop, and opened the matter for discussion.

        Mr Potgieter thought the soybean production figures to be acceptable, and reported that the quality of the yield currently being harvested was good, with yields of between 3 and 3,5 tons/hectare being realised. The members were in agreement that the area and second production forecast per province for sunflower seed was acceptable.

        Resolved:

        1. That cognisance be taken of the area and second production forecasts of summer crops for the 2007/2008 season.

          Members

      2. SAGIS

        The Chairperson initiated the matter of the increase in the price paid for sunflower seed during the past few months, and the possibility of an increased production of sunflower in the following season, for discussion.

        Mr Pretorius held the opinion that more sunflower would be produced in the following year, but cautioned that an inexperienced producer should not plant sunflower. He mentioned that sclerotinia was a bigger threat than was thought to be the case, and reported that a producer to the east of Lichtenburg, who had to write off 100 hectares of sunflower due to sclerotinia infection, had indicated that he would not continue with sunflower production. He added that more sunflower would be planted in the western region, where sclerotinia was not considered to be a problem. He referred to the Crop Estimates Committee's forecast of an expected yield of 1,4 t/ha, which he considered to be an anomaly. He said there was a correlation between plant density and yield, and that the ideal conditions expe-rienced during the past season, which had a positive effect on seed germination, resulted in very good yields. He reiterated his view that more sunflower would be planted, but added that production would be increased only by those producers who had achieved success with sunflower production during the past season. He mentioned that the local oil crushing capacity, which was in excess of 1 million tons, could accomodate the production forecast for sunflower seed of 769 080 tons. He said in view of this, he was of the opinion that the price of sunflower would be maintained, that production of sunflower could be increased, and local demand for sunflower seed could be met.

        The Chairperson ruled that the SAGIS information on prices and stock be perused at first, following which the discussion on the future of both sunflower and soybeans for the year ahead could be continued. He tabled the SAGIS documentation included in Annexure C. He referred to the monthly return information contained in the domestic overview, and remarked that 25,2 thousand tons of sunflower had been delivered in the first two months of 2008, and that there had been no imports, while an indicative import parity price of R9 126, 07 was given for EU sunflower seed. He noted that world sunflower production during 2007/2008 came to approximately 28 million tons, with approximately 30 million tons of sunflower produced during 2006/2007. He considered the SAFEX price of R4 680/t for April 2008 to be excellent, and wagered the opinion that there was no good reason for a drop in the price of sunflower. He said soybean oil represented most of the oil imported into South Africa. He said although most of the oil crushing facilities on the East and West Rand were intended for sunflower, those could easily be converted to accomodate soybeans, and that there would consequently not be a problem with capacity. He invited further comment on the production of sunflower during the following season.

        Dr Nel reported that there was an increased interest in the production of sunflowers amongst producers. He said producers were positive and excited about the high yields realised during the past season, as opposed to two seasons ago. Mr Lemmer agreed that the outlook for sunflower was positive. Dr Griessel cautioned that the cost of fertilizer should not be left out of the picture, and added that mention was made that the cost of fertilizer had doubled over the last year, during a meeting of the Canola and Lupin Working Group the previous week. He said discussions with producers indicated that there would be an increased tendency to swing to some extent from maize to soybeans in Mpumalanga, due to the advantageous effect of soybeans on the nitrogen content of soil. Mr Pretorius said he applied the same amount of fertilizer to sunflower as he did to maize at planting, and was satisfied with the yields realised. He added that he did not apply nitrogen, which resulted in huge cost savings, and said it would be interesting if scientific proof that sunflower was not as sensitive as other crops to additional nitrogen fertilization could be found. He said emerging agriculture would contribute to a greater extent to increased sunflower production, and mentioned that Mr Ntsimane had produced 1,5 tons of sunflower per hectare during the past season, where he had only managed to produce in the region of 300 to 400kg per hectare in previous years.

        Dr Griessel remarked that there was a limit to the amount of sunflower oilcake which could be consumed, although there was a huge local market for sunflower oil, which could also be exported. He mentioned that price had an effect on the amount of sunflower oilcake consumed by the animal feed industry. The Chairperson noted that conditions were indeed favourable for increased production of sunflower. Mr Lemmer mentioned that production costs for sunflower had increased by 30% from October 2007, to which the Chairperson responded by pointing out that the production costs of maize would have increased accordingly, due to increased fuel, fertilizer and seed costs. Mr Potgieter remarked that copious amounts of fertilizer had to be applied to maize in order to harvest a crop of eight to ten tons per hectare on dryland.

        The Chairperson introduced the matter of the outlook for soybeans in the year ahead, referred the members to the estimated area planted to soybeans during 2006/2007, which came to 171 800 hectares, and remarked that as much as 240 000 hectares had been planted to soybeans in the past. He said it was clear why producers planted soybeans, as there was a strong demand for soybeans and prices were high, with the current import parity price of Argentine soybeans at R4 815,15 and the SAFEX price at R4 130 for May. He mentioned that the fertilizer costs associated with soybeans did not come close to that of sunflower and maize. He said it was very lucrative and economically feasible to plant soybeans, and opened the matter for discussion.

        Mr Potgieter expressed his pleasure at the increased area planted to soybeans in the Free State, and said this was the region which offered the most potential for increased soybean production. He said producers in the Brits area would probably plant soybeans rather than maize, and that he believed there was a likelihood of increased soybean production in Mpumalanga, as the economy of soybeans was very favourable. Dr Griessel mentioned that Rainbow Nation Renewable Fuels (RNRF) planned to build a biodiesel production plant in the Port Elizabeth area, with the capacity to process one million tons of soybeans, which would have a very positive effect on soybean production. The Chairperson said RNRF had announced that they would be buying soybeans in the 2008/2009 planting season, and intended to trade soybean contracts at the NAMPO Farmers Day during May. He said considering the advantages which soybeans offered with regard to crop rotation, economics, and so forth, there were no limitations to increased soybean production, other than the availability of seed. Mr Dames said producers in the Eastern Free State were not well informed about soybeans, to which the Chairperson replied that the Protein Research Foundation (PRF) planned to launch a generic marketing campaign in support of soybean production. He said SAGIS' information only reflected historical demand for soybeans produced locally, and pointed out that South Africa had to import a lot of edible soybean oil and soybean oilcake to meet local demand. He said it was very important to differentiate between SAGIS' information, and what the real concept of market availability should be.

        Mr Lemmer raised the issue of the price ratio between soybeans and other commodities, and asked what the price ratio should be if a producer were to decide not to take the risks involved with soybean production and rather plant maize. The Chairperson said the maize price fluctuated, and had reached R2 000/t a number of years ago, but that soybeans had for the first time reached a historic high in excess of R4 000/t, and had maintained that position for a considerable period of time. He mentioned that the PRF's financial model was available on the PRF website, and that the price ratio could also be calculated on GrainSA's financial model, by entering the latest fertilizer prices and the current SAFEX price.

        Dr van der Walt said apart from the emotional aspects around the utilisation of staple food in the production of biofuels, he was also concerned about the lack of clarity from Government on their biofuels policy, as biofuel production was not possible without government support. He said as far as he knew, the Americans would plant 6% less maize, and a bit more soybeans this year, and the Argentinians have moved their soybean exports to China, instead of the European Union (EU) as used to be the case. He noted that RNRF would not be able to source sufficient soybeans locally, and that imports would come at a price. The Chairperson reported that the PRF had advised industry not to proceed with the production of biofuels without government approval and support. He said although maize did not form part of the local biofuels policy, Mr Zuma, President of the ANC, had indicated at the GrainSA Congress that food security was prescribed by the South African Constitution, with the result that maize was not included in the government's first five year plan on biofuel production.

        The Chairperson remarked that the international market for soybeans was substantial, with 221 000 million tons produced in 2007/2008. He said while he had observed that the soybean industry in the United States was concerned about maize gaining soybean hectares, during a visit a few years ago, events proved that maize had lost hectares to wheat, with soybeans retaining its position. He said this also answered Mr Lemmer's question on price ratios, as the tremendous increase in the price of soybeans relative to that of maize resulted in producers planting more soybeans than maize. He said the increase in production of soybeans in the United States would not upset the applecart, because of the continued expansion in the biodiesel and bioethanol initiatives in the States. He mentioned that local soybean imports for the purpose of biodiesel production were exempt from the 7,5% import levy. He added that there was a huge potential for soybeans locally, and that producers had to be made aware of this.

        Mr Potgieter said producers' expectations were that soybean prices would increase, as the lowest prices were quoted at time of harvest. He mentioned that the decrease in hectares planted to soybeans in the current season was related to a shortage of seed. He said according to SANSOR, sufficient seed was available for 140 000 hectares in the 2006-2007 season, and that a very small percentage of grain retained as seed could have been used for planting, considering the estimated 171 000 or so hectares planted to soybeans. He said the future for soybeans looked very promising, with input costs being favourable, and taking the advantages of soybeans in crop rotation into consideration.

        The Chairperson reported that the seed producers had, at a meeting held the previous year, complained that the percentage of retained grain used as seed amounted to 85% of the total, with the result that they would not release new soybean cultivars. He emphasised Mr Potgieter's point that only approximately 30 000 hectares had been planted to soybeans using retained grain, which was far from the 85%, as claimed by SANSOR. Dr van der Walt suggested that the figures released by the seed industry could be questioned. He said there was always a balancing act between the commodity price and the seed price, and added that a number of players in the seed industry took a knock, as they had produced too much seed. He mentioned that the market was very unpredictable.

        The Chairperson summarised the official view of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum by saying that there was room for expanded production, especially so in the soybean industry, and expressed the hope that GrainSA would advise producers accordingly.

        Resolved:

        1. That the Sunflower and Soybean Forum holds the official view that there is room for expanded production of sunflowers and soybeans, especially so in the soybean industry.

          Members

    2. Soybean- and Sunflower Cultivar Evaluation Committee meetings

      (Resolution 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

      The Chairperson introduced the matter for discussion, and ruled that the resolutions with regard to the oil content of canola and the proposed study on the application of high oleic acid sunflower cultivars, which were taken at the previous meeting of the Forum, be addressed in the first instance.

      The Chairperson tabled the article titled "Die olie-inhoud van canola". He mentioned that the article indicated that the oil content of canola produced in the Southern Cape varied between 29,0 and 41,4%, with an average oil content of 35,3%; while the oil content of canola produced in the Swartland varied between 28,0 and 37,8%, with an average oil content of 32,8%. He mentioned that certain cultivars produced in Australia had an oil content in excess of 50%. He reported that this matter would be further investigated during a study tour to Australia, which was planned to take place during August and September. Mr Pretorius mentioned that the oil content of sunflower was in the region of 38%.

      The Chairperson referred to the article "Agricol breek nuwe grond met hoë oleïensuur-sonneblom", included in Annexure D. He mentioned that the high oleic acid gene had been included in breeding programmes since the seventies, and that these cultivars have now been released commercially. He reported that GrainSA had requested that a project be launched to highlight the advantages of high oleic acid sunflower oil to the consumers. He said it was claimed that this oil could be more beneficial to the consumer than olive oil, and mentioned that the premium paid for olive oil was well-known. He asked Mr Pretorius to elaborate on the matter.

      Mr Pretorius said Agricol's marketing approach to the high oleic acid sunflower cultivars was disappointing. He said Agricol had made 400 bags of high oleic acid sunflower seed available to NWK, and although he had alerted the oil crushing facility in Lichtenburg to reserve separate capacity for the seed which would be delivered at the end of the season, this had not been done. He said he intended to obtain a list of producers to whom the seed had been made available, so that he could arrange for a few tons of the seed to be processed separately. Dr van der Walt mentioned that the world was moving towards the nutritional improvement of basic crops, including oil crops. He said high oleic oil, as a mono unsaturated fatty acid, offered substantial nutritional and health benefits compared to oils which contained high amounts of saturated fatty acids. He pointed out the necessity of contract production, and keeping the identity of these products separate due to their specific quality. He mentioned that the oil crushing factories and margarine manufacturers would have to be involved in the process of delivering a speciality product to the consumer. He said the opportunities for speciality products were there.

      The Chairperson said GrainSA's request to make funding available for a project on the advantages of high oleic acid sunflower oil would be considered by the Oilseeds Advisory Committee (OAC) and the Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust (OPDT). He added, however, that GrainSA should see to it that a proposal in this regard was submitted, as the OAC and the OPDT did not carry out projects. Dr Griessel said high oleic acid oilseeds were increasingly becoming available, and offered a marketing opportunity that had to be exploited. He said it was not the oilseed industry's duty to do this. The Chairperson suggested that GrainSA approach the processors and retailers, to ascertain if there were opportunities for such products in the market place.

      Dr Nel reported that four high oleic acid sunflower cultivars, supplied by three companies, were included in the cultivar trials that year. He said with the exception of one of the cultivars, which was grey in colour, there was no discernible difference between the seed of high oleic acid cultivars as opposed to the other varieties. Dr Griessel informed the members that a research project on testing conventional, high and mid-oleic acid sunflower seed cultivars at the University of the Free State was currently being funded by the oil seeds industry. Mr Pretorius mentioned the possibility of assisting GrainSA to identify a suitable researcher.

      Mr Lemmer asked whether a conference, where all the role players in the industry could be informed of the advantages of high oleic acid sunflowers, could not be considered as a possible solution. The Chairperson was in agreement, and said research was not considered to be completed if technology transfer had not been effected. He informed the Forum that a sunflower information day was planned for 11 September, and added that GrainSA had been approached in this regard. He asked Mr Keun to report on the arrangements thus far. Mr Keun reported that GrainSA had agreed to assist in sending invitations to the sunflower producers, and to promote the event in SAGrain, by means of advertisements and articles. He said venues in Potchefstroom and Bothaville were being considered. The Chairperson requested Dr Nel, as the leading sunflower researcher in South Africa, to lend some consideration to the issue of promoting high oleic acid sunflower oil, and to also consider becoming involved in the proposed research project, either as part of a consortium of scientists, or as representative of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

      Dr van der Walt reported that an international model for an identity preservation system had been developed, and stressed the importance of considering all the requirements throughout the production chain, to ensure that the speciality value could end up with the consumer. The Chairperson thanked all for their input, and cautioned the members not to underestimate the value of their presence at Forum meetings. He noted the absence of the traders and oil crushers, who were concerned with the discussion at hand.

      The members noted the content of Dr Nel's communication with regard to the high oleic acid cultivars included in the sunflower cultivar trials.

    3. Strategic plan for Grain Industry

      (Resolution 7.4.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

      The Chairperson noted that this discussion item had been on the agenda for some time, and called on Mr Keun to report on developments with regard to the strategic plan for the grain industry. Mr Keun said that the strategic plan had not yet been implemented, and mentioned that a driver for the plan had yet to be appointed, although Mr Leon du Plessis had been approached to act as driver. He said he had approached the other forums with the view to determining which strategic aspects the other industries had addressed. He mentioned that the Wheat Forum in particular had paid a lot of attention to the strategic plan.

      Mr Keun reported that the aspects on which the other industries had focused in terms of the strategic plan included tariffs, market information, crop and area estimates, identifying appropriate research and effecting technology transfer, communications and relations between the various structures within the industry, including contact with the National Departments of Health and Agriculture and the Marketing Council, transport issues specifically with reference to Spoornet, food safety, and black economic empowerment.

      Mr Makhafola mentioned that a special directorate of the National Department of Agriculture dealt with the strategic plan, and said he could not provide any further detail. Mr Lemmer suggested contacting Mr Attie Swart of that department, who had been tasked with the responsibility for the strategic plan.

      The Chairperson ruled that the matter be held in abeyance until further feedback had been received.

      Resolved:

      1. That the discussion item with regard to the strategic plan for the grain industry be held in abeyance until further feedback had been received.

        Members

    4. Soybean rust

      (Resolution 7.5.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

      The Chairperson mentioned that the Protein Research Foundation had established a Soybean Rust Working Group a number of years ago. He reported that the Group met on an annual basis, and tabled the minutes of the meeting of the Soybean Rust Working Group, held on 14 August 2007. He noted that the meetings were well attended, and more importantly, that the members were well representative of the industry. He said he considered the contribution made by the Soybean Rust Working Group to be valuable. He mentioned that soybean rust was one of the issues which would be investigated during the forthcoming study tour to North and South America. He reported that interesting research was currently being done on soybean rust, and mentioned that Dr Caldwell of the University of KwaZulu-Natal was investigating the use of silicon to control soybean rust on soybeans and other fungal pathogens on sunflower and groundnuts. He invited interested parties to attend the next meeting of the Soybean Rust Working Group, which was to be held on 12 August, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Pietermaritzburg campus.

      Mr Potgieter voiced his concern that rust had been detected on soybeans in Groblersdal. The Chairperson informed the members of the Forum that funding had been granted to the Agricultural Research Council's Grain Crops Institute to run a project concerned with the early detection of soybean rust, and timeously alerting producers to implement preventative measures. Mr Keun mentioned that the office of the oilseeds industry offered a service by which interested parties were alerted that rust had been detected, via electronic messaging. Mr Potgieter conveyed the producers' gratitude for this service, and added that the alerting service was also supported by GrainSA.

    5. Consumption of edible oil in South Africa

      (Item 7.6 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

      The Chairperson reported that Mr Moosa of the Oil Crushers' Association had been approached with the view to obtaining more clarity on the actual consumption of edible oil in South Africa. In response to the Chairperson's request for feedback, Mr Keun mentioned that Mr Baker of the Association had been tasked with a project to source information in this regard, but that no progress reports had been received. The Chairperson mentioned that a thumbsuck figure of 840 000 tons of edible oil consumed locally per annum had been mentioned, of which less than 50% was produced locally. He undertook to keep the Forum informed on this matter.

      Resolved:

      1. That further information on the local consumption of edible oil be awaited.

        Members

    6. Representative of Emerging Farmers: GrainSA

      (Resolution 7.1.2.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

      The Chairperson said the Forum had previously determined that it would be desirable if emerging farmers were represented on the Sunflower and Soybean Forum. Mr Keun reported that he had communicated with GrainSA in this regard, and that he had been advised to invite Mr Jabulani Zitha to attend Forum meetings as an emerging farmer.

      Noted:

      1. That Mr Jabulani Zitha would attend future meetings of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum as a representative of emerging farmers.

        Members

    7. Grading regulations for sunflower and soybeans

      (Resolutions 9.1.1 and 9.1.2 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

      The Chairperson tabled Annexure F, in which the draft regulations relating to the grading, packaging and marking of sunflower seed intended for sale in the Republic of South Africa, as well as said regulations relating to soybeans, were included for the Forum's information. He informed the members that the grading regulations had been forwarded to GrainSA, as the interested party. Mr Potgieter reported that the grading regulations relating to soybeans were still to be discussed with the Grain Silo Industry, as clarity had to be obtained on the inclusion of certain sclerotinia percentages in the regulations. Mr Pretorius said sunflower producers had voiced their concern that the increased percentage of damaged seeds allowed would have an effect on the price.

      Mr Makhafola reported that representations with regard to the proposed grading regulations had yet to be received from the various role players, and added that the Grain Silo Industry had on request been granted an extension of time, as certain issues still needed to be resolved. He said the proposed gradings would be attended to once the Grain Silo Industry had taken a position on the matter.

      The Chairperson said he accepted that GrainSA was in direct contact with the National Department of Agriculture, as Messrs Pretorius and Potgieter, as chairpersons of GrainSA's Sunflower and Soybean Working Groups respectively, were aware of the proposed gradings. The Forum took cognisance of the draft regulations relating to the grading, packaging and marking of sunflower seed intended for sale in the Republic of South Africa, as well as said regulations relating to soybeans.

      Resolved:

      1. That cognisance be taken of the draft regulations relating to the grading, packaging and marking of sunflower seed intended for sale in the Republic of South Africa, as well as said regulations relating to soybeans.

        Members

  8. Research

    1. Sclerotinia survey

      (Resolution 8.2.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007)

      The Chairperson referred the members to discussion item 8.1, and said the sclerotinia survey, which the Crop Estimates Committee undertook annually, had found that there had been a decreased occurence of sclerotinia during the 2006/2007 production season compared to the previous season. Ms Scheepers confirmed that the survey on the occurence of sclerotinia, as well as the survey on the damage caused by pigeons on sunflower, would be carried out during the present season.

      The Forum took cognisance that the Crop Estimates Committee would report on the survey on the occurence of sclerotinia during the 2007/2008 season at a future meeting of the Forum.

      Resolved:

      1. That cognisance be taken that the Crop Estimates Committee would report on the survey on the occurence of sclerotinia during the 2007/2008 season at a future meeting of the Forum.

        Members

    2. Damage caused by pigeons on sunflower

      (Resolution 8.3.1 of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum minutes of 14 November 2007 and resolution 8.2.2.2 of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee minutes of 28 January 2008)

      The Chairperson reported that he had received information that the problem of damage caused by pigeons on sunflower was on the increase. He said a directive had been received from the Oilseeds Advisory Committee to approach persons who were knowledgeable about this issue, and to investigate the possibility of establishing a research project to assist the farmers in solving the problem. He reported that Prof Boumann of the North West University had indicated that Dr Ray Jansen of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) may be able to undertake such a project. The members of the Forum took cognisance of this information, and noted that feedback on the matter will be provided as and when available.

      Noted:

      1. That feedback on the matter of pigeon damage to sunflower will be provided as and when available.

        Members

  9. Additional matters

    1. Information days

      The Forum noted that a Sunflower Information Day aimed not only at sunflower producers, but at the sunflower industry at large, is to be presented on 11 September. The members also took cognisance that an international speaker would be invited to address the audience, and that the latest research results would be elaborated upon.

      Noted:

      1. That a Sunflower Information Day, aimed not only at sunflower producers, but at the sunflower industry at large, is to be presented on 11 September 2008.

        Members

    2. Registration of affected groups

      The Chairperson called on Mr Keun to elaborate upon the National Agricultural Marketing Council's (NAMC) request to groups directly, or potentially directly, affected by the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act (Act no 27 of 1996), to register with the NAMC.

      Mr Keun reported that he had discussed the request with representatives of the NAMC, who had indicated that the request was done on a routine basis every second year, in order to update the NAMC's database of affected persons within an industry. He said neither the Oilseeds Advisory Committee nor the Forum were considered to be affected groups. He added that the NAMC had undertaken to provide him with the updated database of affected groups within the oilseeds industry, so that he could ensure that all affected groups were included on the mailing list of the oilseeds industry.

    3. Retention of grain as seed

      The Chairperson invited Mr Potgieter to take the floor, as he had requested that the discussion item be added to the agenda. Mr Potgieter reported that the matter with regard to imposing a statutory levy on soybean producers, with the view to supporting the development of new soybean cultivars, was discussed at the recent GrainSA Congress. He indicated that the possibility of imposing such a levy resulted from the practice of using retained grain as seed, instead of buying new seed. He said Government's approval of the statutory levy would be subject to the support and cooperation of the industry as a whole. The Forum took cognisance of GrainSA's intention to apply to the National Department of Agriculture for a statutory levy to be imposed on soybean producers, in order to support the development of new soybean cultivars.

      Resolved:

      1. That cognisance be taken of GrainSA's intention to apply to the National Department of Agriculture for a statutory levy to be imposed on soybean producers, in order to support the development of new soybean cultivars.

        Members

  10. Dates of meetings

    The dates of meetings of the Sunflower and Soybean Forum for the remainder of the year were confirmed as

    • 5 August 2008, and
    • 17 November 2008.
  11. Adjournment

    The Chairperson thanked the members of the Forum for their attendance at, and contributions to, the meeting. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 12:30.