Innovation and application of technology
One of the major challenges facing the oilseed industry, is the innovation required to meet the ever-increasing demand for oilseeds in an economical and sustainable way. This can only be achieved by using the latest technology and applying best management practices.
Research in South Africa
South Africa is a country that can pride itself on producing world-class researchers within the multiple disciplines surrounding oilseed production – from seed development to agronomy, quality control and human or animal consumption.
There is, however, some concern that young, new researchers who will need to replace the vast experience of our existing structures are in fact in short supply. Institutions that were once focussed on research are in many cases scaling down, while in-house research in private companies continues to increase.
It is critical for the oilseeds industry that technology be sourced globally from countries and institutions where the capacity has already been established. The challenge is to then transfer new technology from these sources to the producer, where the information is most needed.
Making use of symposia such as the recent Protein Research Foundation (PRF) Soya Symposium as well as industry days, make an important contribution to the field of technology transfer. The industry forums also create the platform where information can be exchanged in respect of the main aspects that are restraining production, in order for these problems to receive attention. The onus rests on the entire supply chain – from seed, chemical and fertiliser companies, to producers and researchers – to ensure that we achieve the rapid progress required for the development and exceptional production within the South African oilseed industry.DR ERHARD BRIEDENHANN