South Africa Bioproducts Organization Bio-Expo 2019

2019-10-02 15:02:00

On 2 October 2019 the South Africa Bioproducts Organization (SABO) held a Bio-Expo at the ARC-Vegetable and Ornamental Plants Institute in Pretoria.

The day delivered a number of interesting talks with speakers from manufacturers, suppliers, consultants, academics, commodity organizations and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Highlights included talks on the biological industry globally and in South Africa, the importance of stewardship by all participants in the industry and microbial and macrobial products.

Ms Pulane Modisane and Ms Thembisa Majola from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gave valuable insight into the regulatory aspects of Group 3 fertilizers, biostimulants and bioremedies. Aspects such as the requirements for trials and labels were discussed, and the significant time frames associated with the process (418 days for a label extension; applications containing new molecules taking up to 627 days) was explained.

Dr Elsje Joubert represented the Tree Nut Working Group, and brought the following needs of the macadamia industry to the attention of industry on behalf of the SAMAC R&D Committee:

Pests on our radar currently:

  • Polyphagous shot hole borer: two confirmed reports: one each KZN North and South Coast
  • Helopeltis spp (Mosquito bugs): currently affecting young flush and flowers especially in Mozambique, Zambia, cashew in Ghana
  • Macadamia felted coccid: Mostly Mpumalanga, one report on KZN Coast, parasitoid (Metaphycus spp) identified for testing, permits for import acquired, to undergo specificity testing at ARC-PHP, might need to be commercialized at a later stage
  • Citrus thrips
  • Stink bugs
  • Nut Borer Complex
  • Rosellinia necatrix

Biological alternatives that may be considered/need to be commercialized at a later stage:

  • Parasitic wasps (Trichogramma wasps against MNB already used)
  • Viruses (nut borers)
  • Entomopathogenic nematodes (research underway nut orers, thrips)
  • Entomopathogenic fungi (research underway stink bugs, nut borers)
  • Pheromone/kairomone traps/monitoring (required for stink bugs, used in nut borers)
  • Egg traps (required for MNB)

The day presented a valuable oppurtunity to highlight our industry's needs to the manufacturers and suppliers of biological products in South Africa, and we hope that all parties involved will work together to solve the problems in the industry.