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Cover of Oilseeds Focus Vol 5 No 1 March 2019
WORKGROUP MINUTES ARCHIVES SA GROUNDNUT FORUM 2009 April 2009
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW INDIVIDUAL FILES
 NOVEMBER 2009 APRIL 2009
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE
SA GROUNDNUT FORUM
HELD ON 2 APRIL 2009 AT 10:00 AT THE OFFICES OF THE OILSEEDS INDUSTRY, RIVONIA
1. OPENING

 

The meeting was opened with prayer offered by Dr Wynand van der Walt.

2. WELCOME

 

The Chairperson welcomed all present.

3. ATTENDANCE
 
Present Mr JCG du Preez Chairperson
  Ms R Beukes National Department of Agriculture
  Mr S Coetzee PPECB
  Mr AM Cronjé Tiger Brands
  Ms M Edwards Nola
  Ms A Enslin SAGIS
  Mr W Higgs Triotrade Gauteng
  Mr GTduT Keun CEO: OPDT / OAC
  Mr DJ Kok Grain Silo Industry
  Mr W Lemmer GrainSA
  Mr CJ Lourens RE Groundnuts
  Mr B Makhafola National Department of Agriculture
  Ms C Makobe National Department of Agriculture
  Mr V Mapfumari National Department of Agriculture
  Ms G Mthethwa National Department of Agriculture
  Mr M Mosome National Department of Agriculture
  Ms AE Pretorius ARC-GCI
  Mr J Roux Safrinut / New Nut
  Ms A van Deventer Praxia Trading
  Mr PJ van Heerden PPECB
  Dr WJ van der Walt SANCU / Foodcropbio
  Ms E Harmse Secretariat
 
Apologies Mr A Bosman PPECB
  Mr J Cohn OlamSA
  Mr GL de Kock Roba Peanuts
  Mr O de Witt SA Peanut Company
  Dr J Dreyer ARC-GCI
  Mr N Hawkins GrainSA
  Mr P Louw Grain Silo Industry
  Mr C Mathews Department of Agriculture: Mpumalanga
  Mr C Nortjé GWK
  Mr GJH Scholtemeijer Chairperson: Oilseeds Advisory Committee
  Dr J Swanevelder Independent
  Mr J Vorster NWK
 
4. PERSONALIA
 

None reported.

5. FINALISATION OF AGENDA
 

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

Item 9.7:   PPECB: Inspection tariffs;
Item 9.8:   Rapid alert notifications for aflatoxins;
Item 9.9:   HACCP certification.

6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
6.1 Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 5 November 2008
  Resolved:
6.1.1 That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum, which was held on 5 November 2009, be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
7. MATTERS ARISING
7.1 Good Agricultural and Processing Practices
(Resolutions 7.1.1 to 7.1.5 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 5 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson ruled that feedback on the relevant resolutions adopted at the previous meeting be provided in the first instance. He called on Mr Keun to report on progress attained with regard to the matter of hosting the document on good agricultural and processing practices and the attachment detailing the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles on both GrainSA's website and the website of the oilseeds industry.

Mr Keun mentioned that the document on good agricultural and processing practices and the attachment detailing the HACCP principles would be loaded on the relevant websites by the end of April, following which the media would be alerted to this initiative by means of a press release.

It was noted that the protocol document for the groundnut industry had been forwarded to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Agriculture (DOA), together with the Groundnut Forum's other two documents on quality assurance.

The Chairperson raised the matter of resolution 7.1.4 pertaining to the DOA's fact finding mission into the matter of inspections on farms, which held that the DOA would be provided with the names of the DOA's required number of farmers, representative of the whole spectrum of groundnut producers, ranging from large commercial producers, to emerging farmers in the Mafikeng area, with the Groundnut Forum's official request to the DOA that the processing level be the first point of inspection.

Mr Mosome reported that he had not received any communication in this regard, to which Mr Keun replied that he had sent the information via electronic mail to the DOA in December. Mr Mosome agreed that he would liaise with Mr Keun in this regard. Mr Keun reported that he had also provided the DOA with the contact details of Messrs De Kock, Lourens, Nortjé and Visser, to facilitate the DOA's fact finding mission with regard to on-farm inspections.

  Resolved:
7.1.1 That an electronic copy of the document on good agricultural and processing practices and the attachment detailing the HACCP principles be made available to Grain SA for the purpose of making said documents available on GrainSA's website.   Mr Keun
7.1.2 That a press release be sent to the media after the document on good agricultural and processing practices and the attachment detailing the HACCP principles had been made available on both GrainSA's website and the website of the oilseeds industry.   Chairperson
7.1.3 That the DOA be provided with the names of the DOA's required number of farmers, representative of the whole spectrum of groundnut producers, ranging from large commercial producers, to emerging farmers in the Mafikeng area, with the Groundnut Forum's official request to the DOA that the processing level be the first point of inspection.   Mr Keun
Mr Mosome
7.2 Guideline: Aflatoxin
(Resolution 7.2.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 5 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson raised the matter of the resolution passed at a previous meeting, viz resolution 7.2.1 "That a comprehensive guideline on limiting aflatoxin should be compiled for all legs of the groundnut supply chain ...". He reported that he had discussed the matter with Mr André Bosman, laboratory manager at the PPECB, following which Mr Bosman had compiled a document titled "On-farm aflatoxin testing – Technical Note April 2009", which had been included with the documentation of that meeting. He opened the document for discussion.

Mr Roux indicated that he approved of the contents of the technical note, and added that the document provided a workable solution, in his opinion. He suggested that the technical note be implemented at the various points, so that it could be tested in practice.

Mr Keun enquired if the PPECB would have any objections if the technical note were to be made available on the website of the oilseeds industry, and further enquired which parties needed to be informed that the guideline on limiting aflatoxin infection had been made available. Mr Lemmer suggested that the guideline be presented to the June meeting of producer members of GrainSA's specialist working group for comment, before general release. Mr Roux raised the point that the guidelines were aimed at the processing factories, and would not affect producers.

wing on a short discussion, it was agreed that the document titled "On-farm aflatoxin testing – Technical Note April 2009" would be made available on the website of the oilseeds industry, and that Mr Lemmer would inform the producers that said guidelines had been compiled.

It was noted that the guidelines on on-farm aflatoxin testing would be published and made available under the auspices of the South African Groundnut Forum. The Forum's gratitude were conveyed to Mr Bosman for the effort he had expended in compiling the document.

  Noted:
7.2.1 That the guidelines on on-farm aflatoxin testing under the title "On-farm aflatoxin testing – Technical Note April 2009" would be published and made available on the website of the oilseeds industry under the auspices of the South African Groundnut Forum.   Members
Mr Keun
7.3 Sustainability of the groundnut industry
(Resolutions 7.3.1 and 7.3.2 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 5 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson called on Ms Pretorius to report on her study tour to the United States of America, of which the purpose had been to source technical information on breeding groundnuts.

Ms Pretorius reported that she had only managed to visit Georgia and Texas in the ten days that she spent in the USA. She said she had learnt a lot from the many researchers she spoke to, taking into consideration the local industry's current focus on higher yield, good quality, and high oleic acid content groundnuts.

During her presentation, Ms Pretorius mentioned the following highlights of her visit to the States:

  • Any number of specialist groundnut breeders are doing research at the University of Georgia, in Atlanta, Georgia;
  • During her mission to acquire new breeding material, it became clear that it was very difficult to acquire new material legally, due to the implications of intellectual property rights, and that a material agreement process would have to be drawn up;
  • She however managed to obtain an import certificate for 50 samples of GeorgiaO3L, a high oleic groundnut cultivar, with the assistance of GWK;
  • Information sourced on new techniques were considered to be highly beneficial;
  • The importance of working with wild species, which contain all of the resistant genes which are sought, was noted;
  • Breeding of new cultivars progresses more rapidly, as all breeders are specialists, focussing on one single aspect only, eg root knot nematode;
  • The breeding process is channeled through plant pathologists, working on specific areas;
  • All results are scrutinised by an economist, who works in close collaboration with breeders, plant pathologists and chemists;
  • Economists decide which cultivars are released, and advise producers on best planting options;
  • Research on high oleic groundnuts with nematode, aflatoxin and drought resistance is in the F1 Stage in the greenhouse;
  • Dawson, Texas was found to be cooler than Georgia, and it was noted that cultivars sourced from Texas will perform better locally than Georgian cultivars would;
  • Breeding at Dawson also progresses rapidly, as fifty groundnut breeders, of which twelve are scientists specialising in different areas, are employed;
  • High oleic acid groundnut cultivars are thought to have a third recessive gene;
  • The mechanisms of aflatoxin resistance are being researched;
  • Work is currently underway on sequences, and it is hoped that a groundnut DNA library will be developed within three years. It would be possible to obtain a high oleic acid gene sequence from such a laboratory;
  • The production and processing of any groundnut cultivar other than high oleic groundnut cultivars is prohibited by law in Texas.

Ms Pretorius concluded her presentation by saying that she considered the import of new cultivars to be essential. She said although breeders were willing to supply lines, it was problematical to obtain import permits, as one had to adhere to strict phytosanitary requirements. She thought collaboration with international researchers worked well, as all of the researchers she consulted with, had gladly shared information. She added that she was keeping the lines of communication open via email, and that she was of the opinion that one should not be too shy to ask for information and advice. She also recommended that a greenhouse assistant be employed to lend assistance, as she, as a researcher, had to do technical work. In addition, she indicated that the services of a dedicated biotechnologist would be required, as it was essential to identify markers without delay.

Ms Pretorius said it would also be recommended that specialised apparatus be made available, that a foundation seed company be established, and that more focus be placed on marketing the groundnut industry. She summarised her presentation by reporting that the plan for groundnut breeding was in place, and that her breeding programme with high oleic commercial cultivars was progressing. She added, however, that runners should also be considered, because of higher yield. She mentioned that shorter growers were essential, due to local climatic conditions, and added that material sourced from Texas would serve in support of making shorter growers available locally. The Chairperson thanked Ms Pretorius for her presentation, following which a number of questions were raised and discussed.

The Chairperson referred to the resolution taken at the previous meeting, viz. that the Management Committee be tasked to identify the requirements and priorities of the local groundnut industry in promoting the South African groundnut industry, so that the matter could be reported on at the meeting of the Oilseeds Advisory Committee in April 2009. He reported that the Management Committee had met on 12 January, and that he had compiled a report based on the recommendations of said Committee, for consideration and finalisation by the members of the Forum. He mentioned that the discussions of the Management Committee and the document he compiled were based on a strategic document compiled by Dr Dreyer titled, "Grondbone, op pad vorentoe", which included proposals for sustainable groundnut production in South Africa. He opened the documents for discussion.

The Chairperson raised the matter of bottlenecks in the groundnut industry. Following on a short discussion, the members agreed that aflatoxin was the key constraint in the industry, followed by market requirements, inadequate yields per hectare of existing varieties, marketing to producers and end users, guaranteed consistency of supply, high oleic groundnut cultivars, technology transfer and application of such, and expertise in the long term. The primary constraints in the industry were prioritised in the following order: marketing constraints, which include aflatoxin, consistency of supply, competitiveness, inadequate promotion; and production constraints, which include production costs, inadequate yield, production practices, including management of aflatoxin, and niche markets for specific products.

Ms van Deventer considered economics to be at the heart of the matter, and suggested that an agricultural economist be tasked to investigate the economic sustainability of the groundnut industry, following which production constraints could be addressed and resolved.

The Chairperson referred to resolution one of the Management Committee meeting, which referred to such an investigation. He said he had raised the matter with the National Agricultural Marketing Council in November of the previous year, but that the NAMC had thus far not been forthcoming with a project proposal. He reported that the second recommendation of the Management Committee was that the matter of mechanisation be addressed as a matter of urgency, with the third recommendation being that speciality markets and related products be identified, and pertinent information on local and international trends be sourced and evaluated. He mentioned that the fourth recommendation, viz. identification of key constraints in the groundnut industry, had already been discussed at length.

Following on an extensive discussion of the respective recommendations, it was resolved that it would be recommended to the Oilseeds Advisory Committee:

  • that funding be provided for an economic evaluation of the groundnut industry and the various constraints faced by the industry;
  • that funding be made available to obtain the services of a knowledgeable person in the industry on a contract basis, to provide support services to the groundnut industry;
  • that funding be made available to widely communicate information on groundnut production;
  • that funding of research on breeding high oleic cultivars be continued;
  • that cultivars with increased yield capacity be sourced in the USA and/or other countries;
  • that continued aflatoxin research be supported.

Mr Lourens's offer of financial support to the recommendation that the groundnut industry and the various constraints it faces be evaluated, was noted with gratitude.

The Chairperson ruled that the recommendations of the Management Committee of the Groundnut Forum would be revisited after the study on the competitiveness of the groundnut industry had been finalised.

  Resolved:
7.3.1 That it be recommended to the Oilseeds Advisory Committee that:   Chairperson
Mr Keun
 
a) Funding be provided for an economic evaluation of the groundnut industry and the various constraints faced by the industry;
b) Funding be made available to obtain the services of a knowledgeable persons in the industry on a contract basis, to provide support services to the groundnut industry;
c) Funding be made available to widely communicate information on groundnut production;
d) Funding of research on breeding high oleic cultivars be continued;
e) Cultivars with increased yield capacity be sourced in the USA and/or other countries;
f) Continued aflatoxin research be supported.
   
7.4 Draft regulations pertaining to the grading and packaging of groundnuts of primary producers destined for packaging in the Republic of South Africa
(Resolution 7.4.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 5 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson reported that much attention had been paid to the finalisation of the draft regulations relating to the grading and packaging of groundnuts of primary producers destined for packaging in the Republic of South Africa, as revised and amended by Mr van Heerden. He said the document had subsequently been presented to the groundnut producers' breakaway session at the GrainSA Congress in March for a final decision on the way forward.

The Chairperson mentioned that the regulations had initially been mooted in order to prevent groundnut imports of dubious quality, and that the inclusion of aflatoxin in the regulations was considered to be mandatory. He said this was because most of the imports came through the ports, and that those imports were of high quality, and had to conform to other published regulations for processed groundnuts. He noted that the industry, however, had to accept that it was possible that farmers' stock, with higher aflatoxin levels than local groundnuts, could be imported at lower prices. Mr Makhafola said it was possible to prevent such imports, if the regulations were adopted, as the current legislation could only be applied at the point of sales.

Mr Lourens mentioned that the producers had initiated the drafting of the regulations, and that the processors and traders had agreed that aflatoxin would be contracted. Mr Lemmer reported that the producers had discussed the draft regulations during their breakaway session at the GrainSA Congress, and that the producers had resolved in principle that the draft regulations would be supported, with certain reservations, one of these being that aflatoxin would not be included in the regulations. He said the other reservations are to be discussed at the next meeting of the specialist producers' group, and suggested that an expert from the groundnut industry attend said meeting in order to explain certain matters to the producers. He mentioned that these matters included the contracting of splits, and the remediation of moisture and shell loss.

The Chairperson suggested that the matter be held in abeyance until such time GrainSA's producers had resolved the issues as mentioned by Mr Lemmer, and had discussed the various matters with PPECB, following which the draft regulations relating to the grading and packaging of groundnuts of primary producers destined for packaging in the Republic of South Africa could again be discussed by the members of the Forum, if this should prove necessary.

  Noted:
7.4.1 That certain reservations pertaining to the draft regulations relating to the grading and packaging of groundnuts of primary producers destined for packaging in the Republic of South Africa, as revised and amended by Mr van Heerden, is to be debated by GrainSA's specialist producers group, following which the draft regulations could again be discussed by the members of the Forum, if this should prove necessary.   Members
7.5 Seed scheme
(Resolution 7.5.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 5 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson ruled that the discussion regarding the options for future seed production be held in abeyance until clarity has been established on the possible commercialisation of a number of the ARC's functions.

  Resolved:
7.5.1 That the options for future seed production be held in abeyance until clarity has been established on the possible commercialisation of a number of the ARC's functions.   Mr Keun
Dr Dreyer
7.6 International Standards
(Resolution 7.6.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 5 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson raised the matter of international standards, which had been put forward for discussion as a result of a request which had emanated from buyers in Europe, in order to comply with international labelling requirements on food composition. He reported that he was still trying to source information on those nutritional values of groundnuts which were considered to be the basic and most important for labelling purposes, for inclusion in a small database on the nutritional values of selected South African groundnut cultivars.

The Chairperson ruled that the matter be in held in abeyance.

  Resolution:
7.6.1 That nutritionists be approached in order to ascertain what nutritional values of groundnuts were considered to be the basic and most important for labelling purposes, and that Nola and Tiger Brands would be approached to determine what information was already available for inclusion in a small database on the nutritional values of selected South African groundnut cultivars.   Chairperson
8. INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND MARKETING ASPECTS
8.1 SAGIS – General feedback and market information
 

The members took cognisance of the market information prepared for the Groundnut Forum by SAGIS and dated 2 April, as well as the SAGIS weekly bulletin dated 10 March and the monthly bulletin dated 19 February 2009.

The members noted that both the import and the export parity price for groundnuts would be published in the weekly bulletin with effect from the following week.

8.2 Crop and Area estimates
(Resolution 8.2.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 5 November 2008)
 

The Chairperson called on Ms Beukes to comment on the second crop and area estimates for groundnuts, which was released on 25 March. Ms Beukes reported that the expected groundnut crop for the 2008-2009 production season had remained unchanged at 93 910 tons, and that the area estimate had also remained unchanged at 54 550 hectares, with an expected yield of 1,72 tons per hectare.

Ms Beukes tabled a document pertaining to the number of hectares on which groundnuts were produced under irrigation as opposed to the number of hectares on which groundnuts were produced on dry land. It was noted that the area under irrigation for groundnut production had been estimated at 15 500 hectares, which represented 28,41% of the total area planted to groundnuts.

9. ADDITIONAL ITEMS
9.1 Final report: Evaluation of transgenic groundnut for stress tolerance
 

Cognisance was taken of the final report on the evaluation of transgenic groundnuts for stress tolerance.

9.2 Final report: Greenhouse evaluation of GCI groundnut germplasm and South African groundnut cultivars for resistance against rosette disease
 

Cognisance was taken of the final report on the greenhouse evaluation of GCI groundnut germplasm and South African groundnut cultivars for resistance against rosette disease.

9.3 Fumigants
 

Cognisance was taken of the information pertaining to the analysis of fumigants, as provided by the Grain Silo Industry.

9.4 National Agricultural Research and Development Strategy
 

Cognisance was taken of the preliminary list of potential research areas in agriculture, compiled by the National Department of Agriculture.

9.5 PPECB: Silo Audit Cycle
 

Cognisance was taken of the information on the three year food hygiene and food safety auditing cycle of all registered (Food Business Operator) grain silos.

9.6 Daily import and export of grains
 

It was noted that the National Agricultural Marketing Forum had withdrawn its proposal to impose new statutory measures regarding records and returns on daily imports and exports of grains.

9.7 PPECB: Inspection Tariffs
 

Cognisance was taken of the press release issued by PPECB on 25 March 2009 on the Board-approved levy increases with effect from 1 April 2009.

9.8 Rapid alert notifications for aflatoxins
 

The Chairperson reported that concern had been expressed that nine groundnut export consignments had been rejected. He said PPECB would discuss the matter with their authorising body, the National Department of Agriculture, and that the controls would probably be tightened. Mr Makhafola noted that nine rejections had been received within a time period of six months. He cautioned the groundnut industry to minimise occurrences of this sort.

9.9 HACCP certification
 

The Chairperson called on Mr Kok to comment, as he had raised the agenda item for discussion. Mr Kok said a notice had been published in the Government Gazette of 23 May 2008, which required that all processors of groundnuts were to implement a formal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system before a certain date.

The Chairperson said he was aware of the regulation, which was referred to as Regulation R546 number 31065. Mr Keun confirmed that the Groundnut Forum had already discussed and handled the matter. He said he would resend the notification to all groundnut processors.

  Noted:
9.9.1 That the notification on the implementation of a formal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, as announced in the Government Gazette of 23 May 2008, be resent to all groundnut processors.   Mr Keun
10. MEETING DATES
 

The proposed meeting dates for 2009 were unanimously accepted, viz.
•  23 July (Potchefstroom);
•  4 November (Rivonia).

11. ADJOURNMENT
 

The Chairperson thanked the members of the Forum for their attendance at, and contributions to the meeting, and wished all a safe journey home. There being no further matters for discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 15:15.

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