b'PARTNER CONTENTENSURING CONTINUOUS BREEDING AND INNOVATION IN SOUTH AFRICAA 5-YEAR REVIEWW ith an increase in disease pressure and climate changetries. South African producers should have access to the same around the globe its important to ensure farmers havetechnologies and possible advantages these technologies may access to the most appropriate varieties for local challenges.bring as their international counterparts. Self-pollinating crops can be saved after harvesting from oneNew alliances have been entered into with regards to season to the next season. This is common practice in Southwheat breeding programmes, which will further enhance the Africa where approximately 65% of wheat and 80% of soybeansneed for high yielding wheat varieties. A local seed company are produced from farm-saved seed. For this reason, seed andentered into an agreement with NAIB (National Institute of technology companies are hesitant to invest in new variety andAgricultural Botany) in the UK, to collaborate in a project technology development, as their return on investment is inef- aimed at overcoming yield limiting factors in SA, using modern fectual. To ensure that farmers continue to receive the newestbreeding techniques. technology, the South African Cultivar and Technology Agency (SACTA) was established. The main purpose of SACTA, is to collect and distribute statutory levies for breeding and technol-ogy that have been imposed on specific self-pollinated crops.Wheat and barley were the first two crops on which a levyAPPROXIMATELY 65% OFwas imposed, followed by oats and soybeans. The average rate of levy collections on the most important crops is 90% at aWHEAT AND 80% OF SOYBEANS total cost of about 5.5% of gross income. It is clear that, South African farmers and seed companies can collaborate to ensureIN SOUTH AFRICA ARE PRODUCED food security as well as enhanced varieties for improved agri-culture in South Africa. FROM FARM-SAVED SEED.Breeding, testing, and the introduction of new varieties is a process that takes several seasons to complete. South Africa is fortunate to still have local breeding programmes, where unique, adapted varieties can be developed and marketed. Although these programmes are local, they make use of genetic materialAnother South African seed company has also applied to be licensed from companies abroad. The breeding and technologya collaborator in wheat breeding programmes at The Agricultural levy system provides a means of incentivizing the companiesResearch Council in Australia. This research project is aimed who make their lines available for breeding purposes.at developing wheat genetic material by using modern breeding One of the conditions of having statutory levies is that attechniques to breed wheat varieties that can overcome produc-least 20% of the levies collected have to be allocated to suita- tion stress situations. This work will be done on existing South ble transformation projects such as, the upliftment of emergingAfrican wheat plant material. To participate in projects such as farmers. For rendering the administration service SACTA isthis, a substantial financial contribution has to be made which allowed a facilitation fee that does not exceed 10% of the totalwould not have been possible without the current breeding and levies collected. The remaining portion, which is the bulk of thetechnology levy.levy, has to be distributed to qualifying seed breeding compa- The existence of SACTA and the system of a breeding and nies according to their respective market shares. The markettechnology levy has brought a level of surety that we in South share of each participating company is determined by means ofAfrica, have an effective system whereby seed breeding com-agreed formulae in respect of each crop.panies can be remunerated for their investments in bringing As a result of the SACTA levy, soybean producers are nownew varieties to the market. This system should be supported finally able to access newer soybean technologies (INTACTAand maintained as it is highly effective and unique in ensuring Roundup Ready2 Pro) that is already available to several coun- genetic advancement of self-pollinated crops in agriculture. EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 47'