Grain SA has restructured internally and two units in line with our ever-expanding mandate were established, namely Grain Economy and Grain Research and Policy Centre. Central to this was the need to escalate Grain SA’s active role in the co-ordination of need-driven grain research. The approach agreed upon was to establish consortia and multi-stakeholder partnerships, preferably with universities and other appropriate public-private partners. Additionally, partnerships and stakeholders were identified to work with the Grain SA team for a food secure future. Funding is a crucial element and a concerted effort was made to prioritise funding for the different research needs identified by producers. Critical to Grain SA’s role is to ensure funding is directed to new prioritised focus areas. These priority focus areas are: Crop Improvement, Crop Protection and Climate Change. The next steps were the development of joint research programmes for each focus area linking up with various technology-driven initiatives and making sure that appropriate technologies are reaching the producers.
Vision and mission
Grain research and policy centre guides, coordinates and facilitates grain and oilseed research and policy matters. The unit aims:
- to create a link between key stakeholders such as producers, policy makers and research communities’
- to create a platform for interaction and communication on relevant issues
- to play an active role in ensuring the role-out, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and impact assessment of policies, programmes and projects
These priorities include Crop Improvement, Crop Protection, Climate Change, Conservation Agriculture. Through this we ensure long term productivity and sustainability by accessing the latest information and R&D technology.
Crop improvement, involves plant breeding practices of purposeful selection, growth, and cross-pollination of crops with the aim of releasing new and improved material that will increase the productivity of producers.
A consortium has been established under the theme Crop Protection, with a special reference to soil-borne pathogens. The focus here is the monitoring of disease incidence and the build-up of soil-borne pathogens inoculum.
In South Africa, crop production systems based on intensive and continuous soil tillage have led to excessively high soil degradation rates. This adds to the growing problems with profitability and poverty in some of the rural areas.
The purpose of production research is to gather information on the content of production related issues. The methods of production research could be primary research; this means researching via books and setting up focus groups to gather people’s opinions.
Policy and Legislation
Acts, Bills and Policies that have an effect on grain producers will be shared as they get passed.
In the newly established consortium, Climate Change, the focus is to bring together national, regional and international experts that can add value to the many challenges climate change is posing.
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