CGA’s Cultivar Development Mandate
- The citrus growers of southern Africa have instructed CGA to be involved in all apsects of cultivar development.
- Goals: Citrus growers to be provided with timely access to cultivars both open and Propriety, on reasonable terms and conditions as an alternative to private commercial companies.
These objectives are to be achieved through the creation of a not-for-profit, self-sustaining company owned by the CGA hereinafter referred to as the CGC Cultivar Company (CGA CC) that carries out the following:
- Acquires citrus cultivar rights, both locally and internationally that may arise from:
- Field mutations
- Citrus breeding programmes
- Expedites the movement of these cultivars through the post-entry quarantine, STG, pre-immunisation, virus indexing and
- Manages the commercialisation and protection where necessary of these cultivars in South Africa.
- Procure and negotiate the most reasonable terms possible for growers while ensuring a competitive return to the Cultivar owner.
- Act as spokesman on the status of new cultivar ownership and licensing matters.
Since inception the company has concentrated its efforts on the following approximate time expenditure:
Identify cultivar requirements and opportunities, (+-10%)
We have engaged with growers and offshore companies in the past year during meetings, workshops and study group field trips.
To balance the production weighted preferences of Growers we have attempted to gauge the needs of the market . As a result we have complemented this feedback by engaging with exporting companies as well as off shore marketing companies, Super Markets and via our own CGA Stats and trend analysis, thanks to John Edmonds.
As reported last year in these workshops and CGA road shows, the trend of interest, still leans towards Soft Citrus with emphasis on Late Mandarins. This emphasis is much the same for other industries that we have been in contact with. It was also quite evident at the International Citrus Congress in Valencia, Nov 2012 that the emphasis of breeding is heavily in favour of Mandarins at present.
In meetings with Growers, there are the first signs of concern of a possible over supply of Late Mandarins in the near future, as further Ha’s of Late mandarins are made available and new cultivars are released. A counter argument is that as the popular Mandarins become more available they could eat further into the sweet orange market share. Oranges could further become the victim of Mandarin consumption. There are however good signs in trends seen in Russia, Ukraine, and in parts of the East where consumption growth includes Oranges.
Undertake international and local sourcing (50%)
CGACC has continued to sign a further 9 agreements for spontaneous mutations found around South Africa, bringing the amount of cultivars managed by CGACC to 35. At present 15 of the 35 are through STG and are now going out into trials. Growers will be informed of the progress of these cultivars as more evaluation information comes available.
CGACC has signed agreements and is involved in further negotiations with parties in the Northern hemisphere regarding cultivars suitable for both the warmer northern areas and the cooler South.
Other areas of activity this past year are rootstocks, some of which are now in quarantine. This will continue to be a focus wrt:
- Rootstocks showing improved, tolerance to calcitic, saline & water stress conditions.
- Resistance to strategically important diseases and pests, (phytopthera, Eelworm etc.)
- Improved production and quality.
- Dwarfing to reduce harvest costs.
Collaboration with other Cultivar Management Organisations, CMO’s (10%)
As above, CGACC is developing relationships with partners off shore who could become partners in managing our cultivars off shore, in both protecting them and exposing our cultivar owners to an off shore income stream. These relationships would further assist our industry by developing agreements with non-competitive northern hemisphere CMO’s and giving us access to their cultivars in exchange for ours.
Manage all CGACC processes and Procedures, (30%)
Initially this activity has not demanded as much time as the other items, but as varieties come through the CIS Pipeline it is has increased dramatically. As a result we will be increasing capacity in the above management processes of the cultivars we manage for Owners. These would be tracking the progress of cultivars through Quarantine, the CIS pipeline, evaluation and propriety issues. Thereafter as the varieties become available for release, administration of royalties and movement of plant material movement will demand increased capacity.