Dr Wayne Hancock visits the Macadamia Protection Programme and presents a special seminar at FABI 2019-04-01
Dr Wayne Hancock of Southern Cross University, Australia visited Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme in FABI, from 25 to 28 March. His visit was linked to on-going discussions regarding the establishment of an international Macadamia selection and breeding collaboration between South Africa, Australia and China.
During his one-week visit he also spent time in the field with Dr Gerda Fourie, PhD candidate Mary Ranketse as well as Dr Elrea Strydom, Research and Development manager of Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC). The aim of the field visit was to meet up with researchers at the ARC - Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops Division to discuss on-going industry cultivar trails as well as to visit various macadamia growers that has established their own macadamia breeding programs.
On 27 March he presented a special seminar in FABI entitled “Genetics and development – the link between Genetics/Science and the field” and showed how research and technological developments had benefitted small-scale farmers in different parts of the world. Using three scenarios, Dr Hancock discussed how developments in science had helped to sustain agricultural initiatives run by small-scale farmers in Malawi as well as Fiji and Vanuatu. He showed how dwarfing had enabled small-scale macadamia farmers to manage pests in their trees while maintaining good yields in Malawi. He also said molecular genetic work would underpin future macadamia research such as the development of clones specific to the different conditions in countries where macadamia is grown.