The 10th Citrus Research Symposium – An opportunity for key stakeholders in the industry to address challenges in the sector
Ascendis Biosciences is honoured to be participating in the 10th Citrus Research Symposium, to be held at the Champagne Sports Resort in the Drakensberg from Sunday, the 19th of August to Wednesday, the 22nd of August 2018. This year’s event provides attendees with a platform to provide updates and insights on citrus research conducted for the Southern African citrus industry over the past two years. This research has been formulated by researchers from Citrus Research International (CRI), several universities, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and researchers from the private sector.
This year’s Citrus Research Symposium will be attended by a wide spectrum of citrus industry role players who seek to develop and find solutions for future use by engaging industry professionals from the citrus sector.
“South Africa is one of the top 10 producing countries of citrus and the industry is substantial in this market1. Finding solutions is at the core of what we do as a business, this is why Ascendis Biosciences is excited to be a gold sponsor at this key industry event that serves as a platform to spark impactful conversations and discuss how we can further grow the sector through collaborative partnerships.,” explains Chris Hendriks, Product Manager at Ascendis Biosciences.
Ascendis Biosciences, a division of Ascendis Health, is made up of six specialised companies originating from South Africa. One of their insecticides is targeted towards citrus crop protection. “Dicarzol, with the active ingredient formetanate, is designed for the protection of citrus trees against thrips,” explains Hendriks.
South Africa’s citrus industry is a major driver of growth for the country’s agriculture sector however, various challenges are impacting the industry. For instance, the Western Cape drought has depleted the availability of irrigation water and as a result, crop yields have decreased in the region.
Currently the greatest challenge facing the citrus industry is Citrus Black Spot, a fungal disease caused by Phyllosticta citricarpa2. This fungus affects citrus throughout subtropical climates, causing a reduction in both fruit quantity and quality.. The symptoms usually appear during the later stages of fruit development and severely affected fruit drop prematurely.
“Citrus Black Spot has had a major effect on the sector. An indication of this was the announcement by the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) and the Citrus Black Spot (CBS) Disaster Management3 Committee in October last year stating that they have decided to proactively suspend the export of citrus fruit to the European Union (EU) as a result of Citrus Black Spot,” says Hendriks.
Despite its challenges, the citrus industry continues to be a sector that is poised for growth. “By working together to overcome challenges, we can ensure we elevate and sustain the citrus industry in South Africa for the betterment of the agricultural sector,” concludes Hendriks.
Ascendis Biosciences will be exhibiting their citrus crop protection solutions at stand S3 Follow Ascendis Biosciences on Facebook for updates from the 10th Citrus Research Symposium.