Prof. Bernard Slippers and Dr Gerda Fourie attended the Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC) Research Symposium held in Nelspruit on 24 August. This annual symposium highlights progress made on SAMAC funded research projects.

One of the major concerns for the macadamia industry is damage caused by the two-spotted stinkbug (Bathycoelia Distincta). Various presentations focused on integrated pest management of this stinkbug, which included the use of chemicals for control, development of resistance to the various chemicals currently available, as well as development of semiochemical traps. Other research projects also funded by SAMAC include control of the nut borer complex by entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs), fungicide control for husk rot, as well as a survey that aims to determine the presence of Phytophthora cinnamomi in the soil of Macadamia orchards.

Prof. Slippers presented a keynote lecture, which captured some of the research highlights of the TPCP program at FABI over the last 27 years and the elements that make this programme so successful. Currently, SAMAC is engaged in preliminary talks with FABI regarding the possibility of establishing a Macadamia research group at the Institute.

Approximately 350 delegates attended the symposium. Attendees included representatives of the various research institutions currently funded by SAMAC, such as the ARC: Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Stellenbosch as well as the University of Free State, as well as various macadamia nut growers, processors and marketers.