THE EVOLVING LANDSCAPE OF PLANT BREEDERS’ RIGHTS FOR WHEAT VARIETAL IMPROVEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

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Wheat production in South Africa

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (2010) reports that the precise origin of wheat is not known, but there is evidence that the crop evolved from wild grasses somewhere in the Near East. Wheat is reported to have likely originated from the Fertile Crescent in the upper reaches of the Tigris-Euphrates drainage basin. Wheat production in South African started in 1652 with varieties brought by the Dutch traders to Cape Town (then the Cape of Good Hope). After maize, wheat is the second most important grain crop produced in South Africa. In South Africa, the main uses of wheat are for human consumption (especially for making flour for the bread industry), industrial use (for making alcoholic beverages, starch and straw), and animal feed (bran from flour milling as an important source of livestock feed, grain as animal feed, etc.) (Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, 2010).
Two types of wheat are produced in South Africa, namely, durum wheat (Triticum turgidum) and bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). Both types of wheat are used to make various food products. For example, in developed countries, durum wheat is used to manufacture pasta while in developing countries it is mainly used for bread, couscous and bulgur. On the contrary, bread wheat is used to make bread, biscuits, cookies and noodles. There are two growth habitats for wheat which are the winter-habitat wheat and the spring-habit wheat. Winter wheat requires a period of cold temperatures (vernalisation) before flowering while spring wheat does not require the same (Lantican et al., 2005).
Wheat is produced in 32 of South Africa’s 36 crop production regions. The main wheat-producing provinces in South Africa are Western Cape (winter rainfall), Free State (summer rainfall) and Northern Cape (irrigation). Limpopo (irrigation) and North West (mainly irrigation) are also important producing provinces (Southern African Grain Laboratory, 2012). Wheat production in South Africa occurs in both summer and winter rainfall regions. Figures 2.1 and 2.2 below present the distribution of the dryland and irrigation wheat production areas respectively. Most of the production (at least 50%) happens under dryland conditions and at least 30% of the total harvest is produced under irrigation (Pannar, 2009).
Irrigation production has a higher yield potential compared to dryland wheat production. Dryland productivity in South Africa is very low compared to major wheat-producing countries in the world. Pannar (2009) attributes the slower than anticipated progress in yield increases of local breeding programmes to stringent quality requirements for new varieties, as well as variable climatic conditions (including dry, warm winters); low soil fertility, new diseases such as yellow/stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis) in 1996, and the emergence of new pathotypes, the introduction of the Russian wheat aphid in 1978, and a new biotype in 2005. These developments caused wheat-breeding programmes to discontinue many promising germplasm lines despite their highly promising yield potential, as they were susceptible to new diseases and pests (Pannar, 2009). Consequently, the focus in wheat breeding shifted to producing varieties resistant in terms of specific agronomic characteristics (e.g. pest and disease resistance) and of good quality, as opposed to high-yielding varieties (Pannar, 2009).

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CHAPTER 1  INTRODUCTION .
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Problem statement
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.4 Benefits from investments in crop varieties and hypotheses of the study
1.5 Contributions of the study ..
1.6 Approach and methods of the study .
1.7 Organisation of study .
CHAPTER 2 . A HISTORICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE SOURCES AND USES OF WHEAT VARIETAL INNOVATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICAN AGRICULTURE .
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Review of commercial wheat production in South Africa
2.3 Empirical studies analysing the evolution of crop production and breeding in agriculture
2.4 Data and research methods .
2.5 Results and discussion .
2.6 Summary and recommendations
CHAPTER 3  THE EVOLVING LANDSCAPE OF PLANT BREEDERS’ RIGHTS FOR WHEAT VARIETAL IMPROVEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA 
3.1 Introduction .
3.2 International experiences in plant variety protection .
3.3 Plant variety protection in South Africa .
3.4 Research methods and data
3.5 Results and discussion
3.6 Summary and recommendations
CHAPTER 4 THE EFFECTS OF PLANT BREEDERS’ RIGHTS ON WHEAT PRODUCTIVITY AND VARIETY IMPROVEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA 
4.1 Introduction .
4.2 A concise review of empirical studies on the relationship between IPRs and agricultural innovations and productivity
4.3 Research methodology
4.4 Empirical results and discussions
4.5 Summary and recommendations
CHAPTER 5  ESTIMATING AND ATTRIBUTING BENEFITS FROM WHEAT VARIETAL INNOVATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICAN AGRICULTURE 
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Description of data and sources
5.3 Investments in wheat varietal improvement research and the use of new varieties
5.4 Estimating economic benefits of wheat varietal improvement research .
5.5 Estimating potential yield gain from wheat varietal improvement research
5.6 Estimating yield gains “with” and “without” research scenarios
5.7 Attribution of benefits to ARC-SGI’s wheat research improvement programme
5.8 Measuring and attributing benefits of wheat varietal improvement research
5.9 Summary and recommendations .
CHAPTER 6  SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
REFERENCES

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