(agenda as of July 11, 2017)

Wednesday, 12 July



Dan Jacobs
Editor, AgriBusiness Global, Meister Media Worldwide


Opening Remarks

Andre Fox
Chairman, South Africa Bioproducts Organisation
CEO, Madumbi Sustainable Agriculture (Pty) Ltd.


Keynote Talk: Access to New Technologies

Maluta Jonathan Mudzunga
Director of Directorate of Agricultural Inputs Control
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)

Overview of latest regulatory strategy to streamline access to new and existing biocontrol technologies in South Africa; update on harmonization with SADC, EAC, and COMESA.


Developing an IPM Program

Dave Gerber
Grower, Arundel Farm

Dave Gerber has spent more than 20 years working in, and consulting for, the citrus industry. He recently transitioned from his role in the agronomy department of Sundays River Citrus Company where he encouraged the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Soil Management practices. Gerber’s two decades of knowledge, insight, and experience are what he now applies to his own citrus farm, Arundel Farm. Gerber will share insights into how to implement IPM programs (incorporating biological products, compost, and biostimulants) into conventional farming practices.


Networking & Refreshment Break


Combining Macrobial Biocontrol Agents with Biopesticides and Their Actual Practice in the Fields

Dr. Shimon Steinberg
Head of Research & Development, BioBee Sde Eliyahu Ltd.

Macrobial Biocontrol agents (beneficial insects and mites) are widely used globally for the control of pests. In South Africa beneficial insects and mites are used at this stage, mainly for the control of mealy bugs in citrus and grapes, two of the main fresh produce crops exported from South Africa. Growers also use other pests in high value horticulture crops (vegetables and flowers) grown in South Africa.




Next Generation Bioproducts: What’s in the pipeline for biopesticides and biostimulants?

Matiéyédou Konlambigue Abdou
Managing Director Aflasafe Technology Transfer & Commercialization Program, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (ITTA)

The second generation of bioproducts is ready for the market. What are the main crop and pest targets and how can the industry successfully introduce them through the distribution chain.


Lessons From an Expert: Incorporating Biologicals into a Crop Protection Plan

James Leslie

Sesisonke Farming, owned by James Leslie, grows 6,000 hectare of crops, including potatoes, maize, soybeans, wheat and sugar beans in a mixed farming system. Leslie is passionate about Sesisonke and the future of agriculture, and he focuses on sustainability through the use of biological products and practices, including the use of vermicast, compost, bacterial and fungal products and biostimulants. Sesisonke is regarded as a leader in sustainable agriculture through the expertise they developed over the past 12 years using biologicals. Learn how Leslie incorporated biological products into his crop protection program.


Networking & Refreshment Break


How MRLs Affect Global Trade – View from Europe

José João Dias Carvalho, PhD
Head of Global Business Development and Regulatory Policy, Agro Dossiers, Dr. Knoell Consult GmbH

MRL settings have a broad impact in global trade of crops and commodities. With different regions setting their own residue definition and trigger values, global and bilateral trade can be disrupted, affecting not only the farmers but the whole food supply chain. Some biological solutions have been embraced by farmers and manufacturers are responding accordingly by bringing these new solutions into the market. But are the regulatory systems ready to embrace these new technologies? This session will help growers understand MRL settings, the advantage of biological products regarding MRLs, and what to do if MRLs are not in place for certain crop/substance combination.


Lightning Round Presentations: Learn about new products, field trials, and approvals throughout the World

Tristan Hudak
Vice President, Ag BioTech, Inc.

Philip Kessler
Director International Market Development, Andermatt Biocontrol AG

Vincent Gall
Marketing and Development Manager, Africa, Belchim Crop Protection NV

Joel Jerónimo
General Manager, Asfertglobal

Voltan Senekal
Marketing Advisor, Villa

Dr. Craig Chambers
Production Manager, River Bioscience (Pty) Ltd.

The Lightning Round Presentations by companies including Ag BioTech, Inc., Andermatt Biocontrol AG, Belchim Crop Protection NV, Villa, River Bioscience (Pty) Ltd., and Asfertglobal will discuss R&D infrastructure, registrations in various markets, and growth strategies in the biopesticide and biostimulant segments. (Introduced by AgriBusiness Global)


Cocktail Reception

Thursday, 13 July



Dan Jacobs
Editor, AgriBusiness Global 


The State of Biocontrol Africa

Barnaba Rotich
Commercial Manager Africa, Dudutech

A look at how the segment has changed during the past 10 years, what is currently driving the market, the trends shaping the industry, and what we can expect in the future.


Using Biological Controls to Overcome Red Scale Infestation

Martli Slabber
Managing Director, Hexrivier Sitrus

The primary focus of Hexirivier Sitrus, Martli Slabber’s family farm, has been the production of export fruit to Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. In the early 1990s, red scale became organo-phosphate resistant in the Citrusdal Valley, and her farm had to use biological control strategies to overcome serious red scale infestation. Learn how Slabber and her family use Aphytis, Trychogramma, XSIT codling moths, and pheromones for trapping as well as for mating disruption, Anagyrus, Amblyseius swirki and various naturally occurring critters to suppress the false codling moth, mealy-bug, and woolly whitefly.


Networking & Refreshment Break


Phasing in Bioproducts Strategically

Johan Pienaar
Chief Operating Officer, Mycorrhizal Applications LLC

Johan Pienaar, Chief Operating Officer of Mycorrhizal Applications, will discuss how growers can go about incorporating biological products into their crop production programs from the root to harvest, including the unique opportunities and watch-outs associated with using biological products.


Lessons from the Army Worm

Thilivhali Ronald Nepfumbada
Technical Advisor Agricultural Remedies
Agriculture Input Control Directorate
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)

Fall Armyworm, Tuta absoluta and other invasive pests are making their way into South Africa. Emergency registrations for biological products have allowed growers to treat these invasive species with great success. Nepfumbada will explain the registration process and requirements concerning these emerging pests and to assist with resistance development using an IPM approach.




U.S. Market Report

Rick Melnick
Chairman, Biopesticide Industry Alliance (BPIA)
Senior Brand Manager, Valent BioSciences

Melnick recounts the rapid growth and success of the biocontrols segment in the U.S. and the trends among American growers implementing biocontrols on their specialty crops.


Seed to Fork & The Future of Biological Farm Inputs

Moderated by AgriBusiness Global

Next steps for the industry and opportunities on the horizon for the entire value chain. This panel discussion will include representatives from the regulatory community, research and development, manufacturing, distribution, and academia.


Networking & Refreshment Break


Interactive Roundtables Address Industry-Wide Issues

Roundtables provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions and get answers from peers on key industry topics, including: Regulatory; IPM; Best Practices from Growers; Presenting Value to Growers; Consumer Trends; and Exporting.


Top 5 Takeaways from the Event and How to Move Forward

A look back on two days’ of education. AgriBusiness Global will help synthesize the discussion and explain how to turn information into action.


Event Close

Friday, 14 July

Full Day – Winelands Tour 

Additional Fee of Zar 1,500

Enjoy the drive to the world-class estate of Vergelegen for a wine tasting followed by time to explore the picturesque formal gardens and historic Cape Dutch manor house.  Then continue to Boschendal, which lies in the beautiful Drakenstein Valley and is flanked by the dramatic Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains.  Enjoy a lunch with wine pairings at the estate.  Following this, drive to the nearby town of  Stellenbosch for a short walking tour and brief time at leisure before returning to Cape Town.  Tours can be reserved via the hotel block link ( at a rate of Zar 1,500.00 per person.