Sorghum in the 21st Century

The International Sorghum Symposium is to be held 9-12 April 2018 in Cape Town at the Century City Conference Centre. UP is a co-host. The President of the African Development Bank will also attend. GFADA will bring a delegation of new sorghum farmers to the conference.

The 5 themes for the Scientific and Technical Programme will be as follows:

  • Accelerating progress in advanced breeding for improved crop adaptation to climate risks.
  • Improving productivity and increasing profitability to expand opportunities across global markets.
  • Enhancing resilience in the face of biotic and abiotic challenges.
  • Tackling key issues in food security and farming systems for improved livelihoods for the smallholder farmer.
  • Exploring the future of the value-add: Nutrition, biofuels and feedstuffs for evolving consumer demands.

These five themes will be explored through cutting-edge, topical sessions, plus: 

  • Cross disciplinary plenary sessions highlighting the opportunities and future of sorghum]
  • Expert Symposia - To further examine the most pressing issues in the sorghum industry today (included in the registration fee)
  • A major Research and Industry Exhibition
  • Regular opportunity for discussion and networking among the widest gathering of sorghum scientists in over 30 years

The International Organising Committee includes members from: SMIL (USA), Sorghum Checkoff Program (USA), University of Pretoria (South Africa), Indian Institute of Millets Research (India), University of Queensland (Australia), CIRAD (France), Embrapa (Brazil), EIAR (Ethiopia), ZARI (Zambia), CERAAS/ISRA (Senegal), Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences (China)

The International Sorghum Symposium is a great opportunity for identifying new CST-SA members.

The report on the American Association of Cereal Chemists International meeting was provided by Maryke Labuschagne. It is a non-profit professional organization of members who are specialists in the use of cereal grains in foods. All the technical committees and divisions met. The plenary lecture was by Nina Federof on the challenges for food production and the potential of modern plant breeding methods to contribute to the alleviation thereof.

Technical sessions:

  • Analytical measures for cereal chemistry
  •  Extrusion for sustainable quality and nutrition
  • Functionality of novel grains, pulse and components
  • Practical applications for classic dough systems
  • Quality and functionality in various end-use, applicable solutions
  • Economic testing and processing for the grain industry
  • The future of food safety
  • Spectrometric analysis of grain components


  • Cereals and pulse-based foods in Asia
  • Sprouted grains: what is in it for consumers?
  • Mapping the physical and functional attributes of starches
  • Dietary fibre in the food industry: a role for Psyllium?
  • Novel proteomics approaches in cereal grain research
  • Protein trends and technologies: health, regulatory and formulation challenges
  • The statistics of sampling, analytical methods development and experimentation
  • Wheat quality – what it is and how have we been measuring it
  • Innovative plant proteins and plant derivatives
  • Recent advances on structure-function relations of rice and rice based food
  • Powder rheology

Hot topics

  • GM food labelling: inside the controversy
  • Mitigating flour food-safety risks
  • Are national dietary guidelines effective in promoting whole grain consumption?

11 May 2017 New Voices Symposium

Fifteen participants presented papers on 11 May 2017 at The Willows Country Lodge, Pretoria.

John Taylor Trophies were awarded to category winners.

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