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Paragon Conventions Africa, a professional conference organiser, has secured the hosting of the prestigious Ninth World Soybean Research Conference, set to take place at the Durban International Convention Centre from 17 to 22 February 2013.

Paragon Conventions Africa has been appointed as the lead professional conference organiser, and is also the official housing and tourism provider. Paul Tredoux, director of Paragon Conventions Africa, says they are very excited to announce this prestigious event coming to South Africa for the first time.

The conference provides a global forum for the worlds soybean researchers to exchange information and research findings across all segments of the soybean industry. The theme of the conference is From China to Africa Can research close the gap between soy production and increasing global demand. In recent years rapid growth in demand has outstripped the growth in production, which has resulted in soybean prices more than doubling in the last five years.

Gerhard Scholtemeijer, chairman of the organising committee, says: Although soybean research is still a fairly new field in South Africa, this will be a great opportunity for local stakeholders to learn from the global leaders in the field. We are also paying specific attention to the science of soybean agronomy, which will be of particular interest to the local agricultural community.

In South Africa, where a vibrant agricultural sector provides almost 10% of all formal employment and contributes nearly 3% of the total Gross Domestic Product, the insight gained from leading international experts could hold huge potential benefit for the growth and development of the local industry.

The conference will include a trade show, where various aspects of the industry such as oil and fat products, soybean fibre products, biotech, animal feed and processing equipment will be showcased. The conference also offers exceptional opportunities for attendees to network with and learn from leading soybean researchers, producers, processors and companies representing the food, feed and ingredient sectors. We expect about 1,000 delegates from all corners of the world, including large contingents from the US, China, Argentina and Brazil, explains Tredoux.

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