25 September 2013 Volume :1 Issue :3

Citrus Research Institute to be UKZN Friend of Agriculture

Citrus Research Institute to be UKZN Friend of Agriculture
From left: Mr Justin Chadwick; Professor Albert Modi; Ms Jacomien de Klerk and Professor Gerald Ortmann.

Representatives from the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environment Sciences (SAEES) recently met officials from the Citrus Research Institute (CRI) to discuss strengthening the research efforts of the School.

SAEES was represented by the Dean and Head of the School, Professor Albert Modi, and an Academic Leader for the Value Adding Cluster, Professor Gerald Ortman, and the CRI’s Mr Justin Chadwick and Ms Jacomien de Klerk.

The CRI officials said the Institute could offer SAEES the following opportunities:

•  Bursaries for MSc and PhD students. A total of 15 new bursaries were on offer and students could apply online by visiting the CRI website,

•  A graduate placement programme for students funded by the Institute

•  assistance with industry exposure for undergraduate and postgraduate students

•  a business management programme to assist students.

Both CRI and SAEES agreed the current challenges of the citrus black spot disease had the potential to cost the South African citrus industry billions of rands and also force people previously employed by the industry to move into cities to seek work.

There was a commitment from both sides to establish a forum as part of the UKZN Friends of Agriculture. The forum would examine topical and relevant challenges of research and rural economic development and assist the University curriculum and research to address the needs of the industry and farmers.

It was agreed the forum needed to target emerging farmers.

-          Albert Modi

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