Newsletter September 2017
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27 September 2017

Hello friends and alumni

Spring is here in Pietermaritzburg and we trust the last quarter of the year is fruitful for all our friends and alumni.

We hope you enjoy reading a selection of some of our latest news.

Agricultural Entrepreneurship

During the month of August, UKZN joined in with national Student Entrepreneurship Week to encourage completing students to consider pursuing entrepreneurship as a career, especially when employment opportunities are scarce. The initiative is aimed at helping students establish an entrepreneurial spirit and develop a business mind set.

To aid this effort, we spoke to two of our alumni who have begun their own successful enterprises with some of the skills they acquired during their time at Agric.

Delivering the Goods: From Agriculture to Pizza Empire

Craig MacKenzie
Craig MacKenzie, a co-founder of Debonairs Pizza, spent the formative years of his life on a dairy farm in Ixopo, going on to complete his high school education at Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg. After matriculating and completing his army service, MacKenzie took a gap year in the United States that would spark an idea that resulted in the founding of a pizza empire.

MacKenzie first encountered pizza chains with home delivery in the USA, a service that did not then exist in South Africa. MacKenzie realised there was a gap in the market, but was told that this model would never work in South Africa because of the security situation impacting home delivery, and the fact that ‘South Africans don’t eat pizza’.

After his gap year, MacKenzie commenced with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in Agricultural Economics at the then-University of Natal. In 1991, while a second-year student, MacKenzie and Andrew Harvey, who was studying a Bachelor of Commerce, started Debonairs Pizza in Pietermaritzburg. The duo rented MacKenzie’s brother Cameron’s bakery in Parklane Spar after they closed at 5pm, and began churning out pizzas. Their home delivery drivers impressed with their bow ties, and soon business was booming.

The enterprise grew quickly, currently more than 600 stores strong across the country with home delivery customary across the fast-food chain in South Africa.

Challenges to starting the business included being told it would never work, as well as capital and cash flow challenges faced by any business start-up. MacKenzie attributes the business’ success to brand building and people.

Starting their business during their studies meant that time management and organisational skills were extremely important for MacKenzie and Harvey. The network they developed at UKZN was invaluable to help them through their degrees and work with them during the start-up. Their networks remain invaluable to this day, with many of their partners and suppliers over the years having been directly or indirectly associated with UKZN alumni.

MacKenzie and Harvey sold the holding company along with the Steers Master License for KwaZulu-Natal to Famous Brands in 2000. There were 135 outlets at the time of hand over.

MacKenzie’s wife Shanon, who graduated from UKZN with a BCom in 1992, was also fully involved in the business. The couple still own 25 Debonairs Pizza outlets as well as a number of Steers, Wimpy, Milky Lane, Fishaways, Milky Lane and Mugg & Bean restaurants. They live on a sugar farm in Mid-Illovo and run their businesses from home while also maintaining offices in Durban and Gaborone. MacKenzie has also been involved with the Equatorial Coffee Company and Corner Bakery, a Yamaha dealership in Gaborone, Biochem and Nu Eco brands, property development and sugar farming.

MacKenzie encouraged other graduates considering entrepreneurship to dedicate time to vital research and planning.

‘You invariably don’t need to reinvent the wheel; it is more about taking best practice from proven brands or businesses and adding a unique perspective,’ said MacKenzie, who learnt from international brands, adopting, localising and enhancing some of their business strategies.

‘We knew that we could be internationally competitive because we had employed all the latest technology and in some cases enhanced systems,’ said MacKenzie.

He encouraged entrepreneurs to partner with and employ the best people, as one will never have all of the required skill to excel.  

Putting Agricultural Management to Work at Moores-Pitt Premium Poultry

Alistair Moores-Pitt has spent the last three and a half years growing his free-range poultry business, and the efforts are paying off at the Pietermaritzburg- and Eston-based Moores-Pitt Premium Poultry(MPPP).

Moores-Pitt graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus in 2014. The son of an entrepreneur, he was keen to earn some pocket money while finishing off his studies. He rented space on his parents’ property and invested his savings into building a chicken house and buying fifty chicks, which he aimed to raise and sell live locally. He sold half live, the remainder sold as free-range meat among acquaintances. The product’s quality quickly made the chickens a hit, and Moores-Pitt upped production.

Fast forward a few years, and MPPP is producing 1400 free-range birds a week at two sites, supplying sixteen Super Spars and other retailers, and ten restaurants from Nottingham Road to Salt Rock, and employing six people to run its business, from poultry management to transport to book-keeping.

Just over a year ago, Mark Stiebel, who had spent time farming in North America, joined MPPP. Stiebel helped Moores-Pitt expand operations onto his family’s farm in Eston, which Stiebel runs with his farm manager while managing the logistics and deliveries at MPPP.

Moores-Pitt’s entrepreneurial journey involved trial and error, and taking initiative to push the business forward even when told it was a ‘crazy’ idea. MPPP prides itself on producing a premium quality brine-, hormone- and additive-free bird. He states that being free-range helps the birds’ health and well-being.

Raising the birds comes with challenges; Moores-Pitt discovered that it is more science than husbandry that is required. He has had to overcome the threat of disease and improve growth, and work to convince supermarkets to sell his product.

Moores-Pitt encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to start small, be patient, and have confidence in themselves and their work. His own business involved starting slowly with a pilot project, using what he had, and building the market with the business. Word-of-mouth has been invaluable, as has his commitment to biosecurity, maintaining quality and using reliable suppliers.

Moores-Pitt was grateful for the broad training offered by his degree, and added that there is no substitute for hands-on experience. Mentorship from businesspeople has also been key; his participation in a Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business competition recently introduced him to local businesspeople who have offered guidance.

Stiebel and Moores-Pitt have become businesspeople as well as farmers, and selling the product is harder than growing it, says Moores-Pitt. The best advice he has received is to enjoy the problem solving, and to do something daily, if possible, to improve the business.

‘As a farmer there are going to be problems every single day,’ said Moores-Pitt, ‘so enjoy fixing the problems instead of letting them get on top of you.’

Looking to the future, Moores-Pitt said if his dreams did not scare him, they would not be big enough. He hopes MPPP will expand to 10 000 birds a week and increase its geographical reach.

AgriGroomers Promote Entrepreneurship for Student Entrepreneurship Week

Agri-Groomers day
(l-r) Mr Thabo Mahlobo, Dr Frans Swanepoel & Mr Joshua Ngoma

The AgriGroomers student group based at Cedara College of Agriculture hosted a Business Connect event at the Cedara Centenary Complex in August as part of a celebration of Student Entrepreneurship Week. The event was one of many that week aimed at encouraging students to pursue entrepreneurship as a career option, and was attended by more than 150 students, lecturers, businesspeople and farmers.
‘The theme of the summit was introducing people to entrepreneurship and exposing them to opportunities in AgriBusiness,’ said Mr Nkosinathi Nkosi of AgriGroomers, a group made up of Cedara and UKZN students.
The afternoon programme comprised multimedia presentations on the importance of entrepreneurship, a debate on the topic of entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment, and dialogues with and presentations from leading entrepreneurs.
Mr Joshua Ngoma, founder of Enterprising Africa Regional Network (EARN), African Greeneurs and African Technopreneurs, was featured in the programme as part of a dialogue where students were able to engage with him on the topic of entrepreneurship. Ngoma is a mining engineer and entrepreneur, with extensive experience in building and running successful businesses. He spoke about African Greeneurs, which supports graduates with practical experience and aims to develop into an agribusiness academy to expose students to different types of agricultural practices and business acumen. Ngoma shared his wisdom for successful business and encouraged students to register with African Greeneurs.
Mr Thabo Mahlobo, author and founder of the New Economy Leadership Institute, gave a presentation about the solution for funding small business. His presentation covered past events in South Africa’s economy, how these affected society, and how entrepreneurs can maximise independence by being their own banks. He described this as a practical means of developing communities by helping collectives to continuously save money and invest in other projects or their own community projects to grow their money. Mahlobo also said that co-operative banks can be formed, enabling the lending of money and other general functions of a bank.
The day also featured a presentation from Dr Frans Swanepoel about the opportunities for communities in Aquaponics. He presented on business model he perfected over eight years, involving poultry, fish, and vegetable production. The Micro Urban Organic Aquaponic Mobil Farm utilises the waste from the poultry production for fish feed and the nutrient-rich water from the fish production for growing vegetables, thus maximising efficiency and profitability. The unit is easy to assemble and use, making it suitable for urban and rural communities to produce their own food.
According to AgriGroomers, the event was a tremendous success with an engaged and curious audience and good presentations. The group hopes to continue promoting ‘agripreneurship’ through networking and the establishment of chapters at schools, colleges and universities. Their next event is the AgriGroomers Conference in November.


Professor Albert Modi Elected Deputy Chairperson of National Agricultural Research Forum

Albert Modi
Professor Albert Thembinkosi Modi, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) has been elected Deputy Chairperson of the National Agricultural Research Forum (NARF).
‘It is a great honour to be appointed as NARF Deputy Chair,’ said Modi. ‘This role will allow me to make a significant contribution to the development of South African Agricultural Science and Technology, and in addition, to pursue the strategic objectives of UKZN.’
As Deputy Chairperson for his two-year term, Modi will provide leadership to the NARF and its Secretariat, and monitor the implementation of the programme of work approved by the NARF in Plenary. This will involve providing leadership and guidance in the achievement of strategic objectives and goals, representing the NARF formally in agricultural research bodies and strategic gathering forums, monitoring implementation of the NARF Plan of Action, chairing NARF meetings and reporting to plenary sessions on the progress and operations of the NARF. The role demands ability and commitment to lead agricultural research and technology development to enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and contribute to economic growth and environmental sustainability.
Members of the NARF deliberate on research issues affecting agricultural sector such as drought, climate change and variability, and their impact on agricultural production, adaptation and mitigation. The NARF promotes and advocates for the use of science, technology and innovation in the agricultural value chain as key enablers for food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation, growth and socioeconomic development.
Modi is a crop scientist, championing sustainable agriculture and the value of indigenous knowledge in informing scientific research. A graduate of the University of Fort Hare, he received his Masters from the then-University of Natal and studied under a US Government Fulbright scholarship at Ohio State University (OSU) in the United States for his PhD in 1999.
Modi has served as Dean and Head of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) from 2011. He has dedicated his career to improving the lives of rural South Africans; he served as founding Chief Executive Officer of the Moses Kotane Institute, and has served as chairperson of the South African Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean's Association (SAALSDA). He is the Associate Editor of the South African Journal of Plant and Soil (SAJPS), having served in various leadership roles of the South African Society of Crop Production (SASCP), including president from 2007-2008. His principal research has been focused on indigenous-traditional crops as they relate to science and technology, crop physiology, agronomy and sustainable agriculture. He has published over 90 peer reviewed science articles in these areas and served as principal supervisor or co-supervisor for 28 MSc students and 13 PhD students.

Best Paper Demonstrates Effects of Burning on Drakensberg Grassland Productivity

Professor Colin Everson and Dr Terry Everson received the award for the best paper published in the African Journal of Range and Forage Science in 2016 at the Grassland Society of Southern Africa’s (GSSA) 52nd annual Congress, held in Hoedspruit in July 2017.

The paper for which they were recognised is titled: The long term effects of fire regime on primary production of montane grasslands in South Africa.

The authors were interested in investigating the effects of different burning regimes on primary production and quality of grasslands in the mountainous ecosystems of the Drakensberg. Natural grasslands, according to the Eversons, deliver essential ecosystem services through plant production, which enhances water supply, nutrient cycling, soil retention and greenhouse gas mitigation.

‘Although the condition of the Drakensberg grasslands is maintained by regular burning to provide essential ecosystem services such as water supply, controversy exists over how often burning should take place,’ explained Dr Terry Everson.

Their research involved the analysis of an historic 30-year dataset, which revealed that these grasslands can be burnt either annually or biennially at any time between winter and spring without adversely affecting productivity. They also noted that winter burning is considered important for the survival of antelope as it stimulates new plant growth in early spring.

The Eversons noted, however, that protected treatments where fire had been excluded for as little as five years had significantly lower live biomass.

‘With the prospect of major climate change (as a result of increasing CO2 levels and depletion of the ozone layer), the productivity data of this study will become an important benchmark for monitoring future climate change,’ said Professor Colin Everson.

UKZN and INR Strengthen Relationship through MOU

Duncan Hay, Executive Director of the INR, Prof Albert Modi, Acting DVC of UKZN's College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Dr Shamim Bodhanya, Chairman of the INR and Bongani Khumalo, Director of the INR
The Institute of Natural Resources (INR) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) recently celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two, formalising a relationship that has stretched back almost thirty years.

The INR began as an institute of the then-University of Natal until it became an independent unit in the mid 1990s. It is an applied research organisation providing knowledge, strategic and operational support, capacity development, and advocating for the natural resource and environmental management sectors in southern Africa. Despite UKZN and INR's work and relationship diverging somewhat over the years, Executive Director Duncan Hay emphasised the importance of recognising the University as the 'parent' and originator of the INR. Operational relationships between UKZN and the INR have remained strong over the years, particularly in disciplines including Hydrology, Geography and Environmental Sciences and Crop Sciences, to name a few.

'In re-establishing an MoU with the Institute, we already have a relationship that has a life and has direction, and has great opportunities ahead of it,' said Hay.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) of UKZN's College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) Professor Albert Modi gave insight into the structuring of UKZN's Colleges to facilitate multi-disciplinary, far-reaching research.

'It is clear that we have to reinvigorate the relationship and have clear definitions of our collective mission,' said Modi.

He went on to note the importance of science produced in South Africa actually being applied to be of benefit to the country that produced it. This, according to Modi, formed the background for what the University and the INR can do together.

Modi encouraged the INR to draw on University research through collaborative work.

Dr Shamim Bodhanya, Chairman of the INR, said the MoU demonstrates a recognition of value from the University for what the INR does and articulates its goals in the MoU.

This MoU also opens up linkages to universities in the United Kingdom with whom the INR is working on projects that include the resilience of fresh fruit and the management of water resources.

Inaugural Baynesfield Award Presented to Agricultural Engineering Student

Joseph Baynes Award

The Baynesfield Estate recently presented the inaugural Joseph Baynes Estate Award for Agricultural and Environmental Science Innovation to Ms Roanne Sutcliffe, a Masters candidate in Bioresources Engineering. The award is in recognition of academic excellence, and of innovative and creative work in agricultural and environmental sciences.

In her final year in 2016, Sutcliffe, together with fellow student Zikhona Buyeye, undertook a project to design, construct and evaluate a machine to slice tomatoes in half horizontally for sun-drying, as proposed by ZZ2. The team designed a tomato slicer prototype to meet the client and additional specifications. The main components of the tomato slicer were a conveyor system, a slicing mechanism in the form of two rotating blades, a juice collection system and a frame that supported all the components. Evaluation of the tomato slicer indicated that it was able to meet the critical design specifications. This project was selected as the best design project for 2016, receiving the MBB prize for best final year design project and the South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers (SAIAE) shield for best final year design project.

Sutcliffe has always been fascinated with the environment and how things are made, making Agricultural Engineering a perfect fit for her interest in the relationship between humans and their environment. A driven young woman, she tutors Mathematics and Science to high school learners in the evenings, and is the secretary for the SAIAE KwaZulu-Natal branch. She is also the recipient of the University’s TB Davis Scholarship, given to the top postgraduate students in Engineering and named for TB Davis by his family, who established the award.

The Award was handed over at a small ceremony by Mr Myles van Deventer, Managing Director of the Trust and UKZN alumnus.

Van Deventer gave a brief overview of the Baynesfield Estate's activities; the company employs over one hundred permanent employees and farms a large diversified operation of about 3,600ha, where it farms Avocados, Pigs, Beef Cattle, Cane and Grains (Maize and Soya Bean). A large portion of the Estate is leased to NCT Farming for timber by the Timber Trust.

In addition to farming, the company also has strategic shareholdings in a number of other entities involved in agriculture. The company ethos is to minimise waste and improve efficiencies.

Van Deventer also alluded to Joseph Baynes' history to explain how this kind of award came about as part of Joseph Baynes' legacy (read below).

The award is another link between the University and the Estate; UKZN has conducted agricultural and environmental research at the Estate, and Professor Albert Thembinkosi Modi is currently a member of the board.

Joseph Baynes was born in Yorkshire in 1842, and joined his father, Richard, in emigrating to the then Colony of Natal in 1850, joining the Byrne settlers. Richard Baynes purchased a farm in the York district and also set up a butchery in Durban. Joseph discovered the Umlaas valley and by the age of 26 was buying land there with his father and brother, William. With no formal education, he showed great foresight and ensured that all projects he undertook were done to the best of his ability with the best possible materials and advice.

Joseph farmed beef and dairy cattle, sheep, horses and pigs. He started the bacon industry in the young Colony of Natal and set up a bacon factory on his Estate. He achieved a few firsts; he built the first butter factory in South Africa in 1898, opening “Model Dairies” tearooms to market dairy produce from Durban to Johannesburg and beyond. He had a canal built to supply electricity to his butter factory and mill at Nel’s Rust, using water to feed the turbines. He was the first man to dip cattle in the country; he built a cattle dip tank on his farm Meyershoek and was initially ridiculed by the farming fraternity, who later came round when their cattle losses to east Coast Fever far outweighed his. This dip tank is now a Historical Monument. Baynes House on the Estate was built in 1882. The first refrigeration room in South Africa can also be seen on the Estate next to the butter factory.

Joseph Baynes served as Minister of Lands and Works in the Colonial Government, during which time he piloted through the drainage of the Congella Swamps to develop Maydon Wharf, doubling the size of the Durban Harbour. Joseph was Chairman of the Indian Immigration Board, working to ensure that the promises made to the Indians on recruitment were kept once the labourers arrived in Durban. Joseph was known for his commitment to justice, advocating against personal tax on the black population in Natal who were not represented in government.

He also handed over the facilities of his woollen factory in Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street James Hay, High Commissioner of the Salvation Army for use as a home for men and one for boys; the Salvation Army Joseph Baynes Children's Home is now in Trelawney Street, Pietermaritzburg, and is supported in many different ways by the Baynesfield Board of Administration.

Joseph was married twice, firstly to Maria Zietsman who died in childbirth together with their baby daughter, and secondly to Sarah Tomlinson, with no issue. He died two years after Sarah, in 1925, leaving a detailed will changing the name of Nel's Rust to Baynesfield, and leaving the estate of 23 000 acres in trust. His will required: the beautifying and developing of the Estate, the expansion and development of existing industries or creating new industries, scientific agricultural research, practical illustration of what can be done in the way of development, the creation of agricultural schools or colleges, use of part of the Estate as a public park, and establishing Industrial Institutes or Homes for under-privileged children.

Royal Society Lecture Explores Political Ecology of Conservation

Royal Society lecture
Dr Adrian Nel, Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Geography in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, recently presented a lecture as part of the Royal Society of South Africa (RSSA) lecture series on the topic of: A Glimpse into the Political Ecology of Conservation through the Greater uMfolozi Biodiversity Economic Node.

The RSSA, said Dr Edith Elliot, hosts talks on contentious topics to introduce the public to people who have the tools at hand to work towards solving these issues. RSSA activities are especially aimed at recognising and rewarding excellence in science.

Nel is Node co-ordinator of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN), a Member of the UKZN Poverty, Ecology and Climate Change HUB and, a Member of the Society of South African Geographers (SSAG). He is also a reviewer on a number of journals, and has published a number of papers in International Journals. Nel’s lecture was based on his research interest in the political ecology of contemporary human-environment/landscape relations in Southern and Eastern Africa.

He began his lecture with a brief introduction to the interdisciplinary field of political ecology, defined by Robbins as ‘a field that seeks to unravel the political forces at work in environmental access, management and transformation’. He spoke about the use of natural resources by humans as a political act, and the subsequent need for understanding of local power dynamics and their impacts.

Nel also touched on the political ecology of conservation, emphasising that political ecologists focus on major theses of degradation and marginalisation. Viewing conservation through these lenses includes examining conservation and control, environmental conflict and exclusion, and a perspective on conservation and colonial society. He also touched on commodity conservation and crisis conservation, as well as alternative conservation that has been developing since the 1980’s, wherein communities are involved in participatory processes and there is a return of land rights.

As an example of the application of political ecology, Nel focused on his work in the greater uMfolozi Biodiversity Economy Node, where he is applying a political ecology perspective to conservation activities in that area and the politics thereof, including eco-tourism, conservation, rhino poaching, land claims and more. He endeavoured to highlight a win-win narrative of change in the node, and spoke about aiming to outline the roles of different players, the tensions between conservation and development, an understanding of access and enclosures, and explained how political ecology approaches will track unintended consequences. His work there will, he said, attempt to understand tensions and contribute to understandings of ways to maximise conservation benefits.

Nel, who has been at UKZN since June 2015, is from Zimbabwe and received his Bachelor and Honours Degrees in Economics and Politics from Rhodes University, and a PhD in Environmental Policy from Otago University in New Zealand. Nel also held a Visiting Fellowship with the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex and a Research Associate position with the Institute for Development Studies at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe.

CWRR Research on Tap Seminar Series

Kevin Meier
Mike Savage
David Clark
Thomas Rowe
The Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR) recently hosted its third Research on Tap Seminar with the theme of Droughts and Disaster Management.

On the programme for the day was the recent drought experienced in South Africa, which has been of an extreme nature in comparison to historical records. The seminar posed questions including whether this drought was a natural phenomenon or purely a result of water management. Participants also explored what can or is being done to mitigate harsh effects through disaster management, and what other methods and techniques are being used globally to address low flows during droughts.

Presenting at the seminar was Kevin Meier, Planning Manager from Umgeni Water. He gave an update on the status of the drought from the perspective of the largest supplier of bulk potable water in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Professor Michael Savage from Agrometeorology in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Science at UKZN presented research-related work on the drought.

David Clark, a researcher from the CWRR touched on disaster management by providing a brief introduction to the Delft Flood Early Warning System (Delft-FEWS) software, a tool to assist in data management and modelling, delivering information to assist with decisions related to disaster management.

Thomas Rowe, a PhD student from the CWRR shared highlights from his trip to the PUB Summer School in Vienna with lectures on analysing both floods and low flows. He gave a practical demonstration of how to analyse low flows using “R” Software.

The remaining themes for this year are as follows (dates, times and locations to be announced):
September: Climate Change and Water Resources
October: The Water-Energy-Food-Land Nexus
November: Aquaculture and Vertical Farming

If you are interested in these seminars in any way, you can get in touch with Rebecka Malinga or Susan Risko.

UKZN Celebrates Wonder Women in Science

Julia Sibiya
Dr Julia Sibiya and Dr Alaika Kassim were among five female scientists recognised by UKZN in Women's Month in August for their work in their respective fields.

Dr Sibiya runs the Plant Breeding MSc Programme for Africa in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Dr Kassim is the first female agricultural engineer to be appointed a lecturer in the Discipline of Bioresources Engineering in the School of Engineering.

Read more about Dr Sibiya here.
Read more about Dr Alaika Kassim here.
Alaika Kassim

EVENT: SANSOR Seed Industry Career Day at UKZN

SANSOR Career Day
Attention Agricultural Undergraduate and Postgraduate students

Are you studying: Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Biotechnology, Plant Pathology, Soil Science, Pasture Science, Plant Physiology and Molecular Plant Biology?

The South African National Seed Organization (SANSOR) will visit UKZN on the 11th of October 2017 to tell you more about careers and opportunities in the seed industry.

The day will start off with a short presentation to explain different career paths. Thereafter we will have a short expo where you can come and chat to a few people in the industry about future opportunities. 

We would also like to invite the postgraduate students to a short workshop session were you will be able to talk to a few professionals about what they do and your future plans.

09:30-10:00 Seed Industry Info Session, Rabie Saunders Building Room 53, Agriculture Campus, Carbis Road
10:00-12:30 Exhibition, Rabie Saunders Building foyer, Agriculture Campus, Carbis Road
13:00-14:00 Postgraduate Career Workshop, Rabie Saunders Building Room 10, Agriculture Campus, Carbis Road

Postgraduates can book their space with Magdeleen at SANSOR.

Global Giving | Young women’s economic empowerment and management training

Lima campaign
Dear Friends of UKZN Agriculture,

LIMA is extremely proud of our relationship with the university, because so many of LIMA's top practitioners are UKZN graduates who are leading our rural development activities on the ground.

Recently, the GlobalGiving Foundation has selected LIMA to participate in its Accelerator campaign, a fundraising opportunity for NPOs around the world. We must raise at least R65 000 from 40 donors by 29th September. If we meet that goal, LIMA will become a permanent GlobalGiving partner, with the potential to benefit from corporate relationships and gain exposure to a whole new donor network.

Our first GlobalGiving project aims to support 6 of LIMA's leading field facilitators, among whom are three UKZN agricultural economics alumni. Click on the button below and be one of the first to “accelerate” our campaign!

We're also going to need your help in spreading the word! Please share our campaign with any of your colleagues, friends and family who may know about LIMA's 30-year impact in rural development across South Africa.

Thank you for your support.

All the Best,
Sandra Badenhorst & Amy Thom
Campaign Coordinators
Lima Rural Development Foundation


Biological Invasions Bursaries available for 2018


4x Honours; 6x Masters; 2x Doctoral; 4x Post-doctoral

Bursaries are available to conduct research as part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s work on biological invasions.


Projects will be considered providing they are relevant to one of SANBI’s focus areas (status report and monitoring; incursion detection and response planning; eradication planning and co-ordination; taxonomy).

For details of the types of projects that can be considered see Wilson et al. 2013 South African Journal of Science and Wilson et al. 2017 Bothalia African Biodiversity and Conservation, both free to download. For specific projects click here. For other projects, please contact us before submitting an application to check if your proposal is suitable.

Bursary values

Bursaries are to cover living expenses and university fees

  • Honours/4th year undergraduate: R 80,000 p.a. for 1 year
  • Masters: R 120,000 p.a. for 2 years*
  • Doctoral: R 150,000 p.a. for 3 years*
  • Post-doctoral: R 300,000 p.a. for 2 years

*Applicants for Masters or Doctoral bursaries can be considered for a one-year project development internship should the applicant be unlikely to finish their studies within the prescribed period of time. In such cases, a candidate may be offered an internship interview.  A project development intern is expected to re-apply for a bursary the following year.

Requirements and running costs 

Candidates must be pro-active, enthusiastic, and interested in doing excellent research that will help improve our understanding and management of biological invasions. Student bursaries are only available to South African citizens and will be awarded in line with national equity targets.

Unsuccessful and ineligible bursary applicants may be considered for support with project running costs if their projects are closely aligned to SANBI’s focus areas. Post-doctoral research bursaries are open to anyone who has completed their PhD in the last five years. 

Honours students need to apply to a university honours programme themselves and the bursary is conditional upon them securing their position in such a programme. Project running expenses are covered separately to the bursaries and vary depending on the project. Funds are only available to students and post-docs registered at universities in South Africa.

Application procedure

Each application is to be accompanied by a standard bursary application cover sheet. Applications must include a full CV; certified copies of ID and academic record; two letters of academic reference; an agreement from a prospective academic supervisor; a one-page project outline for Honours applications or a two-page project outline for Masters, Doctoral, and Post-doctoral applications; and two journal publications if applicable.

Send all documents to with “SANBI Biological Invasions Bursary application” in the subject line.

Academic queries: Prof John Wilson (
Application process: Ms René du Toit (

Closing date: Friday 3 November 2017 (successful candidates will be notified by early December). 

SANBI reserves the right not to fill these bursaries.

If no response has been received within 21 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.

Bursaries are available to conduct research as part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s work on biological invasions.

Citrus Academy Bursaries

Citrus Academy bursaries
Citrus Academy bursary applications are open from the 1st of June to the 30th of September.

Applications can be made online. The Academy is looking for students who are studying:
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Management
  • Plant Production
  • Plant Pathology
  • Entomology
  • Horticulture
  • Soil Science
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Meat Industry Trust Bursary Scheme

The Meat Industry Trust (MIT) makes funds available annually for bursaries to meritorious students for post-graduate studies at South African tertiary institution in fields of importance to the Red Meat Industry.

More information about the application process is available on the MIT website; applications close on the 31 October 2017.
Kind regards,
Christine Cuénod
Networking Facilitator
(w) +27 33 260 6557
(c) +27 83 314 3317
on behalf of
Duncan Stewart
Committee Chairman
(c) +27 82 491 1912

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