School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Prof Samson Zeray Tesfay

Associate Professor and Senior Researcher

Prof Tesfay started at University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2013. His early years have focused on plant antioxidants and their effects in plant resistance to stress conditions as well as postharvest fruit handling and biochemistry. He has also worked on underutilized plant,  moringa, the research focus was on plant biochemical compounds distributed within plant. These study further shifted on the use of moringa extracts to be used as biofungicide to treat avocado, citrus, kiwifruit, mango, berries  against fungal infestation during postharvest storage. 

He is currently involved on industry funded projects on Macademia, Avocado, Kiwi fruit, mango. The focuses of the study are to develop maturity indexing protocol, organic plant-based biofungicide as postharvest treatment and postharvest fruit quality handling strategies. Prof. Tesfay also has nationwide responsibilities for Kiwi fruit maturity indexing study.  

Research interests

Evaluation of preharvest and postharvest factor on subtropical crop productivity and fruit quality, including rootstock, cultivar, irrigation, pesticide and nutrition management strategies 


  • Current projects include: mechanical harvest, cooling, modified/controlled atmospheres, ethylene antagonists, such as 1-methylcyclopropene. 
  • Determine the impact of current and novel techniques and technologies on quality of fresh fruits and vegetables during harvest, handling and storage operations

Research profiles