What is Horticultural Science?
Horticulture is the science, technology and business involved in intensive plant cultivation for human use – from a garden to the activities of a multinational corporation. It is very diverse in its activities, covering plants for food and non-food crops. Because of the growing consciousness of the enormous challenges of feeding the world's expanding population in future, the concepts "farm to the fork" and "farm for the future" are extremely important. Both concepts place the emphasis on the sustainable use of our natural resources to produce tasty and nourishing products at the lowest possible cost with the least amount of waste.
From the inception of the Department of Horticultural Science in 1918 teaching and research have been mainly focused on production methods of suitable deciduous fruit cultivars for the South African fruit industry. From the start interaction with and support for the industry were emphasised, remaining to this day a cornerstone of the Department's activities, especially because it finds itself in the heart of the RSA's horticultural industry. The Department is extremely proud of the fact that it was involved in the training of almost all the horticulturalists whose expertise and knowledge underpin the different aspects of the industry – fruit (apples, pears, stone fruit such as plums and peaches, citrus products, as well as olives, pomegranates, figs, nuts and berries) as well as cut flowers. Its mission is to develop, test and improve technologies for the enhancement of pre- and postharvest fruit and cut-flower quality; to introduce and transfer the developed technologies to growers and other horticultural companies for commercial implementation; and to supply skilled manpower to the horticultural industry by delivering graduates from designated groups, as well as five to eight postgraduate students annually.
BScAgric (Plant and Soil Sciences)
The four-year program in plant and soil sciences offers training in the production of agricultural and vegetable crops, fodder crops, aromatic plants, deciduous fruit, citrus, fynbos and vineyards. For each crop, knowledge of the following is integrated into a meaningful whole: agricultural economics, biochemistry, biometrics, crop production, entomology, genetics, nematology, plant pathology and soil science.
The program is subdivided into 3 fields of study:
- Crop Productions: In this field of study, you will receive training in the production and quality management including field crops, deciduous fruit, citrus, fynbos, vineyard and greenhouse crops.
- Crop Protection and Breeding: This field of study trains you as an expert in crop protection (entomological and nematological pests, plant diseases and their control) and genetic crop improvement (cultivation and manipulation).
- Soil and Water Management: This field of study equips you with the expertise to understand the nature, importance and management of soil and water as they relate to crop production.
Opting for study in one of these three fields prepares you for a variety of careers in the agriculture industry or agriculture-related industries, including careers such as adviser, consultant, entrepreneur, manager, technician and researcher.
During the last decade or so research facilities in the laboratories as well as in the field have been vastly improved. Starting with the development of carbohydrate and plant-growth regulator laboratories, and leading to the acquisition of modern equipment for post-harvest and eco-physiological research, the Department is now well positioned for world-class research and training. Today it is firmly positioned to conduct dynamic research in the deciduous fruit and citrus industries, providing value-adding technology for industry partners aimed at increasing their global competitiveness and profitability.
The Department conducts dynamic research for the deciduous fruit, citrus, ornamental cut flower and potted plants industries, providing value-adding technology for industry partners and lending support to new horticultural industries focusing on alternative crop production.
The established export-focused soft fruit, citrus and fynbos industries play an important role in the economy of the Western Cape and of South Africa as a whole. Research is focused on continually improving the enormous potential for the expansion of these industries and the growth of new alternative industries in the Western Cape, but also elsewhere in Southern Africa.
|Dr Paul Cronje||021 808 email@example.com||Citrus Post-harvest Physiology|
|Dr Elke Crouch||021 808 firstname.lastname@example.org||Pme Fruit Post-harvest Physiology|
|Dr Malcolm Dodd||021 808 email@example.com||Post-harvest Physiology|
|Dr Lynn Hoffman||021 808 firstname.lastname@example.org||Fynbos and Cut-flower Production and Post-harvest Physiology|
|Dr Marius Huysamer||021 808 email@example.com||Post-harvest Physiology|
|Prof Gerard Jacobs||021 808 firstname.lastname@example.org||Fynbos Production and Post-harvest Physiology|
|Dr Mariana Jooste||021 808 email@example.com||Stone Fruit Post-harvest Physiology|
|Dr Esme Louw||021 808 firstname.lastname@example.org||Plant Physiology|
|Dr Elmi Lötze||021 808 email@example.com||Pome Fruit Quality|
|Prof Linus Opara||021 808 firstname.lastname@example.org||Post-harvest technology|
|Dr Michael Schmeisser||021 808 email@example.com||Plant Ecophysiology and Stress Physiology |
|Dr Wiehahn Steyn||021 808 firstname.lastname@example.org||Tree Physiology |
|Prof Karen Theron||021 808 email@example.com||Tree Physiology, Chairperson|
Technical & Support Staff