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.
Department of Horticultural Science
Faculty of AgriSciences
Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland, South Africa
Tel +27 21 808 4900 Fax +27 21 808 2121