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Chair in Plant Health

The Chair in Plant Health is a first for South African agriculture and was established thanks to funding from Villa Crop Protection. Its endeavours to focus on research driven by the needs of industry, the education and financial support of students and the provision of further skills training for employees in the agricultural sector. Prof Nick Kotze, chair of the SU Department of Agronomy, leads the initiative.

Key functions earmarked for this agreement include:

  • Identifying and prioritising specific farm level grower research needs, and addressing it through targeted scientific research done by postgraduate students and their academic supervisors;
  • The provision of relevant postgraduate bursaries to support the training of future agriculturalists who are equipped with the necessary knowledge tools needed by the local agricultural sector; and
  • The roll-out of accredited short courses by Stellenbosch University to expand the skill levels of agriculturalists already working in the local industry.

The education leg of this endeavour strives not only to augment formal qualifications, but also to ensure continuous training options for agriculturalists and others already working in the local industry.  The accredited short courses to be presented through the Chair in Plant Health will build on short courses, certificate and diploma courses previously developed by the Villa Academy. Lecturers from Stellenbosch University will be supported by others previously contracted by Villa Academy, as well as international colleagues from leading universities overseas.

For more information on the short courses available, please visit the Agritraining website.