Horticulture student scooped up awards

Posted on March 15, 2016

Mathew Banda, an MSc student in Horticulture in the Department of Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences recently received two prizes from the South African Society for Horticultural Sciences. He was co-recipient of these two prizes with a student from Stellenbosch.

The first prize was awarded to the best oral presentation by a master's student in Horticulture and the second prize is a travel grant worth R10 000 for the best overall student presentation in Horticulture at the Joint Congress of the Weed, Crop, Soil and Horticultural Societies. The travel grant is towards payment to attend any International Horticultural congress. Mathew’s presentation at the conference was titled ’Validating sap flux density measurement methods in Citrus sinensis’, co-authored by Mr Teunis Vahrmeijer and Dr Nicolette Taylor.

Mathew’s research focus is on citrus water use. The increase in citrus production in South Africa over the years resulted in much pressure on water resources. The increase in demand of irrigation water has prompted research to determine the specific water needs of citrus, which enable famers to accurately schedule irrigation as per daily plant water use. This results in saving water and alleviating problems of nutrient leaching which results in eutrophication (a form of water pollution), making citrus production sustainable.


- Author Martie Meyer

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