Dr Gape Jongman, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP), recently won an award for the best poster at the *GlobalGAP Summit 2016. He received a fully sponsored trip to Amsterdam as part of the GlobalGAP Young Academics Programme to attend the Summit.
According to Prof Lise Korsten from the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Dr Jongman was lauded by the CEO of GlobalGAP, Kristian Moeller, for the commendable presentation of his poster.
Dr Jongman holds a BSc and an MSc (Applied Microbiology) degree from the University of Botswana and was previously employed by the University of Botswana as a lecturer.
In his thesis titled, Quality of water in food production systems, Dr Jongman researched the impact of irrigation water and minimal processing on the microbial quality and safety of leafy green vegetables at formal (commercial farms) and informal (small-scale and homestead gardens) production systems. The prevalence of foodborne pathogens were also determined by using conventional and novel molecular techniques, such as pyrosequencing and antibiotic and resistance gene detection. This study substantially contributed to food safety in South Africa as it provided an overview of microbial profiles and linking the safety status of irrigation water and leafy green vegetables in different production systems. Dr Jongman identified potential sources of microbial contamination on leafy green production systems and demonstrated that these environments act as reservoirs and carriers of clinically important human and opportunistic pathogens. Understanding the microbial quality of irrigation water and leafy greens may assist with the development of extended food safety programmes.
The GlobalGAP Summit fosters dialogue among community members globally. The biannual conference is the perfect setting to discuss the latest developments in food safety and sustainability as well as good agricultural and aquacultural practices and the future of the agricultural industry.
*GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practice – and GlobalGAP is the worldwide standard that assures it.