Michelle Binedell

In June, SASRI conducted its 96th Senior Certificate Course in Sugarcane Agriculture bringing the total number of trained students to just over 3 770 since its inception in 1963.

The course has continued to attract students from within the South African sugar industry and beyond our border. Two of our recent courses attracted students from as far afield as China. Since SASRI courses are presented primarily by Research and Extension Specialists, new scientific results and observations are regularly included and this ensures that courses remain current and appropriate. Students attending recent courses have been exposed to technologies such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS), tissue culture techniques such as NovaCane® and the recent smartphone app Pur Est ™.

Most recently, SASRI joined forces with Mpumalanga University (UMP) to present a Sugarcane Course for the Lowveld. This Short Learning Programme (SLP) in Sugarcane Production took place in June and July at the UMP campus in Mbombela. A total of 22 students were enrolled in the SLP, mainly from RCL Foods. The course, a partnership between SASRI and UMP, was presented by staff from SASRI, UMP, Mpumalanga Canegrowers and RCL Foods. The course was tailored primarily for growers from the irrigated region and contained a new module on integrated systems to promote sustainability.

Michelle Binedell, Knowledge Manager at SASRI, SASA