A relationship that started with, among other things, the donation of fertilizer has been strengthened by an investment into the future of students in agriculture at Stellenbosch University (SU). Three bursaries have been made available to students in the Faculty of AgriSciences by the international company, Yara, specialists in fertilizers and other plant nutritional services.
The bursaries will support studies in Agronomy and Horticultural Sciences. A third bursary will be awarded to a student from an African country other than South Africa, or will be used to research a specific innovative project at SU.
The relationship between Yara and the SU already spans several years. It started when several alumni joined the company. This has already led to informal co-operation and numerous research projects being funded by Yara. Yara also donates the plant nutritional products that are used at SU’s Welgevallen Experimental Farm in Stellenbosch.
“We are now expanding this relationship by investing in the lives of young people, to help them to flourish in the academic field,” explains Mr Ig Ferreira, general manager of Yara Cape in Paarl. “We hope that our financial support will serve as ‘fertilizer’, as it were, for their studies to ultimately support and broaden the knowledge base of agriculture in South Africa and Africa.”
Yara is an international company that offers sustainable solutions for agriculture and the environment. Agricultural services include the marketing of fertilizers, as well as expertise and technology to support these services. The company, with its headquarters in Norway, conducts business on six continents and in more than 150 countries. In South Africa, the company has offices in Paarl and Johannesburg and is involved widely in the rest of Africa.
The bursaries were announced at a research day, also funded by Yara, at the SU Welgevallen Experimental Farm. The speakers included Prof Danie Brink, acting dean of the SU Faculty of AgriSciences, Dr Ilse Trautman, Chief Director: Research and Technology Development Services of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, and Dr Anke Kwast from Yara’s research centre in Germany. SU horticulturalist Dr Elmi Lotze and greenhouse cultivation expert Estelle Kempen, also shared their findings, while visitors had the opportunity to view current research projects.
For more information visit the Stellenbosch University website