Pan-African event aims to boost grower knowledge, assist industry
Tackling some of the thornier farming issues such as drought, pestilence and market instability will be just a few of the themes of the second All Africa Horticulture Congress, which kicked off yesterday in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Scientists and horticulturalists will be sharing knowledge and expertise in breeding and genetics, plant nutrition, fruit and crop physiology, post harvesting techniques and financial investment.
South African Society for Horticultural Sciences (SASHS) president Karin Hannweg, told www.freshfruitportal.com there was a diverse range of themes expected at the congress.
"We are doing everything from on the ground application and basic technology to biotechnology. It's very wide ranging and its an international congress with topical workshops," she said.
Workshops will cover genetics, biotechnology tools and technology incubation with lectures on a spectrum of topics including plant breeding, maturity and ripening, treatments and disease prevention techniques.
Delegates will see South Africa's three incubator plants aimed at helping small farmers set up as horticultural businesses, which are in Nelspruit, the Tonga area, as well as a virtual plant.
"They help farmers from scratch with, for example, soil preparation and irrigation, harvesting and marketing. How biotechnology tools can help with drought and pest resistance, improve yield and also increase the nutritional qualities of a vegetable or fruit."
The Horticulture for Humanity five-day conference, Jan. 15-20 , is being hosted by SASHS and aims to offer a platform for communication and collaboration.
The events program can be viewed on www.aahc.co.za.