SASRI conducts research and provides services to minimise the effects of diseases on crop production. While many diseases affect sugarcane, four are regarded as serious, with major economic impact on the crop. These are Ratoon Stunt (RSD), Smut, Mosaic and Rust.
Through its Biosecurity Inspectorate, SASRI acts together with Local Pest, Disease and Variety Control Committees to implement procedures to mitigate damage and loss. They also ensure that varieties planted in each control area conform to the annual list of cane varieties gazetted for that specific area.