Scientist: Variety Evaluation
Tel: 031 508 7400 (Switchboard)
Tel: 031 508 7312 (Direct)


  • To conduct agronomic research on different sugarcane varieties by managing projects aimed at understanding varietal responses to different agro-climatic regions.
  • To make recommendations to Extension Specialists and growers in the sugar industry, based on outcomes of research projects.


Data analysis, agronomy, crop physiology.

Research Interests

  • Varietal responses to different agronomic practices.
  • Integrating plant breeding procedures and crop growth models to improve crop performance.
  • Developing decision support tools for extension specialist and growers.

Key Publications

Mbatha TP & Modi AT (2010). Response of local mustard germplasm to water stress. South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 27:4, 328-330.

Mbatha TP, Ramburan S & Smit MA (2011). Evaluating sugarcane cultivar responses to trashing: preliminary observations. Proc S Afr Sug Technol Ass 84: 164 – 168

Mbatha TP & van Heerden PDR (2013). Chemical ripener responses in irrigated sugarcane varieties at Pongola (SOUTH AFRICA). Proc S Afr Sug Technol Ass 86: 156 – 159

van Heerden PDR, Mbatha TP & Ngxaliwe S (2015). Chemical ripening of sugarcane with trinexapac-ethyl (Moddus®) – Mode of action and comparative efficacy. Field Crops Research 181: 69-75.

Nxumalo T, Morris A & Germishuizen I (2017) Quantifying the impact of Uromycladium acaciae (wattle rust) on black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) growth and productivity. Technical Note 14/2017

Fraser S, McTaggart AR, Moreno Chan J, Nxumalo T, Shuey LS, Wingfield M & Roux J (2018). An artificial inoculation protocol for Uromycladium acaciae, cause of a serious disease of Acacia mearnsiiin southern Africa. Southern Forests: A Journal of Forests Science.  DOI: 10.2989/20702620.2018.1468985


  • BSc (Biochemistry and Chemistry) – University of KwaZulu Natal
  • MSc Agric (Crop Science) – University of KwaZulu-Natal