SASRI Research

The SASRI research, development & innovation programme is designed to impact positively on seven industry priorities:

Eldana Control

Reduced negative impacts of Eldana on yields through the development and facilitation of subsequent adoption of Eldana IPM guidelines and new technologies.

Higher Recoverable Value Yields

Increased RV yields through the production of superior varieties with improved pest and disease resistance by conventional, introgression and molecular breeding and genetic engineering for higher RV yields (via improved sucrose content and biomass per hectare) and facilitate the correct placement, disposition and management of these varieties.

Mechanisation Information

An on-line database of nationally- and internationally-available mechanisation options to assist grower decision-making.

Climate Change Adaptation

Reliable predictions of climate change impacts on crop water-use and yield for existing and potential agro-climatic situations (soil-crop-management-climate), appropriate resources to enable climate change adaptation and mitigation and best management practices to maximise yield and profitability under expected mid-century climate.

Bioenergy Applications

Determined suitability of SA varieties for profitable bioenergy applications, accounting for associated biomass harvesting and transport options and costs.

Crop and Soil Health

Technologies to optimise soil health and crop nutrition to maximise efficiencies for production and long-term industry sustainability.

Indigenous Longhorn Beetle

(a) Technologies that enable the suppression of the population size of localised longhorn beetle outbreaks; and (b) knowledge base that enables the development of technologies for long-term sustainable integrated management of the pest on an area-wide basis. Two parallel lines of investigation are conducted: development of monitoring technologies and containment tactics based on available information (technology development); and expansion of knowledge of the biology and ecology of the longhorn beetle that will form the foundation of a sustainable integrated management programme (research).

Dr Derek Watt

Research Manager

   
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Research Programmes

The SASRI research, development and innovation is administered within four multidisciplinary programmes, namely Variety Improvement, Crop Protection, Crop Performance & Management, and Systems Design & Optimisation.

Variety Improvement

This programme conducts research and implements strategies for the continual release of high yielding, adaptable, pest and disease resistant varieties that add value and enhance industry productivity…

Systems Design and Optimisation

This programme investigates, develops and transfers innovative systems that optimise industry agricultural performance…

Crop Protection

This programme develops integrated management strategies that minimise the effects of pests, diseases and weeds on crop production in a sustainable manner….

Crop Performance and Management

This programme develops models and better management practices to sustain and enhance sugarcane production within the…

Research Staff

Dr Derek Watt

Research Manager

   
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Programme Manager: Crop Performance & Management

   
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Programme Manager: Crop Protection

   
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Systems Modeller

   
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Assistant Research Officer: Crop Physiology

   
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Crop Scientist: Digital Agriculture

   
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Senior Entomologist

   
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Scientist: Variety Evaluation

   
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Agrochemical Scientist

   
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Biosecurity Scientist

   
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Assistant Entomologist

   
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Assistant Nematologist

   
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Senior Plant Breeder

   
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Assistant Plant Breeder

   
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Senior Plant Pathologist

   
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Plant Pathologist

   
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Assistant Plant Pathologist

   
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Assistant Plant Pathologist

   
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Assistant Plant Pathologist

   
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Programme Manager: Systems Design & Optimisation

   
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Senior Soil Scientist

   
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GIS Specialist

   
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Data Support Manager

   
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Scientific Programmer

   
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Assistant Agrometeorologist

   
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Agricultural Engineer

   
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Agricultural Engineer

   
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Programme Manager: Variety Improvement Principal Scientist: Biotechnology

   
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Assistant Biotechnologist

   
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Assistant Biotechnologist

   
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Assistant Biotechnologist

   
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Assistant Biotechnologist

   
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Assistant Biotechnologist

   
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Assistant Biotechnologist

   
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Science Mentorship

Post-Graduate programme

To promote innovation in South African sugarcane agriculture, SASRI hosts a dynamic post-graduate programme on its campus in Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal. The research is conducted under the supervision of SASRI scientists who are affiliated with several leading South African universities, including the University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria, University of the Free State and Stellenbosch University.

Degree-Diploma-programme

Degree/Diploma programme

SASRI runs an internship programme for candidates with a Diploma or a Degree in the biological and agricultural sciences, with a specific focus on optimising crop growth.

Initially, participants are offered a one year contract, which may be extended if the project is extended, provided there is funding available and the intern performs well. There are opportunities for further studies for students who excel and contribute significantly. After a two-year internship, students may be considered for our Post-Graduate Student Programme.

We normally look for applicants in the following disciplines: Biological Sciences, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Pathology, Entomology, Analytical Chemistry, Geographic Information Systems, Computer Science and Safety & Environmental Health.

Please visit our online application portal or our mobi application portal.

Degree-Diploma-programme
RD Partnerships and Collaborations

R&D Partnerships and Collaborations

SASRI seeks out new, and fosters established, partnerships to enhance research and development capacity to the benefit of the industry.

The quality of SASRI’s research is evident through its qualified and experienced staff, many of whom serve on committees of international scientific organisations, and as honorary members of various academic institutions.

SASRI currently maintains formal R&D partnerships or collaborations with:

RD Partnerships and Collaborations