The SASRI research, development & innovation programme is designed to impact positively on seven industry priorities:
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.
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.
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).
The SASRI research, development and innovation is administered within four multidisciplinary programmes, namely Variety Improvement, Crop Protection, Crop Performance & Management, and Systems Design & Optimisation.
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.
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.
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: