Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

HortiDemoCentre one year on, welcomes Queen Maxima

On October 20, the HortiDemoCentre at the Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agrisciences, Stellenbosch University opened its doors to welcome Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Mr Piet Adema, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality. Prof Hester Klopper, Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs; Prof Danie Brink, Dean of Agriculture; and Dr. Estelle Kempen, lecturer, and Ms. Peace Quadt Delphy, project manager for the HortiDemoCentre, welcomed her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands at the start of her tour of the greenhouse.

Click here for photos of the visit

Ms Jancke van Wykm, an MSc student in Agronomy, discussed with the Queen the benefits of the structure that was selected for the Stellenbosch climate while Mr. Adaduma Msana, a PGDip student in Agronomy, showed the visitors how we re-use the nutrient solutions. Ms Kholosa Nakani, an intern at the HortiDemoCentre, explained to the Queen and Minister Adema how, with support from Koppert, biological methods are used to control pests on the tomato plants.

The HortiDemoCentre specializes in protected horticulture and showcases the best and most cutting-edge Dutch horticultural technology. The center is working towards being a viable business in the long term by implementing innovative Dutch technologies for profitable, productive, sustainable, and climate-smart agronomy. The center launched its demonstration of climate-smart technologies exactly one year ago and has since served to train many undergraduate Agri-sciences students, interns, and industry partners involved in greenhouse production. As partners, Delphy BV, Stellenbosch University, Greener Solutions, Ludvig Svensson, Ridder Group, Rijk Zwaan, Control Union, and Koppert South Africa offer a broad spectrum of knowledge and technology throughout the horticultural value chain.

This project serves as an excellent example of how such a partnership between industry and academia in the two countries can be successful. The center is unique in the water and nutrient-efficient methods it applies, makes use of rainwater, and bases its crop health management on an integrated pest management system. In May 2023, the center initiated a variety of climate-smart training opportunities for students, farmers, and anyone working in the industry who wants to improve their knowledge on a specific aspect of protected cultivation. The consortium partners will also all contribute their unique expertise to these short courses that will cover topics from Crop Production and Greenhouse Management to Business Skills for Horticulture.

For more information:
Dr. Estelle Kempen
[email protected]

Publication date: