The University of Zululand (UNIZULU) is celebrating with Xolisile Sibiya, a master’s Botany student, who scooped second position for an oral presentation in the Agricultural Research Council ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops (ARC-TSC) Research Open Day.

ARC is a premier science institution that conducts research with partners, develops human capital and fosters innovation in support of the agricultural sector. It provides, among other things, diagnostic, consultation and advisory services as well as training interventions. Through its wider network of research institutes and experimental farms, the council provides a strong scientific base and a broadly distributed technology transfer capacity to the entire agricultural industry in South Africa.

Sibiya’s topic for her presentation was “Nitrogen Use Efficiency in selected pineapple cultivars under in vitro conditions”. She was pitted against students from several other universities.

Sibiya’s supervisors, Dr Nontuthuko Ntuli, Dr Corlina Van Jaarsveld and Dr Hajari from UNIZULU and ARC-TSC, respectively, were ecstatic upon hearing about her achievement. Speaking on behalf of the supervisors, Dr Ntuli said that they have evidenced Sibiya’s potential to convey a substantial research message to the audience, even though her work was presented at a proposal level. “We are confident that the best is yet to come, particularly when she presents her findings in the near future. We are proud of our resolute student. Congratulations Xoli!” said Dr Ntuli.

Sibiya attributes her success to her academic supervisors. “They play a huge role in my life,” she said. “Not only do they provide academic guidance, but also life guidance in general. They encourage me to try new things and has opened the door to so many amazing opportunities.”

She added that this was her first time presenting at a symposium, and it was an experience of a lifetime as she was among seasoned presenters.

  • Precious Shamase