PhD candidate in the Discipline of Horticultural Science in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES), Mr Ola Olarewaju, recently travelled to the All-Africa Horticultural Congress in Nigeria, where his poster received the Best Poster award.
Olarewaju, undertaking his PhD under the supervision of Dr Lembe Magwaza and Dr Samson Tesfay, is working on the identification of pre-symptomatic bio-markers and non-destructive prediction of physiological rind disorders of citrus fruit. According to Olarewaju, this research could assist the citrus industry in the management of postharvest losses by sending fruit with longer threshold of rind disorder to international markets and fruit with shorter threshold of rind disorder to local markets.
In the long run, this will increase the amount of produce available to consumers and increase financial gain for growers.
Taken from this research, Olarewaju’s poster at the Congress was entitled “A comparative analysis of postharvest rind colour and antioxidant composition of ‘Marsh’ grapefruit harvested from different canopy positions of the tree”. With regard to attending the Congress, Olarewaju said it was an opportunity to meet with like-minded scientists to discuss issues surrounding horticulture for improved livelihoods.
As a result of his poster’s selection as the winning poster, Olarewaju received an award from the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), including the publication of his profile in the prestigious ISHS Chronica Horticulturae magazine with a readership of 7 000.
‘Winning the award is a wake-up call for me to work more diligently, smartly and intelligently, as the citrus industry needs more applicable scientific results,’ said Olarewaju.