Three years in a row, the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) has won the Royal Industrial Floating Trophy for Best Display in an individual building at the annual Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg.

The College also received a gold medal for its impressive display and the team was commended for its customer service.

The stand delighted visitors with exhibits including snakes, tenrecs, guinea pigs, tarantulas, cockroaches, a hydroponic display, a plant tissue culture laboratory display, hydrological model and much more.

UKZN is known for its interactive, innovative and educational exhibitions, which this year included an automatic weather station and a display highlighting the work being done by the University, the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) and Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone’s Dube AgriLab, a plant tissue culture laboratory working on micro-propagation of sugarcane, other crops and ornamental plants. The facility propagates plantlets under sterile conditions in order to supply high quality disease-free, true-to-type young plants.

Informed students showed visitors around some of the attractions and told them more about what to expect at the University. There were also magical science shows from Dr Tanja Reinhardt, of the Science and Technology Education Centre.

Public Relations Officer for CAES, Ms Swasti Maney, attributed the success of the stand to the contributions of staff and students who assisted as well as the passion of those at the stand who shared their expertise with visitors.

Participating disciplines included AgrometeorologyBioresources (Agricultural) EngineeringCrop ScienceHydrology, numerous Life Sciences disciplines from Zoology to Biology, as well as the Aquatic Ecosystem Research group.

The stand was run in conjunction with the third Ukulinga Howard Davis Memorial Symposium and highlighted research currently underway at the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences related to sustainable agricultural value chains.

Close to 200 000 people visited the 450 commercial, industrial and services organisations’ exhibitions at the premier agricultural and lifestyle event in the province during its 10-day run.

Words: Christine Cuénod