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University of Milano professors choose VUT CSL to coordinate food project

Professor Roberto Pilu, an agricultural geneticist, Dr Daniel Puglisi, an agronomist and Dr Alberto Sirizzotti a geneticist, all researchers from the University of Milano, visited the VUT's Centre of Sustainable Livelihoods (CSL) offices, trail fields and laboratories from 20-25 March 2017.

CSL is a postgraduate research centre currently under the Faculty of Human Sciences where actual community projects are coupled with postgraduate student research projects. The centre also conducts normal research activities, mainly on human nutrition, and produces targeted healthy food based on the needs of the public.

The purpose of the visit was twofold: To solidify the existing collaborations with VUT through CSL by participating in the first harvest of special maize cultivars destined for the food and nutrition security of SA; and to train PhD students on some skills relating to agronomics and science of the new maize trail field at the VUT Science Park campus.

The researchers also met with relevant officials at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF) about the new maize and beans cultivars that will assist in food and nutrition security in South Africa.

"VUT will benefit from new knowledge and know-how from the European scientists about the biologically enhanced maize and beans cultivars to address both food and nutrition security in South Africa and beyond. VUT will also be the coordinating institution of this project in South Africa and greater Africa," said Prof Abdulkadir Egal from the CSL.