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Focus of the visit: Funding and collaborative opportunities between the Agricultural Sector of the South African National Bio-economy Strategy and University of Cambridge

About Dr Maneshree Jugmohan-Naidu

Dr Maneshree Jugmohan-Naidu, whose expertise ranges from genetic diversity of plant pathogens to diagnostics in health biotechnology sector, is the Director of Agricultural Biotechnology at the South Africa Department of Science and Technology (DST). Maneshree coordinates key strategies and programmes in agricultural biotechnology/bio-economy, including international/bilateral cooperation, and the development of an enabling and conducive environment for responsible biotechnology in South Africa. 

She has been involved in management of research including policy and governance at the national level for the past 10 years. Prior to joining the DST, Maneshree worked for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (National), the NHLS and the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine (UKZN).

She has also served on various committees including the JIPSA Agriculture Technical Working Group (the Presidency), the National Science and Technology Forum, various intergovernmental committees, the National Agro-processing forum, as member of the Executive council of the GMO Act in South Africa and more recently as steering committee member of the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBIO).

About Dr Maneshree Jugmohan-Naidu's visit to Cambridge

The purpose of Maneshree’s visit is to explore funding and collaborative opportunities between the University of Cambridge and the South African National Bio-economy Strategy.

The South African National Bio-economy Strategy was launched by Minister Derek Hanekom in January 2014 and it catalyzes the creation of dynamic and networked strategic investments in Research and Development to foster innovative biotechnology. The vision of the Agricultural Sector of the Bio-economy Strategy is a vibrant and economically sustainable agricultural sector through bio-innovative technologies, products and services contributing to increased productivity, food security and rural development. In order to achieve this, the Agricultural Sector of the Bio-economy Strategy identifies the need to eradicate poverty and inequality and promote job creation. Moreover, it supports the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisherie’s Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP) and the newly approved Operation Phakisa for Rural Development, Agriculture and Land Reform that is targeted at dealing with current gaps/challenges in the Agricultural sector.

As an outcome of Maneshree’s visit, some possible research focus areas are:

  • Plant improvement – breeding and pest and disease management – explore commodities such as maize, wheat (hybrid), soya, sorghum, canola, rice and various diseases, e.g army worm and MLN, as well as soil borne disease such as sclerotinia;
  • Animal improvement –breeding, vaccine development;
  • Value adding and agro-processing (indigenous/underutilized crops) to support competitiveness and rural economic development and possibly Agri-aparks;
  • Food and nutrition (including biofortification);  
  • Food security, poverty alleviation and job creation as crosscutting principles.


Please contact the Programme Manager (Sara Serradas Duarte, if you would like to meet Dr Maneshree Jugmohan-Naidu during her visit to Cambridge.

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