A senior lecturer in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), Dr Angeline van Biljon, has recently been elected as a member of the Southern African Plant Breeders’ Association (SAPBA) executive committee.
Van Biljon was nominated and elected for this position during the SAPBA conference that was held at the Future Africa Campus in Pretoria.
She explains that this position brings with it the possibility for her students to work closely with people in industry. Van Biljon says it is a privilege to be a member of the team.
“It is an opportunity to bring plant breeding to the community so that more people can know about the subject. For example, that seedless lemons, grapes and watermelons do not just happen; that orange sweet potatoes with high beta-carotene are bred to combat vitamin A deficiency and that wheat quality is important to make a good loaf of bread.”
Among others, Van Biljon collaborates on wheat quality with researchers in the wheat industry at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Small Grain in Bethlehem and is also a committee member of the Cereal Science and Technology – Southern African Association.
She is currently focusing on her research, which is the study of the nutritional value of various crops by determining, among others, the beta-carotene values of butternuts, the starch quality of wheat, and the tryptophan value of quality protein maize.
She will serve on this committee until March 2022.