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Stellenbosch University partner with AB InBev

Published Sep 13, 2017


JOHANNESBURG - Agronomists and food scientists of Stellenbosch University

(SU) on Wednesday announced their partnership with have the multinational

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beverage and brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev).The R6 million funding received is set to allow them to

tackle specific issues over the next three years related to the production of


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It will also include crops such as cassava and sorghum

that is often used in beer making in many African countries. 

Their endeavours are being funded through the new AB InBev Research Chair

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in Agronomy held by Prof Nick Kotze of the SU Department of Agronomy.

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In a statement, Professor Nick Kotze said the bursaries

worth R1 million will be provided to six undergraduate and four postgraduate

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MSc students at SU.

A further R1 million is being set aside to fund various research projects. Nikki Else,  Research and Development

Manager said Agriculture Africa at AB InBev, is the biggest

investment yet in a South African university by AB InBev Research,

or by SAB Miller, with which it merged in October 2016.

“We are excited about the partnership, and believe that

the research will mitigate potential risks within the supply chain,

demonstrating our commitment to South

Africa whilst ensuring the required quality

that meets the needs of our brewers and our customers,” said Else. “From the research, we hope to put forward

recommendations to predict the storage potential of pre-germinated grains, to

ensure that crops are not lost completely,” said Kotze.

Cassava and Sorghum research will also be

conducted where several varieties will be evaluated against agronomic and

quality criteria. Various trial sites in Africa

for selected varieties will be identified in order to determine

different climatic and soil conditions on production.  

Else said, projects related to cassava and sorghum will help ABInBev increase its

reach in Africa’s local beer market. “Through this project we hope to provide guidelines to

producers in these countries on the production techniques that work best to

grow quality sorghum.”

Another project involves food scientists at Stellenbosch University which will focus on

the detection of a quality compound issue found in the cassava plant. The project consists of Prof Kotze, Dr Stefan Hayward and

Prof Pieter Gouws of the Department of Food Science at Stellenbosch University,

as well as Dr Else of AB InBev.

“Laboratory facilities to do such tests are not always

available in the remote areas where cassava is typically produced,” explains

Prof Gouws. “Therefore, we’d like to develop a kit that is easy and quick to

use in the field.”


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