FABI welcomed 43 students from the University of Venda to the Institute on 3 September. This is the third visit by (mostly agricultural) students from this University with which FABI has a long-standing research collaboration association. The students, along with staff members were welcomed by FABI Director Prof. Bernard Slippers who also encouraged them to consider FABI for postgraduate studies or joining the Institute’s year-long Internship in Phytosanitation and Biosecurity programme. The students were taken through FABI and showed the Sequencing Facility, Diagnostic Clinic, Culture Collection and Gas Chromatography lab. They then moved to Future Africa on the University of Pretoria’s Innovation Africa @UP campus where Dr Osmond Mlonyeni, Project and General Manager of Innovation Africa @UP (and FABI Alumnus), spoke to them about his career and professional journey in a presentation, “Your journey requires commitment, not doubt”.

After lunch it was off to the FABI Biocontrol Centre where they were shown what research is being done at the facility and how this contributes to plant health in various research programmes in FABI. Here PhD candidate Innocent Rakubu also reflected on how he was once one of the UniVen students that visited FABI and who then, after completing a 12-month Internship in FABI, then continued with his MSc degree which he passed with distinction. He has recently started his PhD degree focused on Entomopathogenic nematodes.