The department came into existence in May 2007. Previously, it used to be a section in Crop Production Department. The Department offers B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Horticulture. It also offers Horticultural courses to other degree programmes in the Faculty of Agriculture. The Department undertakes rigorous research geared towards solving national and international problems in horticulture. It also undertakes consultancies, advisory services, short-term training, and encourages both national and international collaboration. The department has qualified staff and thus able to deliver quality training and research in all areas of its mandate.
Definition of Horticulture
Horticulture is the branch of Agriculture that deals with the intensive cultivation of plants. It encompasses the production, processing, storage and marketing of fruits, vegetables, and cut flowers, production of landscape and nursery plants as well as landscape design, construction and maintenance.
The mission of the Horticulture Department is to equip students with high quality expertise in Horticultural Sciences in order to be able to venture and benefit from the lucrative horticultural industry.
- To offer a comprehensive B.Sc. degree in Horticulture, which will include Vegetable Production, Fruit Production, Ornamental Horticulture, Post-harvest Technology and Integrated Pest and Disease Management;
- To train students in divergent thinking and problem solving techniques so as to become leaders in the horticulture industry and be instrumental in creating wealth and development;
- To emphasise on a hands-on practical application of theoretical knowledge;
- To equip members of staff to undertake cutting-edge research aimed at developing new concepts and principles relating to the production, utilisation and solution of specific problems related to major horticultural crops;
- To offer consultancy service, information dissemination on the latest concepts in horticultural production and advisory services to the farming communities;
- To provide short-term training to horticultural producers in latest production and post-harvest handling technologies;
- To participate and contribute in horticultural development projects, programmes and policy developments that will lead to prosperity for horticulture, the food industry in Swaziland and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region and beyond;
- To offer Post-graduate programmes in Horticulture (M.Sc. and Ph.D.), which will provide an opportunity for outstanding graduates to prepare themselves for challenging careers in university teaching, research and supervisory positions in the horticultural industry.
Career opportunities for horticultural graduates
- Self-employment as a vegetable producer, cut flower producer, nursery owner, landscaping of homes, business premises, institutions, industrial sites, parks etc.
- As a Horticultural Extension Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture
- Teaching jobs at Horticultural Training institutions
- Research jobs at the local and international research stations
- Consultancy in Horticulture
- Employment in private companies like Tibiyo Agriculture, FINCORP, Ngonini Estate (citrus and banana orchards), Tambuti Estates (citrus orchards), cut flower producers etc.
- Employment by NGOs e.g. World Visions International etc.
- Employment by horticultural marketing institutions like NAMBOARD
- Employment in seed production companies
- Employment in Biotechnology laboratories