Plantovita renders unique services to both the potato and dry bean industries.
The facilities have been equipped for rendering these services specifically. In addition to specialised disease detection laboratories, the centre also has, laboratories to perform germination and purity tests, a walk-in growth room for germination tests, a defused lighting facility for the determination of the cultivar purity of potato seed-lots and a molecular testing laboratory. There are five glasshouses on the premises. One is used, when needed, for the handling of smaller industry applicable research projects.
There are 16 staff members on the permanent establishment of Plantovita. Every section is managed by a qualified and trained Laboratory Technologist. These Laboratory Technologists report to the Technical Manager and the Manager: Laboratory Services. With regard to their day-to-day tasks the Laboratory Technicians are supported by Laboratory Assistants. The Laboratory Assistants function in specific sections and are indispensable for the optimal functioning of Plantovita. The permanent staff also includes an Administrative Officer and a Cleaner. For the greater portion of the testing season use is also made of the services of contract workers who mainly render supportive services with regard to the preparation of samples.
As stated in the Mission Statement of Plantovita, the laboratory strives to render to the potato and dry bean industries services which are –
In the dry bean disease laboratory dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) samples are tested for the presence of seed-borne bacterial and fungal diseases. The activities in the dry bean section also include germination and purity determinations in respect of certification samples.
Specific disease test are undertaken in propagation material presented for certification. The laboratory also has a defused lighting facility. Our labs are used for potato and dry bean -seed certification.
Both the potato and dry bean sections offer diagnostic services. Diagnostic samples may be submitted by producers and private companies.