What sugarcane has to do with the KZN Museum?
By Matabaro Ziganira
One might expect that agricultural crops such as sugarcane is solely a business of cane growers and research institutions in the agricultural sector. And when it comes to museums, animal specimens only are considered. Yes, that is correct! However, sugarcane does not grow in empty space, it grows in the soil; and that is where the KZN Museum comes in. The soil is the habitation of many invertebrates including earthworms. Earthworms play a critical role in the productiveness of the soil (sugarcane field in this case), and are very important indicators of the general health of the soil. Good healthy soil simply means healthy plants and thus good harvest for the farmers. Thanks to Dr Nxele and Mr Matabaro Ziganira both of the natural science department who have been mining ‘iminyundu’ earthworms in fields and raising awareness about them to small-scale cane growers in KZN Midlands. Of course lots can be said about sugarcane but what matter the most for the KZN Museum are the invertebrates, soil and plant interactions.