On the 14th November 2017, Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) in partnership with Ministry of Agricultural Development & Food Security (MoADFS) and Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) hosted a Consultative Stakeholder Workshop on Research Grants at Cresta Lodge Gaborone.

The workshop was enthused by two Agricultural Research Projects that were deemed to possess the potential for further upscaling.  The two research projects are namely: Piggery Investment Guide (PIG): A Value Chain Analysis Based Small Scale Piggery Investment Viability Determination;

A Strategy for Increase Household Income by Dr. Ezekiel Chimbombi; and The Role of Indigenous Plants in Controlling Internal Worms of Small-Stock for Increased Productivity and Household Income by Professor Othusitse Madibela. The two aforementioned projects were among the successful proposals that were each awarded P50,000 research grants in the 2013/14 HRDC Research & Innovation Grant Project under the Household Income – Sources, Strategies & Survival theme.  Of the 16 projects that were awarded grants, 14 successfully completed their research. 

Upon evaluation of the 14 completed research projects, the above-mentioned two agricultural projects were earmarked for further upscaling. The stakeholder consultative workshop among others was intended to; promote industry linked research; promote the uptake and utilisation of Tertiary Education Institutional Research outputs; as well disseminate the findings of two projects from the 2013/14 HRDC Research & Innovation Grant Project. The workshop was attended by farmers particularly in Gaborone, Southern, South East, Kgatleng and Kweneng Districts, as well as private and public sector and media practitioners. The second workshop will be held to cater for and promote participation from farmers in the other regions of the country at a date yet to be determined in the next financial year. 

Sharing their findings, the presenters sparked a significant level of interest with many participants applauding the aspiration to upscale the projects in order for them to have maximum impact on farmers.  Applied Research in the Agricultural Sector has been limited and this initiative is an enhancement of usable products and implementable services within the sector. 

The support from the Ministry of Agricultural Development & Food Security will therefore prove critical towards the success of upscaling and commercialising of these projects with the hope that buy-in will be vast for a wide array of stakeholders.  Information accessibility will also prove to be a key component for farmers and other relevant stakeholders in remote areas.

It is evident that, from the 160 farmers and stakeholders that had been invited, a total of 113 registered and attended the workshop.  This represents approximately 70% of the invited stakeholders. Lessons learnt from the first workshop and a way forward will be mapped out in order to improve on the execution of the second Consultative Stakeholder Workshop.


News Date: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017