NFTRC attends HRDC and MoA
Assistant Research Scientist Mogomotsi Matopote attended Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) and Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security (MoA) Consultative Stakeholder Workshop held on 14th November 2017 in Gaborone.
The objectives of the consultative stakeholder workshop were to promote industry linked research and the uptake and utilisation of tertiary education institutional research outputs and also to disseminate the findings of two projects from the 2013/14 HRDC Research and Innovation Grant.
During the official opening remarks HRDC Chief Executive Officer Dr Raphael Dingalo said that HRDC was set up to provide a platform for the Public Sector, Private Sector and Civil Society to act in concert to drive the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS).
He added that one area that HRDC focuses on is ensuring that research outputs brings solutions to existing problems, hence the establishment of a P50 000.00 grant for such research projects.
He concluded that so far they have received 30 proposals and 16 were approved and funded.
The two projects presented from the 2013/14 HRDC Research and Innovation Grant were the role of indigenous plants in controlling internal worms of small livestock for increased productivity and household income and Piggery Investment Guide (PIG), Value Chain Analysis, Small Scale Piggery Investment Viability Determination as a strategy for increased household income.
Dr Ezekiel Chimbombi who presented about the piggery research acknowledged HRDC for the grant and appreciated if the grant could be increased as they are planning to do a model which will be used to calculate the costing of piggery including feed, expected and actual piglets, amount of feed, and weight gain weekly as a remedial action for interested entrepreneurs.
However, most comments raised by farmers were pleading with the MoA to subsidise pig feeds, like any other animal feeds, so that they can venture into Piggery.
When asked about what NFTRC could learn from the workshop, Mogomotsi said that on the recent State of Nation Address (SONA) the President of Botswana Sir Seretse Khama Ian Khan declared that according to a 2014 national survey 31% of Batswana are overweight, although many factors can lead to overweight we know very well that food plays a critical role in weight management therefore NFTRC should consider identifying specific topic that can address the matter more so that HRDC is funding such projects which bring solution to the nation as a whole.
He concluded that NFTRC should also consider sampling different products consumed in the country for growth hormones, prohibited drug and chemical residues, pesticides, herbicides and work with HRDC and MoA on the matter for possible funding.
In closing remarks MoA Deputy Permanent Secretary Dr Fanoel Molapong thanked the HRDC for the grant and all who attended the workshop indicating it as an excellent opportunity for farmers and stakeholders to interact.