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Jun
01

Malotwane Farmers Workshop

Malotwane Farmers Workshop On 31st of May 2022, BUAN Diploma in Agricultural Extension students, held an annual workshop in collaboration with Malotwane farmers association. The theme of the Workshop was ‘Proper supply chain management’. The workshop was graced by the Chief of Malotwane and the District Attorney amongst other delegates. Facilitators on the day were different stakeholders including, LEA, BOBS, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agri-business as well as BUAN, who imparted knowledge on their products and services offered to farmers. The keynote speaker was the District Attorney who put emphasis in the theme of the day, stressing the importance of supply chain management for agricultural produce. She said the processes from grains, seedlings until the final product to the consumer was vital hence farmers needed to improve the quality of their produce. She applauded the farmers’ association for coming up with the initiative for building a storehouse/warehouse and pledged government aid once the collection centre was established. She encouraged farmers to cooperate with each other to ensure quality produce adding that farming needs a lot of determination to produce quality and at the right quantities. “Farming also requires proper planning as well as lots and lots of sleepless nights to get great results”, she stated. She went on to explain that implementation is key, and that great care is needed for high yields. Farmers need a lot of self-motivation, to motivate others, to being motivated by others, will help them stay focused in working hard to feed the nation. She encouraged all farmers to join forces to reach their dreams both at individual and team level. The DC went on to explain that as the theme stated, there was need to bridge gaps in agriculture. “Gaps and challenges are always there; what matters most is how to curb them. What are we doing as farmers to bridge those gabs?” she asked. She advocated for cooperation amongst farmers to help each other and not rely on stakeholders like government and institutions. The DC said that she was aware that there was lack of market and that some schools were not buying produces as reports reaching her office, but they will keep issuing supporting letters to encourage for their produce to be bought. She said even though the roads were not up to standard, that should not discourage them, they should continue in their quest of feeding the nation. Lastly, she encouraged them to have positive collaborations and that she pledges support as Government. She urged formation of Agric groups – same produce groups to help each other. Promotion of information sharing of agricultural issues, ideas and to open hearts to receive or look for information was stimulated. Groups will enable them to speak in one voice as farmers to collaborate and join hands and support one another. She encouraged the farmers to produce in high quality standards, so the final consumer gets quality. She also emphasised workshops for mentorship for better collaboration and quality control for better income and improved business performance.

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News
May
15

GRADUATE STUDIES STUDENTS’ TEAM BUILDING SESSION

    Being a graduate student is no child’s play – always swamped with research work, thesis, and timelines to meet! But amid it all, we all humans and we all deserve a breather occasionally!!   On  13th of May 2022, the Graduate studies students held a team building session at Tlokweng Rose Garden organised by the students in collaboration with the office of Research and Graduate Studies. The purpose of session was for the students to interact amongst themselves to discuss and share successes, challenges, shortfalls in their studies. The highlights of the day were the motivational talks from three students – John Kenneth Mthetho, Maduo Kolanyane and Garmonyou Aloysius Sam.   John, as a part time self-sponsored scholar pursuing PhD in Animal Science, took the graduates through his journey as a student – starting from the time he was studying in South Africa when he was doing his master’s and had to halt his studies due to work commitments. He did not see this as a step back as it was a chance to be home and used the chance to pursue family commitments. However, he excelled well in his studies and was now doing his PhD though taking longer than anticipated. He encouraged all to never give up and to continue thriving until the finish line!!   For her part, Maduo who is pursuing Masters of Crop Science – Horticulture stream emphasised over and over the importance of reading when doing research. “Read, read, and read guys”, she reiterated. She emphasized that you can never know enough, so the only way to come close to knowing enough is by constantly reading. She also encouraged them to save money for project equipment and other necessities since their scholarship has no research fund. As a sponsored student, she narrated how her allowance got depleted before completing, hence the importance of saving. However, she persevered and managed to submit her thesis.   Sam who is pursuing PhD Crop Science majoring in Crop Protection Stream shared his experience when he was a sponsored student in a foreign country in Ghana. His funds  were delayed and credited late and has had to improvise. Where he was based, they loved tomatoes so much, to a point that he ventured in the business of selling tomatoes, he even ended up changing his project to tomato related insect and disease pests - Evaluation of Insecticides and Fungicides for the Management of Insect pests and Diseases of Tomato in Kumasi, Ghana. He made profit from selling the tomato and by the time the funds came, it was a bonus. He encouraged all to always be determined to succeed.   Dr Motlalepula Tait from office of Research and Graduate studies also shared word of encouragement stressing how important it was to befriend a supervisor on a professional level but avoid being too casual. The Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Prof Samodimo Ngwako informed the graduates that the Institutional Planning and Campus Services had just handed some facilities to be used by the graduates. These were late night study and computer rooms.   The graduates got into groups to discuss they projects challenges and ways of overcoming them. They then used the same groups to play and compete in different games throughout the day which encouraged teamwork. They started with aerobics, then went on to play balloon game, egg game, water game, swimming, volleyball and pool. It was a fun filled day.    

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News
Apr
26

German Market Exploration TVET Study Tour in Botswana

German Market Exploration TVET Study Tour in Botswana The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is conducting a market study tour for German businesses providing services in the TVET sector in the week from 25th -29th April 2022. The tour’s aim was to facilitating business contacts as well as to provide important impulses for possible future cooperation between private/public institutions in Botswana and German know-how in the sector of secondary/tertiary education and vocational training. During the study tour  meetings were held  with various stakeholders in the country among other visits at academic and research institutions Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Recourses (BUAN) , Botswana Open University (BOU), Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST)  and University of Botswana (UB) and Chamber of Mines plus exchanges with industry representatives. The tour at BUAN was held on the 26th April 2022 where faculty representatives met with BMWK representative to share details on the university day to day services. BMWK also visited the Agricultural Biosystems and engineering and Animal Science laboratories to see the technologies that are in place and areas that need improvement. They were impressed with the state of the Agricultural Biosystems and engineering laboratories  and were looking forward to working with BUAN in future.

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News
Apr
13

Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and People and Wildlife Trust (Botswana) Memorandum of Understanding signing

Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and People and Wildlife Trust (Botswana) Memorandum of Understanding signing   On 13th April 2022, Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) and People and Wildlife Trust (PWT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU was signed to affirm the parties’ commitment to partnering in the Herders Training Course Project. The two parties agree that the training project shall be housed under BUAN CICE once it has been approved by Botswana Qualifications Authority and hosted at one of the PWT study area cattle posts. The Herders Training Course Project is initiated to enhance the conservation (reduce HCC related mortality) of apex predatory large carnivores’ thorough improving net livestock in subsistence pastoral production systems, through reduction of livestock mortality due to predatory large carnivores. It will also enhance livestock husbandry practices that are predator friendly and reduce the risk of livestock predation and initiate farmer-based livestock monitoring system. HTCP will help improve health condition and welfare of livestock and the condition of the rangelands for long-term ecosystem health and sustainability. Furthermore, through this project Botswana will be able to retain and improve the biodiversity of the rangeland, including the retention of apex and keystone predator’s species. To conclude the ceremony Professor Seleka, the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, thanked the guests for coming through and said that he hopes that the partnership will yield results that will make a difference in the community.      

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News
Jan
26

Renewable Energy Project [BUAN Enterprises (Pty) Ltd Agrivoltaic Project]

The Renewable Energy project which has been presented to the Staff members in different forums commenced construction in December 2021. Preceding the construction was all other regulatory requirements compliance which include but not limited to; Environmental Management Plan, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) requirements and Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority approvals. Concurrently the project went through several governance processes of the University. In more detail, the project is a 1Megawatt solar project which will power the University during daytime. The electricity bill of the University is expected to reduce by more than 50% over the years as the tariffs rapidly rise. At initial stages there will be excess power produced and it will be pumped back into the BPC grid for an already agreed rate. The term Agrivoltaic is a combination of agriculture and voltage. Under the solar panels, BUAN Enterprises will farm horticultural products to maximise the usage of land. The panels will reduce moisture loss from the ground and protect crops during very hot summer days. The panels will have control motors which enable them to follow the movement of the sun. This project was funded and carried out with the private sector with private funds of up to BWP15,000,000 raised from international funders. BUAN enterprises (Pty) Ltd and its Technical Partner, MarketVest (Pty) Ltd combined and worked very hard to make this project a reality. The Partners formed a Special Purpose Vehicle named AGRIVOLT BE (Pty) Ltd for purposes of implementing this project. This is a prototype project for BUAN Enterprises (Pty) Ltd which will showcase the agrivoltaic technology. Farmers, institutions, mines etc are expected to be future customers of BUAN Enterprises for customised solar solutions. Panels will be installed in February 2022 commissioning is expected to be between March and April 2022. BUAN ENTERPRISES WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST AGRIVOLTAIC PROJECT IN AFRICA AND IT WILL BE OPEN FOR RESEARCH TO THE BUAN COMMUNITY. Watch the space for more updates. For more information on the project, kindly contact Business Development Director, Mr K. Pifelo @3650725      

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