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Nov
22

Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA) workshop

Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA) workshop   Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources is hosting a collaborative workshop with COHESA to build the capacity of higher educational institutions to educate, train and empower the attendants to tackle One Health issues. The workshop consists of delegates from the World Bank, International Livestock Research Institute, Inter University Council For East Africa, University of Pretoria, Southern African Region University Association, Cirad and SADC. It is a 3-day workshop where delegates will map One Health Competencies and curriculum development in Southern Africa. COHESA is about insuring better health in aspects of human existence i.e environment, animal health, food safety and the overall ecosystem. Prof. Meulenburg in her welcome remarks, said that the main objective of COHESA is to encourage collaboratives amongst different sectors of health in Southern Africa and East Africa. BUAN in the eyes of COHESA is a multiplier as it has an education and research mandate that can build capacity of different service providers. Prof Meulenburg gave an example of one health as an instance of food safety challenges due to overuse of pesticides to pest and disease outbreaks in plants all caused by climate change. The event was officially opened by Prof Ketlhalogile Mosepele who in his opening speech stated that one of BUAN’s thematic areas of the research intensification pillar is to have increased collaboration with external partners. He believes that COHESA project is helping BUAN to achieve that area. Thus, this project has been adopted by the right institution as the world is currently facing unprecedented, interconnected threats to health of people, animals and the environment: addressing these threats requires cross sectoral systems wide approaches. Essentially, One Health unpacks the Agricultural and Natural Resources sphere across its value chain and therefore presents a compelling argument for multidisciplinary in research. He also said that it is inevitable that a university like BUAN should be in the forefront of this initiative because all aspects of human existence. And it is ready and willing.           Lie       Comment     Share      

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News
Oct
27

The Botswana University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (BUAN) hosts scientists from ILRI and ICRISAT

On the 25th to 27th October 2022 The Botswana University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (BUAN) hosted scientists from International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) from Nairobi, Kenya.   ILRI mission is to improve food and nutritional security and to reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. ICRISAT conducts agricultural research for rural development to equip the less priviledged through making farming and agribusiness profitable in the drylands.   The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Communication, Knowledge and Technology through the Department of Research, Science and Technology. This event was culmination of previous visit by Botswana to Kenya in July this year. The Botswana delegation to Kenya was led by Honourable Minister Segokgo and included Permanent Secretaries from the ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and scientists from BUAN and NARDI.   These exchange visits are meant to discuss possible opportunity for collaboration between Botswana agricultural research centres and these two international organisations. The discussions at BUAN were centred on how Botswana can improve, through research, productivity of the main staple food resources suitable for arid conditions such as sorghum, millet, pulses and ruminant livestock.   The opportunities and benefits that could be availed by these resources in rural economies is dependent on utilization of the crops and livestock in terms of supply of organic manure from livestock and feedstuff from crop residues. With climate change on us, the challenges of limited nutrition at household level and unemployment forces us to think differently and innovatively around efficiency of production in farms. Therefore, the interaction between BUAN, NARDI and MoA scientists with visitors from Kenya was to kick start a meaningful collaboration for future national food security.   This collaboration with Botswana is not  the first, in the 1980s, both ILRI as International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) and ICRISAT worked with Department of Agricultural Research in livestock and arable research which culminated in the release of known sorghum, millet and groundnut varieties such as Mahube, BSH1 and Phofu (Sorghum), Bontle and Legakwe (Millet) and Nakwana, Peolwane and Tsosabana (groundnuts). Currently, ILRI and Botswana has a project on One Health, involving several local stakeholders and BUAN is coordinating the project on behalf of Botswana.

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News
Sep
16

Scientific Writing Workshop for Graduate Students

To ensure that BUAN achieves its mandate of becoming an Innovative and Research-Intensive University in Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Faculty of Research and Graduate Studies together with Graduate Students’ Association conducted a scientific writing workshop which aimed at helping students to formulate and produce research proposals that could catapult the University.   The workshop was held on the 16th September 2022 and the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Prof Samodimo Ngwako welcomed the attendants to the workshop. He informed them that the faculty and Association saw it fit to organize the workshop to impart knowledge on research proposal as research formed an integral part of their studies. He urged all to listen attentively, participate and ask questions where needed to understand and be informed.   Amongst the facilitators of the workshop were Prof. Torimiro who gave a guide on writing a concept note. He taught the attendants how to identify a good research topic, characteristics of a good research topic, why there is need to write a concept note.   Ms Clift-Hill gave a lecture on writing an introduction and how to use figures and tables correctly. She emphasized that the introduction should hook the reader in research proposals, thesis, and manuscript. In writing a thesis or a proposal it is very important to conduct research as it helps the author or researcher to know if the research, they are embarking on has been done before. If it has been done before then a literature review will help with identifying the gaps in that field. Prof Omoloye spoke to the attendants about the different types of literature reviews and ways of organizing information in literature reviews. He also spoke of how to effectively integrate information in a literature review. He closed of his presentations by speaking of using mind maps to formulate discussions and results in a research paper. During this workshop the library department also gave a presentation on how to retrieve information from the BUAN online database and library. Ms Sechaba demonstrated step by step how to access the information and how to reference. She assured the students that the librarians were always ready to assist them. Ms Gopolang also went on to teach the attendants how to reference their sources.   During this workshop there were group discussion where participants got to interact with each other in regards to the topics that were discussed. “I had a wonderful time I wish we have more of such workshops as It was a very informative." Said one of the participants

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News
Sep
15

Faculty of Animal and Veterinary Sciences visits Botswana Meat Commission

On the 15th September, 2022, the Dean of Faculty of Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Professor Madibela led delegation from the faculty on a visit to Botswana Meat Commission in Lobatse. These included Prof Kgwatalala, Head of Animal Sciences, Dr Sehularo, Acting Director of MITI and Dr Mazhani, representing Head of Veterinary Sciences. At Lobatse they were received by BMC management which include Mr Reuben Khumalo, the Executive Manager, Human Capital and his team. The objective of the visit was to explore opportunities for future collaboration between BMC and BUAN and strengthen existing ones. These possibilities include supporting training (students and farmers), supporting livestock research and to foster co-creation of publicity and branding events for mutual benefits of the two institutions.     Within the nexus of training, support for post graduate studies would be a worthy cause for both institutions as it would generate critical mass of future scientists to drive and sustain the livestock industry. Motivating students in the animal and veterinary sciences through recognition of the cream of the crop (Excellence Awards) would be one area of collaboration. Since post graduate training is the centre pivot of innovation, research and development, investing in these areas open up new opportunities in livestock management, product development and animal and public health.     Collaboration with the university would avail to BMC a host of agricultural expertise available at BUAN. Already Dr Mazhani, as part of MITI Research Group, has a research collaboration with BMC on economic implications of carcass bruising. Discussion around these areas stimulated much interest between the two parties, especially on student awards. Arrangement are being made to follow-up on this critical foundation meeting to pave way for a formal working agreement.

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News
Aug
19

MOENG COLLEGE'S VISIT TO BUAN

Today, we bid farewell to our young friends from Moeng college who have been with us for two weeks. 120 form four students were attached at our farm enterprise projects where they got hands on experience on the different aspects of Agriculture. "The students really enjoyed their time here at BUAN",said Mr Segaise the program facilitator from Moeng. BUAN also enjoyed having these young minds around as they were cooperative and hardworking.

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News
Aug
18

BUAN National Science week Awards

Congratulations to our PhD students who presented their amazing research project during BUAN National Science week ending 17th August! The awardees were as follows: Best Oral presentation 1st position award- Mr Monosi A. Bolowe Presentation Title: Farm Phenotypic Characterization and Development of Body Weight Predictions Equations of Indigenous Tswana Sheep in Southern Botswana Research Interest: Conservation, breeding, improvement and sustainable utilization of indigenous animal genetic resources in Botswana, particularly sheep amidst climate change scenarios as aggravated by global warming. Best Poster presentation 1st position award- Ms Chandapiwa Moses Poster Title: Malted Sorghum to replace maize in Broiler Diets Research Interest: Exploring locally available alternative energy and protein sources to use in poultry diets so as to reduce input feed costs during processing as well as minimize competition of using maize grains for human consumption and livestock feed processing. Best Oral presentation 2nd position award- Mr Nkosilathi Bernard Presentation Title Optimizing Biological Nitrogen Fixation, A Step to Improving Soil Fertility Research Interest: Improving crop production through sustainable soil fertility solutions is close to his heart. As such he has a strong interest in exploring and optimizing biological nitrogen fixation by identifying elite native rhizobial strains for use in the production of inoculants for cowpea. Best Oral presentation 3rd position award- Mr Setlhoka Modiri Presentation Title: Development of Bio-composite Meat Active Package Research Interest Food Science and Technology Researcher with interests in Postharvest, Symbiotic, Food Nanotechnology and Food additives. The research aims to understand food security challenges and propose viable solutions. Cheers to producing innovative graduates and technological solutions, for sustainable development in agriculture and natural resources!

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News
Jul
13

Oppenheimer Scholarships to study fine scale remote sensing of rangelands at the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in collaboration with the University of Exeter (fully funded)

Application Process The successful candidate will be required to apply to the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) for admission onto the MSc in Animal Science (Animal Management Systems Stream). Before applying, familiarize yourself with the BUAN requirements. The information is available at this website: https://www.buan.ac.bw/index.php/buan-admissions-details/id/172/August-2022-Intake-forGraduates:-Applications-Open/. 

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News
Jun
27

THE FIRST WATER- SAVING AND DROUGHT- RESISTANCE (WDR) RICE HARVEST CEREMONY

  Today the 27th June 2022, we celebrate the first successful trial of the water-saving and drought resistant rice. The ceremony was held at BUAN A1 field in the presence of the Honourable Acting President, Slumber Tsogwane to harvest and taste the first water saving and drought resistant rice. Amongst the guests were the Chinese Ambassador to Botswana His Excellency, Wang Xuefeng and Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Honourable Molebatsi Shimane Molebatsi. The ceremony is a result of a memorandum of understanding that was signed in the year 2020 between African agriculture (AA) and Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) to cooperate and work together in improving Agricultural production in Botswana. It is then that the idea of testing rice production started. Consultations were done and a Rice Team comprising Agricultural experts from BUAN and African Agriculture staff. Seeds were sourced from China where organizations like Shanghai Agrobiological gene Center, An Hui China, and Jiangsu Provincial Seed department got involved on an advisory basis where necessary    For Season 2020/2021 seven rice types were tested for their production potential under the Sebele climatic conditions and soils. The seven types were planted in late December 2020. These types performed well but could not complete grain filling process because they started flowering in Winter. Pests observed were Aphids, bugrada bug and leaf roller worms. Bacterial Panicle blight disease was observed at flowering. The rice plants were harvested as stova for livestock feed. Three rice types were chosen for further testing.    For Season 2021/22 three types selected for the season are AA073, AA128, and AA212. They were dry planted and germinated from 19 November 2021. Land was well prepared and levelled, planting rows were marked 25 cm apart. A hand planter was used to plant at a seed rate if 30 kg per hectare. In row spacing of 10-15 cm ideal. Side shoots or tillers developed, and these are important as they also developed heads adding more to the ultimate yield. It took the rice types an average period of 90 days to boot and flower. Pests and diseases were low as compared to the previous season. Bacterial panicle blight appeared with less severity. Bugrada bug caused some spikelet losses were sprayed for it using Dichlorvos pesticide. The three rice types all managed to reach grain filling stage and got ready for harvesting from 125 days onwards. Two types AA128 and AA212 proved to be good for Gaborone area as they are early to medium season types. They do not have high water need requirements. These rice types have proved to give an average of 9 tonnes per hectare if supplemented with irrigation during dry spells. The rice plant stova will be harvested and prepared for livestock feed.     This research has proved that despite popular believe that rice cannot grow in dry land, we have rice that can grow in dry land and do not need high water requirements.The rice trials will be extending to other areas like Maun, Tuli Block, Borolong, Pandamatenga among others. The trials aim to bring rice production to the farmers so that they become self-reliant in production of food security crops for the nation.   

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News
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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