The Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) and the Stellenbosch University's (SU)’s Faculty of AgriSciences signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Gaborone recently.
It is the best research university in Africa and this is a very big story for someone to tell. We believe that through this marriage, there is a number of good fruits to come and we hope this marriage will last,” he said. For his part, the Research and Advisory Services Thematic Coordinator at CCARDESA, Baitsi Podisi said CCARDESA was a SADC subsidiary created by member states in 2010 to coordinate regional cooperation in agricultural research and development. He added that SADC was rich in natural resources and had the potential but had low productive and production prevalent.
Even though Africa has the potential to be self reliant when it comes to food security, he pointed out that it was unfortunate that Africa is faced with a number of challenges such as famine, low agriculture and was still importing most of agricultural commodities abroad. “Since its establishment, CCARDESA has implemented its programmes through cooperation with strategic partners who are operating within the national agricultural research and extension systems in the region.
These include universities, agricultural research institutes, private companies and non-governmental organisations in the agricultural sector in the regional countries,” he said.
The Faculty has several departments, centres and institutes all involved in the key agricultural value chains and industries in South Africa and the rest of the African continent. This potential can be harnessed positively to contribute towards development of agriculture in the region. The signing ceremony took place in Gaborone to mark an important milestone for the two organisations to work together to advance agricultural research and development in the region following a growing relationship of jointly executing initiatives and events together.
The oganisations have among others agreed to cooperate in: supporting each other in driving strategic projects; joint research and publications on strategic and emerging research topics of mutual interest; exchange of scientific information, knowledge, innovation, and technologies; facilitating agricultural incubation ecosystems in identified areas in the SADC region; and conducting joint fundraising for research, capacity building, and outreach activities.