The University’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture recently held Farmers Day. This event took place outside the University’s Research Conference Centre and was attended by local farmers, secondary school learners, University staff members and students.
In his Keynote Address, Group Executive: Research and Development at Water Research Commission, Prof Stanley Liphadzi who is also an Adjunct Professor at UNIVEN, spoke about informed research institutions. He said these institutions should be centres of new products. Universities should be able to produce new information and products of research. Institutions like UNIVEN should teach and train students and societies about research findings. They should be able to educate the surrounding communities about new developments and find some of the solutions to their problems. He mentioned that research should be able to address problems that the country or the world is facing.
“Agriculture is a very risky business, because of that, it needs a lot of input from researchers to avoid the issue of low productivity.”
Prof Liphadzi continued to say that agriculture is growing and people are getting interested in it. “The competition is getting tougher. There are new entrants who are trying to make sure that they come up with products that no one could compete with them. We need to change the curriculum and the scholarship of teaching.” He concluded his talk by mentioning that he is glad to hear that UNIVEN has research professors, this shows that UNIVEN takes this business of teaching and research serious.
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science Engineering and Agriculture, Prof Ntebogeng Mokgalaka said the faculty always make sure that it aligns itself for relevance and impact. “We always strive to empower our students with knowledge and skills to create employment and to employ others. Our graduates are well rounded. They are locally relevant and internationally competitive because they are well trained even on matters of Entrepreneurship.” She said Agriculture is very important because it secures the food that we eat on a daily basis. She concluded by stating that this farmers day is a relevant platform for all stakeholders to engage and find solutions to the challenges as well as to engage on how we can trade amongst ourselves. The University of Venda strives to create a platform for all stakeholders and to equip farmers to be locally relevant and globally competitive.
Prof Jude Odhiambo said one of the objectives is to strengthen the University’s’ relationships with local stakeholders. He said UNIVEN trains its students to be future farmers with the aim of creating more employers. “It is important for farmers to be aware about the climate change and how it will affect them. Farmers day is indeed information exchange for farmers on how to trade amongst themselves. This day is also an opportunity for students to interact with well-established farmers to learn a lot from them. The University strives to promote this kind of events which will ensure that there is food security in the country and globally.
Exhibitors were given an opportunity to present their products
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Date: 02 June 2022