About the Agricultural Livestock Research Services Directorate


The Directorate comprises of three Sub-directorates, namely: 

(i)   Livestock Science Research Services

(ii)  Grass and Forage Scientific Research Services

(iii) Agricultural Research Farms

      Their respective purposes are:

  • To undertake livestock science research services
  • To undertake grass and forage science research services
  • Farm Services - Manage and maintain research stations

The customers/clients of research are farmers, advisors and extension officers, industry, NGO’s (e.g. Mdukatshani Rural Development Project), Universities, ARC, companies, commodity organizations, organized agriculture and HEIFERSA.

The Department’s six research stations, namely Cedara, Kokstad, Dundee, Makhathini, Owen Sitole (OSCA) and Bartlow Combine are used to conduct livestock research on-station, to build expertise and to be used for technology transfer. These research stations serve the major agricultural ecological areas within the Province, making research results applicable to agricultural production in the Province.

Critical roles of research stations are as follows:

  • Provide sites for key research initiatives that are not suited to being conducted on farms (e.g. grazing management studies, testing of cultivars, disease control research and research that may cause risk to the farming enterprise)
  • Lead by example through the application of Good Agricultural Practices where appropriate. It should be noted that both positive and negative parameters form part of research procedures
  • Become ‘hubs of expertise’ in terms of serving agriculture in other appropriate areas (including those surrounding the research stations) e.g. to host training courses, farmers days, visits by study groups, students, school groups and farmers
  • Allow for long term trials
  • Represent the different bio-resource groups of the Province where practices applicable for the different resource groups can be demonstrated, researched and new initiatives developed.

Annual Operational Plan

The outputs in terms of research and technology development and transfer as well as support from the Farm Services Sub-directorate are documented in detail in the 2018/19 Annual Operational Plan for the Directorate.


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