Research and Technology Development Services
The Directorate: Research and Technology Development performs one of the line functions of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development within the vision and mission of the Department.
The outputs in terms of research and technology development and transfer (Key Responsibility Areas) of the Directorate are performed by the following Sub-Directorates:
- Crop Production with Divisions Agronomy, Horticulture and Crop Protection
- Farming Systems Research
- Analytical Services
- Animal Science Services
- Grass & Forage Science Services
- KZN Agricultural Farms
- Inland Farms (Cedara, Dundee & Kokstad)
- Coastal Farms (OSCA, Bartlow & Makhathini)
- Juncao Mushrooms
The research and demonstration trials are conducted on six Research Stations, as well as on-farm in various rural communal areas.
The customers of research are farmers, extension officers, agrochemical firms and home-gardeners, NGOs, universities, the ARC, companies and organized agriculture.
KwaZulu-Natal has a vast agricultural potential, challenging Agricultural Research & Technology Development components to respond by providing essential technology and information needed:
- to improve food security
- to address malnutrition
- to reduce poverty
- to contribute to the expansion of high value crops within sustainable systems
- to promote sustainable economic and environmentally sound development
- to support departmental programs with technical advice and research as required
Research undertaken in the Department is mainly of the adaptive (designed to adjust to the specific needs of a particular set of conditions) or applied (designed to create new technology) form (as opposed to basic research). By definition, the products of adaptive or applied research are directly applicable to farming operations, be they all commercial, land reform beneficiaries or farmers who aspire to be commercial or people farming for own consumption.
- Adaptive and/or Applied Agricultural Research on-station and off station
- Laboratory and Advisory Services: soil, plant, plant health, water and animal feeds
- Technology transfer and training
- Genetic conservation and characterization of livestock indigenous to KZN
- Maintenance of research infrastructure
Products of Research
- Applicable & relevant knowledge, information & information packs developed and technologies developed
- Analytical Services
- Technology transfer
- Human Capital Development