And so another year of the COVID pandemic and associated challenges continued amidst our hopes to move closer to one another, socialize, de-mask and return to our normal lives.
Our research efforts continued despite COVID regulations and our teams were working according to new routines and schedules. The “not so normal” became normal, our walk and talks and information days became virtual days. The word “virtual” means “being on or simulated on a computer or computer network”, but nothing about our research was “simulated”. Our team was out there in the pastures and the dairy! It was only technology transfer in a new format, and the real research work was done despite the pandemic, resulting in advancements for dairy farmers at all levels.
In the past year the agricultural sector was challenged on many other levels as well, including climate change and farming in a climate smart way to ensure sustainability and resource optimisation. The research portfolio of the Western Cape Department is problem focused and farmer driven and we are committed to continue our support to our farmers, and in particular the farmers in the Southern Cape. We have also extended our impact with innovative tools like drone technology, spatial decision making tools and smart sensors, to name but a few. We are proud to announce that we could fill all our vacancies with skilled persons, the latest being two young animal scientists who joined the team of the Directorate Animal Sciences.
This year our well known Outeniqua information day is again virtually presented by a dedicated pasture and dairy research team who are not only experts in their respective fields, but who also know the researcher-farmer interface very well.
Please enjoy the day with us from a venue of your choice – be safe and be healthy!
Dr. Ilse Trautmann
Chief Director: Research and Technology Development Services
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