The Department aims to stay at the forefront of technological advancements in agriculture by offering timely and relevant research and technology development services in the Western Cape’s six districts. Their goal is to provide advanced scientific and technical advice to all agricultural stakeholders in the region, including commercial and smallholder farmers.
They emphasise the importance of converting research into actionable information that reaches farmers at the farm level, enhancing their sustainability and competitiveness in local, national, and international markets. Due to the pressures of industrial development on natural resources, the Department’s resource scientists and geographical information center play a crucial role in ensuring the optimal utilisation of soil, water, and natural vegetation.
Their agricultural practices and research focus on maximising resource-use efficiency. The Department prioritises identifying research needs and strengthens partnerships and networking with industry organisations and other collaborators. The Department’s program is divided into sub-programs, including Research, Technology Transfer Services, and Infrastructure Support Services. It operates through directorates such as Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences, and Research Support Services.
The Animal Sciences Directorate conducts research on herd management, breeding, nutrition, and welfare of livestock, with a particular emphasis on improving production efficiency for food security. The Plant Sciences Directorate focuses on sustainable agronomic practices, vegetable and pasture production, alternative crops, and crop protection.
The Technology Transfer Directorate provides services that enhance research and offer solutions to technological challenges. These services include web and media updates, publications, design, photography/videography, and technology-driven solutions like electronics, drone technology, and 3D printing. They also provide opinions and solutions to other programs, departments, and the public sector.
The Research Support Services Directorate, within the Research and Technology Development Services (RTDS) Program, includes a Geographic Information System (GIS) unit. The GIS unit supports research needs within the program and offers various functions and services related to spatial analysis, Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) mapping, Spatial Web and dashboard development, and the management of a weather-monitoring network across the province.
Overall, the Department aims to drive innovation and knowledge transfer in agriculture, ultimately benefiting farmers and promoting sustainable practices in the Western Cape.
OUR WCDoA RESEARCH FARMS:
- Elsenburg Research Farm, Elsenburg
- Langgewens Research Farm, Moreesburg
- Nortier Research Farm, Lamberts Bay
- Outeniqua Research Farm, George
- Oudtshoorn Research Farm, Oudtshoorn
- Tygerhoek Research Farm, Riviersonderend
- Worcester Research Farm, Worcester
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