Research and Technology Development Services
About us and what we can offer you
In order to be at the forefront of technological developments in agriculture, the Department provides timely and relevant research and technology development services in the six districts of the Western Cape. This ensures that all the agricultural role-players of the Western Cape are provided with the most advanced scientific and technical advice. Converting the research rand into an information rand is of utmost importance – this means that scientific information should reach the commercial and smallholder farmer at farm level, making our farmers more sustainable and competitive on local, national and international markets.
Because industrial development places tremendous pressure on our natural resources, the Department’s resource scientists and geographical information centre, play a prominent role to ensure the optimum utilisation of our scarce resources, namely soil, water and natural vegetation. The agricultural practices that we apply and research are focused on optimal resource-use efficiency. The identification and prioritisation of research needs are of utmost importance, and networking with industry organisations and other partners are continuously strengthened and expanded.
The Programme is structured into the sub-programmes Research, Technology Transfer Services and Infrastructure Support Services and operates as the Directorates Animal Sciences; Plant Sciences and Research Support Services. The latter Directorate includes the sub-directorates Analytical Services and Farm Services. The research portfolio of the Department is mainly executed within the Directorates of Animal Sciences and Plant Sciences, with a smaller research portfolio in the Directorate Research Support Services. The Programme also has seven research farms serving as open-air laboratories to support our research efforts in the districts of the Western Cape.
The Directorate: Research Support Services (Programme: Research and Technology Development Services) renders both decision support and analytical services to our research team as well as external stakeholders. An analytical laboratory for soil, water and plant analyses as well as a diagnostic service for plant diseases provides a key service to scientists and producers in the Western Cape. It also provides soil science, climatological (risk and potential management), crop estimates and spatial analysis services (GIS) to an array of clients.