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The ground-breaking 2015 Forestry INDABA co-hosted by NMMU and DAFF at the NMMU George Campus recently incorporated a number of exciting complementing initiatives, such as the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the university and the Department of Agriculture: Western Cape.

The signing of the agreement, which concretises the existing good relations between NMMU and the Department, took place during a visit to the NMMU George Agricultural Research Site where NMMU postgraduate students in Agriculture, along with NMMU lecturers in Agriculture had the opportunity to update the DAFF representatives and other delegates to the INDABA on the nature and significance of the research being done at the site.

The sharing and exchange, between NMMU and the Department of Agriculture, of scientific and institutional expertise and facilities, including research farms (such as the Outeniqua Research Farm), libraries, engineering workshops, laboratories and other facilities; the provision of study leaders by the Department for postgraduate students of NMMU; the allocation of bursaries to students, and co-operation in terms of practical training on approved research projects of mutual interest are some of the important areas of co-operation captured in the agreement.  This also includes opportunities for NMMU students to participate in the Department’s pre-Young Professional programme (pre-YPP) and Young Professional programme (YPP) as well as internships for NMMU graduates.  Research areas that were specifically mentioned include animal and plant research related disciplines, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Engineering, Animal Sciences and LandCare.

A Steering Committee representative of both NMMU and the Department of Agriculture will ensure that the overall objectives set out in the agreement are fulfilled. The duration of the MoU is three years.

Indaba 01

Signatories to the conclusion of a co-operative agreement between NMMU and the Department of Agriculture, accompanied by postgraduate students, members of the media, special guests and delegates to the Forestry INDABA, shared in this milestone during a visit to the Agricultural Research Site at the NMMU George Campus. Savouring the special occasion were (seated, from left to right) Ms Rashidah Wentzel, Director:  Department of Agriculture (DoA); Ms Joyene Isaacs, HoD: DoA, Western Cape (main signatory of the Department); Prof Edith Vries, Director-General: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF); Prof Andrew Leitch, NMMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Engagement (main signatory of NMMU); Prof Quinton Johnson, NMMU George Campus Principal, along with (standing, from left) NMMU lecturers Prof Raymond Auerbach and Ms Maryna Lehmann-Maritz; Dr Mmaphaka Tau, acting DDG Forestry and Natural Resources Management (DAFF), Ms Jama Mashele, NMMU postgraduate student in Agriculture; Prof Cedric McCleland, acting Executive  Dean of the NMMU Science Faculty; Mr Trevor Abrahams, Secretary General of the XIV World Forestry Congress; Alderman Charles Standers, Executive Mayor of George; Dr Ilse Trautmann, Chief Director: Research and Technology Development Services, DoA; Mr Trevor Botha, George Municipal Manager and Ms Pumeza Nkhwashu, Chief Director: Forestry Development and Regulation, DAFF.

Contact information
Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098