FABI and the Department of Animal Science at the University of Pretoria hosted a delegation of academics from the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) on 22-23 April. The two day visit by the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof James Nsoso, and the Dean: Faculty of Research and Graduate Studies, Prof. Samodimo Ngwako, was part of a benchmarking exercise being undertaken by the University, as well as to investigating potential opportunities for collaboration. The mandate of the BUAN is to provide higher education and training in the field of agriculture, natural resources and related subjects. The University intends to produce market-ready graduates for the agricultural and natural resource sectors through innovative teaching and research.

The academics were hosted by FABI Director Prof. Bernard Slippers and Head of Department of Animal Science, Prof. Este van Marle-Koster. They visited Future Africa and the facilities on the Innovation Africa @UP Campus including the Animal Sciences facilities and the FABI Biocontrol Centre. At FABI they were taken on a tour of the facility by Prof. Fanus Venter, Dr Neriman Yilmaz and Dr David Read. They had the opportunity to engage with numerous FABI researchers and acquaint themselves with the research programmes in the Institute, as well as facilities such as those of the diagnostic clinic, culture collection, DNA sequencing facilities, molecular biology and chemical analyses labs. They also visited the Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Plant Sciences complex and Departments in the Natural and Agricultural Sciences building. It is hoped that this visit will form the basis of future collaborate research and training efforts between the two universities.