Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana College of Agriculture

www.bca.bw
Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana College of Agriculture is an agricultural college located in Gaborone, Botswana. It was established by an act of the Parliament of Botswana, Act no. 9, on 31 May 1991. The Act abolished the then Botswana Agricultural College which had existed since 1967.The College is a parastatal under the Ministry of Agriculture and an associate Institution of the University of Botswana. As an associate institution the College offers UB higher diploma and degree programmes in agricultural science, while its responsible on its own for short courses offered by its Centre for In-service and Continuing Education . Wikipedia.


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Matumba L.,Chitedze Agricultural Research Station | Monjerezi M.,University of Malawi | Khonga E.B.,Botswana College of Agriculture | Lakudzala D.D.,University of Malawi
Food Control | Year: 2011

Samples of sorghum grain and malt, traditional opaque sweet beverage (thobwa) and beer prepared from sorghum malts, were collected from the southern region of Malawi during the humid month of January. The samples were analyzed for total aflatoxins using aflatest VICAM fluorometry procedure. All malt and beer samples, 15% and 43% of the sorghum and thobwa samples, respectively, were contaminated with aflatoxins. The sorghum malt prepared for beer brewing, had a significantly (p < 0.01) higher total aflatoxin content (average 408 ± 68 μg/kg [SEM]) than any other type of sample. The average aflatoxin content in the beer was 22.32 μg/l, which is higher than the permissible maximum level in ready to eat foods set by Codex Alimentarius Commission (10 μg/kg). Thus consumption of opaque sorghum-based traditional beer poses a risk of aflatoxin exposure. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Vurayai R.,Botswana College of Agriculture | Emongor V.,Botswana College of Agriculture | Moseki B.,University of Botswana
American Journal of Plant Physiology | Year: 2011

Two greenhouse trials were carried out to evaluate the response pattern of morphological traits of bambara groundnut to short periods of water stress imposed at different developmental stages and also their recuperative ability after rewatering. The treatments consisted of watering plants to 100% Plant Available Water (PAW), withholding water to 30% PAW at vegetative, flowering and pod filling growth stages and rewatering the plants after 21 days of each stress treatment. Water stress reduced the relative leaf expansion rate, leaf number, plant height and shoot: root ration depending on the stage of development when water stress occurred. When plants were rewatered after each stress treatment, the relative leaf expansion rate of plants stressed at pod filling and flowering stages failed to recover from water stress. Seed yield in all stressed plants was reduced by water stress due to reductions in pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed weight. The highest yield amongst the stressed plants was obtained in plants stressed during the vegetative stage, followed by the flowering and lastly the pod filling stage. Bambara groundnuts reduced growth therefore reducing transpirational area thus reducing water loss under water stress. The results also showed that bambara groundnuts have the ability to recover from water stress after rainfall or irrigation and is therefore capable of producing some yield under water limited conditions. ©2011 Academic Journals Inc.


Obopile M.,Botswana College of Agriculture | Seeletso T.G.,Botswana College of Agriculture
Food Security | Year: 2013

In Botswana, mopane worm Imbrasia belina Westwood is culturally accepted as food by people of different age groups from different regions and districts. However, there are several other insect that are anecdotally known to be edible in Botswana. To verify this, a study was conducted by means of a questionnaire and discussions among Batswana of different age groups from six districts in the country to obtain the names of insects that are known to be edible. A total of 27 insect species was identified. The study also investigated methods of collection, processing, precooking preparation, cooking methods, storage and recipes. Chi-square analysis showed that people's knowledge of edible insects differed with districts and age groups. Older people were more familiar with uncommon edible insect compared to the younger generation. With the exception of mopane worm, the majority of the people interviewed, especially the young, had not eaten any of the species, despite knowing that they were edible. This shows that, apart from the use of mopane worm, entomophagy (the eating of insect by humans) as practiced among Batswana is declining. However, in the light of current decline in food production in Africa, especially in the arid regions of Botswana, insects may make a valuable contribution to the protein and calories of many peoples' diets. A shift from traditional harvesting to mass production of insects has the potential to provide animal protein to humans through direct consumption or indirectly when used as livestock feed, and could reduce malnutrition. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology.


Agbenin J.O.,Ahmadu Bello University | Agbenin J.O.,Botswana College of Agriculture | Welp G.,University of Bonn
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2012

The technique of diffusion gradient in thin films (DGT) for assessing bioavailable metals has not been tested under field conditions. We assessed the relationships of DGT- and cation exchange resin-membrane-measured concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn with plant uptake of the metals under greenhouse and field conditions. In the greenhouse, the effective concentrations of Cu, Pb, and Zn by DGT correlated significantly with uptake by sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), but cation exchange resin-membrane-measured concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn did not correlate with sorghum uptake. In the field, the DGTmeasured concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn were not linearly related to uptake Cd, Pb, and Zn by lettuce (Lactuca sativa) except for Cu uptake (r = 0.87, p < 0.05). Similarly, it was only the resinmembrane- extractable Pb that correlated with Pb uptake by lettuce (r = 0.77; p < 0.05). However, fitting non-linear regression models improved the plant metal uptake predictions by DGT-measured bioavailable Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn under field conditions. In conclusion, the DGT technique was fairly predictive of bioavailability in the greenhouse, but not in the field. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.


Chaturvedi P.,Botswana College of Agriculture | George S.,Botswana College of Agriculture
Journal of Medicinal Food | Year: 2010

Momordica charantia L., commonly known as bitter gourd, is used as a vegetable by the Asian community in Africa. It is frequently used as an antidiabetic herb for the management of the disease in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The present study was aimed at evaluating the effects of M. charantia on glucose level, lipid profiles, and oxidative stress in diabetic rats subjected to a sucrose load. Five normal rats and 20 diabetic rats (diabetes induced by injecting alloxan monohydrate) were used for the experiment. Diabetic rats were divided into four groups: three experimental groups that received sucrose (4 g/kg of body weight) plus graded doses of M. charantia extract and a diabetic control group that received only sucrose (4 g/kg of body weight). Normal rats were used as the normal control group and received only sucrose (4 kg/kg of body weight). The experiment was run for 30 days, after which rats were bled to assay blood glucose, lipid profiles, and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and reduced glutathione. After this, all treatments were terminated. Rats in the normal control group, diabetic control group, and experimental group 3 were subjected to observation for 30 days and were bled on day 31 to assay parameters as stated above. Results indicated that M. charantia maintained the normal glucose levels in all experimental groups, reduced triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein levels, and increased high-density lipoprotein levels. It also improved the antioxidant status, indicated by low levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and normal levels of reduced glutathione. Rats reverted to diabetic conditions and were found to be under oxidative stress after termination of treatment. This study concludes that M. charantia maintains the normal glucose level, lipid profiles, and antioxidant condition in diabetic rats against the sucrose load. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition.


Batisani N.,Botswana College of Agriculture
Climate and Development | Year: 2012

Rain-fed agriculture constitutes the livelihood base for the vast majority of rural inhabitants in developing countries as a source of food security, employment and cash income. Nevertheless, rain-fed agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate variability and droughts. Changes in rainfall patterns and droughts increase the likelihood of short-run crop failures and long-run production declines causing food insecurity. For commodity-based economies, this shortfall is normally met through imports financed by revenues from mineral exports. However, the 2008 global recession that saw commodity prices plummeting and at the same time food price increasing exacerbated the food insecurity in these countries. The impending recession due to Euro crisis is likely to be a death blow. This article explores the climatic limitations to rain-fed agriculture and the confounding effects of global recession on food security in Botswana. The analysis identifies rainfall spatial variability and its relationship to yield instability. While food price increases and the financial meltdown co-acted to amplify the already dire climate-induced food insecurity in the country. This article discusses policies that the government could adopt to help its farmers adapt to climate variability and also to future financial perturbations that are likely to constrain food security. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Emongor V.,Botswana College of Agriculture
Asian Journal of Plant Sciences | Year: 2010

Safflower (Carthamus tintorius L.) belongs to the family Compositae or Asteracea. It's a multipurpose oilseed crop grown mainly for its high quality edible oil and bird seed. Initially safflower oil was used as a source of oil for the paint industry, now its edible oil is used for cooking, making margarine and salad oil. Safflower is also grown for its flowers which are used as cut flowers, colouring and flavouring foods, making dyes for the textile industry, livestock forage, vegetable, making herbal teas and medicinal purposes. In China safflower is grown as a medicinal plant for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, male and female sterility, lowering blood cholesterol, release of retained placenta and still birth, induction of labour in expectant women, delayed, heavy and painful menstrual periods, various types of rheumatism (sciatica, thorax, arthritis), respiratory diseases (whooping cough, chronic bronchitis), gastritis, etc. Despite the many uses of safflower, it has remained a minor crop. Therefore, it is essential for the scientific community to carry out research on this crop and popularize it as a commercial crop for development of pharmaceuticals, edible oil, paint and varnishes industry, dye extraction (carthamin), source of a-tocopherol, livestock feed, vegetable and cut flower. © 2010 Asian Network for Scientific Information.


Kindu M.,TU Munich | Schneider T.,TU Munich | Teketay D.,Botswana College of Agriculture | Knoke T.,TU Munich
Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to analyze land use/land cover (LULC) changes in the landscape of Munessa-Shashemene area of the Ethiopian highlands over a period of 39 years (1973-2012). Satellite images of Landsat MSS (1973), TM (1986), ETM+ (2000), and RapidEye (2012) were used. All images were classified using object-based image classification technique. Accuracy assessments were conducted for each reference year. Change analysis was carried out using post classification comparison in GIS. Nine LULCs were successfully captured with overall accuracies ranging from 85.7% to 93.2% and Kappa statistic of 0.822 to 0.924. The classification result revealed that grasslands (42.3%), natural forests (21%), and woodlands (11.4%) were dominant LULC types in 1973. In 2012, croplands (48.5%) were the major LULC types followed by others. The change result shows that a rapid reduction in woodland cover of 81.8%, 52.3%, and 36.1% occurred between the first (1973-1986), second (1986-2000), and third (2000-2012) study periods, respectively. Similarly, natural forests cover decreased by 26.1% during the first, 21.1% during the second, and 24.4% during the third periods. Grasslands also declined by 11.9, 17.5, and 21.1% during the three periods, respectively. On the contrary, croplands increased in all three periods by 131, 31.5, and 22.7%, respectively. Analysis of the 39-year change matrix revealed that about 60% of the land showed changes in LULC. Changes were also common along the slope gradient and agro-ecological zones with varying proportions. Further study is suggested to investigate detailed drivers and consequences of changes. © 2013 by the authors.


Kgwatalala P.M.,Botswana College of Agriculture | Segokgo P.,Botswana College of Agriculture
International Journal of Poultry Science | Year: 2013

Indigenous Tswana chickens are better adapted to prevailing environmental conditions and diseases than their exotic counterparts. They however exhibit slower growth rate and less mature final weight than their exotic counterparts. Crossbreeding of indigenous Tswana chickens with exotic chicken breeds can therefore be used as an alternative strategy to improve growth performance of indigenous Tswana chickens by taking advantage of breed complementarily and heterosis. The current study was therefore aimed at evaluating growth performance of Australorp × indigenous Tswana chickens F1 crossbred progeny relative to purebred indigenous Tswana chickens under an intensive management system. A total of 42 Australorp × Tswana crossbred chickens and 44 purebred indigenous Tswana chickens were evaluated for growth performance (body weight) every fortnight from 4-18 weeks of age. The chickens were raised under a deep litter house system and provided with water and commercial feeds ad libitum. Males of both crossbred and purebred chickens were generally heavier (p>0.05) than their age-matched female counterparts at different ages. Body weight was however significantly higher in Australorp × Tswana crossbred males and females than their indigenous purebred counterparts at 18 weeks of age. Growth was also more enhanced in crossbred Australorp × Tswana males than Females. Crossbreeding can therefore be used as a strategy to improve growth performance of indigenous Tswana chickens raised under an intensive management system. The study however needs to be repeated to evaluate growth performance of crossbred chickens under free range system commonly practiced in rural areas of Botswana. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2013.


Moreki J.C.,Botswana College of Agriculture
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2011

Poultry meat (mainly chicken) production in Botswana has experienced phenomenal growth over time (i.e., 1982 to 2010). This growth is attributable to inter alia government assistance such as Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) and restrictions on imports in accordance with Control of Goods Act. The country's demand for poultry meat is estimated to be 60 000 tonnes. The growth of the poultry meat industry calls for adoption of high hygiene standards by the processing plants to ensure wholesomeness of the products. However, the growth of the industry has been hampered by frequent disease outbreaks and inadequate extension service. Currently, only 28 poultry abattoirs are licensed with the Department of Veterinary Service and thus receive technical support from government meat inspectors. This implies that the hygiene in the unregistered abattoirs is inadequate indicating that food safety has been neglected for a long time. Opportunities exist in further processing of poultry meat into various products.

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