Botswana to use CCARDESA website for critical data-based decisions
The Centre for Coordination for Agricultural Research and Development in Southern Africa (CCARDESA) has continued its Information, Communication & Knowledge Management (ICKM) Promotional Mission in Gaborone, Botswana.
During his opening remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department of Technical Services at the Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana, Dr John C. Moreki was appreciative of CCARDESA’s effort of developing a regional agricultural knowledge hub and urged all participants to visit the site and learn more about it.
He intimated that while the Ministry of Agriculture conducts a lot of research, much of this information, unfortunately, is not shared with relevant people for data-based decision making. He urged participants to share relevant agricultural information for the CCARDESA website.
Dr Moreki quoted UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan who said: “knowledge is not power if it is not empowering the people.” No matter how much information Botswana generates, it will not yield results if it is not accessible for use. He went further to say ignorance is bliss- it's better not to know some things because if you don’t know, you are happier. He likened this to the participant's knowledge about the CCARDESA website. “Before you came to this workshop, you did not know about CCARDESA and were happy, but now you know that there is a CCARDESA website and you need to learn more about it as you are no longer ignorant but must work hard to populate it, “he emphasised.
Dr Moreki further added information, if well presented and utilised, is liberating and it should be packaged in the right way so that the farmers on the ground can access and use it to improve their yields thereby contributing to the food security of the region.
During the workshop deliberations, participants noticed that there was a gap, as information is not reaching extension workers in Botswana who need the information urgently. However, with the availability of smartphones, one had no excuse for not accessing the information from the CCARDESA website and knowledge hub.
Public relations officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and ICKM CCARDESA ICKM National Focal Point person for Botswana, Ms Lorato Bailang urged participants to channel all the research that they have published to her so that she can post them on the CCARDESA website for the benefit of the SADC region.
The workshop attracted participants from the media, environmental field, academia, farmer organisations and ministry of agriculture staff.
Botswana becomes the 5th country CCARDESA has held the ICKM promotions after Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.