Sign up for SASUF Satellite Event: The status of agricultural biologicals in Southern Africa, March 28 • 09:00 – 12:00 CEST/SAST

As part of of South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF) we invite you to join the SASUF Satellite Event: “The status of agricultural biologicals in Southern Africa” remotely Tuesday, March 28 • 09:00 – 12:00 CEST/SAST
This is a chance to get a picture of the knowledge and use of biologicals in Southern Africa, and we will also report some of our results from our surveys and analysis in the region around biologicals as part of AgriFoSe2030.
Sign up below the agenda!
Tuesday 28 of March 2023
Welcoming (Prof Bongani Ndimba – Senior Manager Research: ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij & Dr Sonja Venter (Senior Manager Research: ARC-Vegetables, Industrial and Medicinal Plants)
9:10  What are biologicals and what is the global status? (Prof Erik Alexandersson / Dr Lerato Matsaunyane)
9:25  Plant biologicals: Identifying hurdles of use of a Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) analysis of stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa (Dr Mesia Ilomo / Prof Quenton Kritzinger)
9:45  Question and Answer session
10:00  Coffee break
10:30  Invited speaker: Developing beneficial soil microbes as inoculants to enhance climate smart agriculture (Dr Ahmed Hassen, ARC)
10:45  Invited speaker: Biocult (Trichoderma and Endomycorrhizae) for root health (Dr Deidre Odendaal, AECI) 
11:00  Question and Answer session and open discussion
11:45  Wrap-up and way forward 

Main target group:
Students, farmers, researchers, policymakers and private stakeholders
Agricultural biologicals are products based on organic matter, which can serve as biostimulants, biocontrol agents, biopesticides, resistance inducers or biofertilizers. They can lead to improved plant protection, growth enhancement and/or soil improvement, which in turn can safeguard food security. However, there are a number of challenges around awareness, availability, viability, production and policies for biologicals. In southern Africa, limited work has been done on plant biologicals even if there is a potential in introducing them to create a more sustainable agriculture. Currently, the focus is also more towards large-scale farmers. An increased understanding for the use of biologicals by smallholder farmers is needed.

As part of an AgriFoSe2030 project, we have over the last year mapped the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) regarding biologicals in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa. This was done by interviews and surveys with smallholder farmers, researchers, policymakers, regulators, agro-dealers, manufacturers, importers and distributors. In all, more than 600 persons have contributed to our KAP analysis. In this seminar, we want to present some of our preliminary observations and results, also including a comparison of the three countries.

This seminar targets farmers, researchers, policymakers and private stakeholders, and will include representatives of these groups. It is a possibility to ask questions regarding the results of the KAP analysis and further discuss the future role of biologicals in SSA. We will start by presenting our results with the help of our team of researchers from Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa who conducted the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) regarding biologicals. It will also be possible to participate remotely.

Keywords: Agriculture, biologicals, sub-Saharan Africa, plant health