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2009 Press Releases

Four South Africans Selected for Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowships

September 16, 2009

PRETORIA:  For the first time in South Africa, four South Africans have been selected to participate in the prestigious Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program. Hans Kgasago and Mbokota Khosa, of the Agricultural Research Council, and Elizabeth Kola and Daniel Kekano, of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have been selected to represent South Africa in this fellowship.
Managed in South Africa by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the United States Embassy in South Africa, the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program aims to promote food security and economic growth by increasing scientific knowledge and collaborative research to improve agricultural productivity.  In Africa, the Borlaug Fellowship Program promotes food security and economic growth by training scientists in the latest developments in agricultural research and policy. The Borlaug Fellows Program was launched in 2004.

This program provides promising young scientists and policymakers with an opportunity to spend 5-8 weeks in the United States and work one-on-one with a U.S. scientist in their field of expertise.  During the program, participants learn new research techniques, gain exposure to the latest scientific developments in various fields of agriculture, access fully-equipped laboratories and libraries, and learn about unique public-private partnerships that help fund agricultural research and science.  Equally important, this program provides international scientists and policymakers with opportunities to establish long-term contacts with U.S. scientists and apply the newly gained knowledge from U.S. laboratories to their country’s research and development programs.

These first-ever Borlaug Fellows from South Africa will be hosted by the University of Missouri for eight-week fellowship programs starting in September, 2009.  The South African Borlaug fellowship program is focused on sustainable agricultural practices such as soil sciences, organic production methods and certification processes and small farmer business models. The four Borlaug Fellows are scientists and officials working to improve agricultural production in South Africa.  During their fellowship programs the four Borlaug Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize ceremony for Agriculture.   

For more information, please contact Embassy press officer:
Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau   012-431-4217 or