Alina Ntsiapane from Bloemfontein, a PhD student in Sustainable Agriculture and Extension, is one of the winners in the International Livestock Research Institute’s (ILRI) CapDev Grand Challenge.
Ntsiapane formed part of 30 graduate students and research fellows from National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in countries where ILRI works. The CapDev Grand Challenge is a 10-month process conceived and designed by ILRI’s head of capacity development to grow transformational next-generation livestocksector professionals by equipping them with the people and leadership skills necessary to contribute to new research and development outcomes.
Ntsiapane, who won second place in the overall partner’s category, has a passion for farming, agri-business, leadership and research. “I formed part of the winning team in food and agri-business competition for the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) case study competition for 2020/2021.”
Ntsiapane’s research focuses on smallholder wool production for improved rural livelihoods in Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo. “In South Africa, wool farming plays an important role as a source of livelihood for many smallholder farmers. The lack of analytical evidence on efficiency levels of smallholder wool farmers in the different sheep production systems limits policymaking on optimal allocation of resources to improve efficiency of wool farming,” she said.
A wool farmer with about 38 sheep can get up R20 000 if they classify their wool before selling it. However, more than 90% of these farmers are getting less than R10 000 because their wool systems are not efficient,” she added.