A unique memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Mafikeng Campus of the North-West University (NWU) and Puregas on 7 September. The MoU opens the doors for collaborative research with a specific focus on the possible use of ammonia gas to improve the quality of fibrous feed materials used in animal diets and explore ways in which the ammonia can be used in crop production.

In attendance at the signing of the MoU was the rector of the campus, Prof Mashudu Dhavana-Maselesele, Willie Coetzee and Wihan Fourie, representatives of Puregas.

As part of the MoU between the two institutions, funding for two students in the field of research will be made available, viz Getrude Chelopo (PhD Animal Science) and Thabo Butane (MSc Animal Science).  In addition, Dr Lebo Motsei, Prof Victor Mlambo and Prof Upenyu Marume will be the principal researchers spearheading the partnership.

It is expected that the collaboration between NWU and Puregas will derive mutual benefits particularly with regard to the diversification of the use of ammonia gas by Puregas, and access of research funds by the NWU. Such a linkage may promote greater involvement of NWU in deriving technologies that are useful in the industry.


THABO FRANS BUTHANE – South African Council for Natural Scientific professions Candidate Animal Scientist ( 100149/15).

Thabo is a BSc Agriculture (Animal and plant production) graduate studying towards his Master’s Degree.

Thabo’s experience thus far has been his involvement in the following:

  1. Data collection and analysis from a research which involved feeding Lucerne legume to dairy calves.
  2. National Poultry Value chain project planning, project implementation and project performance reporting, project management, project budgeting, project monitoring and evaluation.
  3. Supervision of research technicians (9 people) and Marketers (9 people).
  4. Poultry production farmer training, Poultry production training manual development, Hatchery production farmer training, Abattoir production farmer training, Feed-mill production farmer training.
  5. Technology transfer of research in beef for Limpopo farmers.

GERTRUDE MANAKEDI CHELOPO holds a degree in B.Sc Agriculture in Animal production as well as her M.Sc in Agriculture production (Animal Nutrition) degree.

Her M.Sc. degree research was focused on the dietary energy level on feedlot cattle under high ambient temperatures. She is currently a Research Student at the Agricultural Research Council- Animal Production Institute in Beef Cattle Nutrition and management. Gertrude participates in the day to day running of the beef cattle unit (Feedlot), Designing experimental protocols, practically initiating and running research experiments, Data capturing, record keeping, Managing and reporting to mentor on the progress of the experiments in the section and also assisting in farmers day organisation and presenting advising on feeding and feed management.