Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: Frikkie Liebenberg

4 Impact Assessment of Plum Research Investments in South Africa

Authors: Precious M. Tshabalala, Thula S. Dlamini, Frikkie Liebenberg, Johann Kirsten

Abstract:

Numerous studies have been conducted, and the evidence has been unambiguous showing that investing in agricultural research and development increases productivity. Continued investments in agricultural research have led to the development of over 26 successful plum cultivars since 1980 at the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC) Infruitec/Nietvoorbij in South Africa, and more continue to be developed to meet the specific needs of both producers and consumers. Yet very little is known about the returns on any of these research initiatives. The objective of the study was determine the economic impact of plum research investments at the ARC-the main plum breeding research organization in the country. The rate of return to plum research is estimated by estimating parameters in plum production and expressing research investment as an explanatory variable. The marginal rate of return is then determined to be 14.23 per cent. The rate of return to investment being this high is indicative of an under investment in plum research.

Keywords: Agricultural research investments, productivity and rate of return, plum

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3 Evaluating the Rate of Return to Peach and Nectarine Research in South Africa: 1971-2012

Authors: Chiedza Z. Tsvakirai, Precious M. Tshabalala, Frikkie Liebenberg, Johann F. Kirsten

Abstract:

Agricultural research conducted by the Agricultural Research Council has played an important role in increasing the productivity and profitability of the South African peach and nectarine industry. However, the importance of this research remains unclear to the industry stakeholders because a rate of return for this research has never been done. As a result, funding for the research at Agricultural Research Council has been waning because it is not clear how much value has been created and how much the industry stands to gain with continued research investment. Therefore, this study seeks to calculate the benefit of research investments in a bid to motivate for an increase in funding. The study utilized the supply response function to do this. The rate of return calculation revealed that agricultural research had a marginal internal rate of return of 55.9%. This means that every R1 invested yields a 56 c increase in value in the industry. Being this high, it can be concluded that investment in agricultural research is worthwhile. Thus justifies for an increase in research funding.

Keywords: Benefits of research investment, productivity.

Procedia PDF Downloads 428
2 Knowledge and Skills Requirements for Software Developer Students

Authors: J. Liebenberg, M. Huisman, E. Mentz

Abstract:

It is widely acknowledged that there is a shortage of software developers, not only in South Africa, but also worldwide. Despite reports on a gap between industry needs and software education, the gap has mostly been explored in quantitative studies. This paper reports on the qualitative data of a mixed method study of the perceptions of professional software developers regarding what topics they learned from their formal education and the importance of these topics to their actual work. The analysis suggests that there is a gap between industry’s needs and software development education and the following recommendations are made: 1) Real-life projects must be included in students’ education; 2) Soft skills and business skills must be included in curricula; 3) Universities must keep the curriculum up to date; 4) Software development education must be made accessible to a diverse range of students.

Keywords: software development education, software industry, IT workforce, computing curricula

Procedia PDF Downloads 381
1 The Incidence of Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody Positive Myasthenia Gravis in South Africa

Authors: Mombaur Busisiwe, Lesosky Maia, Liebenberg Lisa, Heckmann Jeannine

Abstract:

Introduction: To assess age- and gender-specific incidence rates (IR) of acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-antibody positive myasthenia gravis (MG) in South Africa, and geographical variation in incidence. Methods: IRs were calculated from positive AChR antibody laboratory data between 2011 and 2012, using 2011 population census data. Results:890 individuals were seropositive, for an annual IR of 8.5 per million. Age-standardized IR for early- (< 50) and late-onset (≥ 50) MG were 4.1 and 24 per million, respectively, and for juveniles, 4.3 per million. The IR between provinces ranged from 1 to 19 per million. Conclusions: In this Southern hemisphere African population, the overall IR and peak IR (in older men) for seropositive MG is comparable to that in Europe and North America, arguing against environmental factors. However, IRs may be higher among children with African genetic ancestry. Geographical variation in incidence underscores the importance of outreach programs for regions with limited resources.

Keywords: incidence rates (IR), acetylcholine receptor (AChR), myasthenia gravis (MG), South Africa

Procedia PDF Downloads 394