Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

Department of Agricultural Economics provides help with workshop
2010-03-08

From the left are: Mr Dannhauser, Prof. Willemse and Mr Strydom at the first agricultural prospects workshop of 2010.
Photo: Lize du Plessis


The Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently presented an agricultural prospects workshop for mainly agri-businesses and producers on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The workshop, which has been presented quarterly since 2005, focused on providing farmers the opportunity to share their strategies with one another. They also received advice from agri-businesses such as co-operations, input producers, merchants and banks. Mr Dries Dannhauser, owner of Sharex, who speculates with commodities and shares, advised farmers struggling with mealie sales. He explained how to lower risks with South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX).

Prof. Johan Willemse, Departmental Chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the UFS and Mr Dirk Strydom also presented lectures about, among others, market trends. The workshop will be presented again on 4 May, 18 August and 27 October this year in the CR Swart Auditorium on the Main Campus.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept