AgriBioTech 2018

Our "green" AgriSPACE campus

AgriBioTech Non Profit Company

Our 2017/2018  BEE Scorecard

2016 in Review

2015 in Review

2014 in Review

2013 in Review


1    Scientific Roets: Who are we?

*    Scientific Roets (PTY) LTD are social entrepreneurs who source, develop and scale innovative technologies and approaches that strengthen economic and environmental resilience and increase opportunities for income generation in rural areas. We achieve this vision through:

*      Agricultural and Rural Enterprise Project conception, business planning, implementation and project management ,

*      Training, assessment, moderation and development of learning material (Fully Accredited Training Service Provider and Institute of Sectoral and Occupational Excellence of AgriSETA, with the NQF 4 New Venture Creation programme registered with ServicesSETA) in both the development and scientific space,

*      Agricultural research (contract and ad hoc research regarding indigenous resources, nutrition and agricultural economics) and

*      Development and incubation of innovative new products and services with agribio-tech entrepreneurs at our new AgriSPACE campus.

The company turned 13 years old in September 2015 and has been based in Kokstad (KZN) since 2003.

2.   Scientific Roets: What do we believe in?

*  Our Vision: Scientific Roets are social entrepreneurs who source, develop and scale innovative technologies and approaches that strengthen economic and environmental resilience and increase opportunities for income generation in rural areas.

*  The Mission of Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd is "Working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, Scientific Roets assists local, district, provincial and national authorities and other development agencies to achieve their rural community and enterprise development goals by improving entrepreneurial and agricultural human talents, innovating through new agricultural, tourism and agri-biotech product development and actively seeking access to new and alternative markets, thus promoting livelihood diversification whilst ensuring improved financial inclusion and community engagement."

*    We are passionate about South Africa.

*    All our work in rural development is based on our belief in the complementarity of the four "Prime Movers of Rural Development":

o   Agriculture (it is the key to unlocking the potential of rural communities),

o   Infrastructure and equipment (it must be technologically viable and appropriate to its environment),

o   Institutional Innovation (enterprises must engender empowerment and improve livelihoods) and

o   Capacity building (Should be associated with job-creation, encourage entrepreneurship and "Life-long" learning).

*    Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd has developed a methodology which combines participatory business planning, intricate market knowledge and the creation of viable market linkages, appropriate skills development, and the development of the relevant infrastructure and equipment requirements. A mentorship phase is built into all rural enterprise developments.

*    BEE Score: Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd has achieved a score of 98.52, making us a Level Two Contributor! This exceptionally high score has been achieved because:

o   The employees of Scientific Roets own 51% of the company.

o   Our team members are highly technically qualified, confident in their abilities and competent in their decision-making. We have a flat organizational structure, and high employment equity.

o   We contribute between 3 and 16% of our salary roll per year to learning new skills (the target of the BEE Scorecard is 2 %!)

o   We contribute all our time, energy and passion to social and enterprise development.

*    This demonstrates that our company "talks" and "walks" empowerment and growth.

*         Clients can multiply their spend on our services by 125% when calculating their own BEE Scores.

*         We are a qualifying Enterprise Development beneficiary (Category A) - Contributions made to our company can be considered for Enterprise Development points on the BBBEE scorecard.

*    A copy of our BEE verification certificate is available on this website.

*      We believe in our government's legislation and policies and contribute enthusiastically to our country's growth and maintenance. A valid Tax Clearance Certificate is available on request.

3.   Scientific Roets: What is our Expertise?

*             The staff members of Scientific Roets are highly experienced in working with development and LED projects (SMME's, Co-operatives, Agriculture, Poultry Projects, Plant Production, Goat, Beef, Tourism and Infrastructure projects).

*             Dr Merida Roets (Pr. Sci. Nat) has extensive experience in agriculture and rural development. She has 20 years of experience in agricultural research and rural development with emphasis on the use of indigenous and local resources and capacities, designing and developing rural development projects and enterprises and mentorship of young professionals. 

*             Mr Zama Madikizela (B.Tech. Animal Production), the Operations Manager, oversees and contributes to the work of five Agricultural Liaison Officers: Mr Mpho Mazubane (B.Tech. Animal Production), Mr Brian Mvuyana (N.Dip. Agriculture), Mr Mandla Rangana (N.Dip. Agriculture), Ms Nonkanyiso Ntshangase (B.Tech.Agric.Ext.) and Ms Nonsindiso Mbili (B.Tech.Agric. Ext.).

*             New product and service innovation are managed by Dr Merida Roets at AgriSPACE (AgriSPACE - Agricultural Science and Practical Assessment Centre of Excellence), our new Research and Development campus. This campus sees the development of new business opportunities - Contract research, agricultural assessment, agribiotech entrepreneurial incubation looking at agricultural SMME value-chain creation of products of use to the agricultural, health and food industries, and science tourism with the implementation of Research Management training for CPD points. Siqhamo Vutela, an analytical chemistry graduate, has been contracted as our first BioTech Entrepreneur.

*             Work has been undertaken on new learning programmes (Early Childhood Development, Agricultural Research Management, IP rights, Writing, ABET) and new training methodologies (RPL and E-learning).

*             The team are highly experienced in providing:

o   SAQA aligned and Unit Standards-based Learnership and Skills Programme training and assessment (We have trained more than 2000 learners/farmers/ entrepreneurs/co-operative members in vegetable, livestock and poultry production and enterprise development (New Venture Creation) since obtaining accreditation from AgriSETA in 2004),

o   ABET training (we understand rural illiteracy and have incorporated ways to mitigate its impact in all our training programmes),

o   Conducting feasibility studies for various rural development enterprises (we understand the constraints that rural beneficiaries face regarding transaction costs, lack of up- and down-stream linkages and economies of scale),

o   Community liaison and social facilitation (we acknowledge that project failure is usually due to poor communication, lack of participatory approaches, exclusion, and poor institutional arrangements),

o   Implementation and management of rural and enterprise development initiatives (our experience is that mentoring, business knowledge and day-to-day business management and communication with beneficiaries is key to rural enterprise success).

o   The team are experienced agricultural training facilitators, registered assessors and/or moderators (our team are all qualified and experienced agriculturalists having, not only, theoretical knowledge, but practical work-place and personal farming experience).

*             Dr Merida Roets has contributed regularly as resource person and facilitator to the capacity building activities of various developing nations' National Agricultural Research Services (NARS). These capacity building activities have included: Agricultural Research Management Training (Ghana, South Africa), Agricultural Priority Setting with ASARECA and ECAPAPA (Uganda, Kenya), Agricultural Research Management with Innovation Systems Perspective (Ethiopia, Results-Oriented Programme Planning, Learning and Capacity Building (Papua New Guinea) and Engendered Project Management (International Potato Centre, Kenya).

*             Dr Merida Roets brings a wealth of knowledge regarding various Development Perspectives such as: Agriculture Research for Development, Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, Institutional Innovation, Innovation's Perspective for Rural Development, Farming Systems Research and Extension, Value-Chain analysis and development, Asset-Based Approaches to Rural Development, Results-Oriented Programme Planning, Learning and Capacity Building and Sustainable "Green" business.

*             Infrastructure development is handled by a sister company Scientific Roets Engineering Services lead by Adriaan Roets (Pr.Eng.-ECSA registration number 20030180) who is supported by Mr Zamindlela Godlimpi (Nat.Dip.Eng.). Previous rural infrastructure projects include design and site supervision of rural (gravel) and black-top roads, water reticulation, dams, reservoirs, pump-stations, pipelines, agricultural infrastructure, agro-processing facilities, hydroponics tunnels, retaining walls, tourism complexes, landfill sites, storm-water drainage, sports fields, RDP housing, airfield resurfacing and refuse transfer stations. (The development of appropriate rural infrastructure for both small and large agricultural enterprises is managed by this team.)

*             The team is efficiently supported by Ms. Zukiswa Sonqwenqwe our Office Administrator, Mr Dumisani Dingindlela our Human Resources Officer and Ms. Eunice Dlamini our General Assistant.

*             Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd is an accredited Training Service Provider of AgriSETA and has successfully completed training programmes (ABET, Skills Programmes and Learnerships) for MAPPP-SETA, MQA, AgriSETA, SEDA and Services SETA. All training is SAQA aligned and Unit Standards based.

*             The team constantly update their agricultural and other knowledge relevant to their work. For example, in April and May of 2011, Dr Roets, Mr Zama Madikizela, Mr Mpho Mazubane and Mr Mnonopheli Madikizela participated in an intensive International poultry Production Course conducted at the North Carolina State University in the USA. This international, cutting-edge course covered all aspects of poultry production, from breeding, hatchery management, layer management, broiler management, feed milling, processing and marketing. Zama Madikizela is currently completing an MSc. in Commerce Leadership at UKZN. For the last three years Dr Merida Roets has attended Sustainability Week in Gauteng. This conference has proved fertile ground for new contacts, ideas and projects. Merida contributed a paper in 2014 and an article titled "Institutional Arrangements - Relevance to Tourism Development and Local Economic Growth" to the Responsible Tourism Handbook of the event in 2015. This continues the exciting collaboration with the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme forged in 2014. Brian Mvuyana attended the Bi-annual (Spring-Summer) Growers Symposium at the Durban Botanical gardens on the 30th July, 2015. This seminar was hosted by the Intensive Grower's Association and the knowledge gained will stand us in good stead for the greenhouses that we plan to operate at AgriSPACE. Nonsindiso Mbili had the privilege of attending the CEDPA Global Women in Management: Advancing Women's Economic Opportunities (GWIM 62) workshop from the 27th July until the 21st of August, 2015 in Cape Town. Nsi learned much about gender issues and leadership and will be applying her learning to engendering more of the work of Scientific Roets.

*             The Scientific Roets Information Centre, managed by Mr Dumisani Dingindlela, concentrates on the development of new learning material, collection and collation of agricultural, SMME enterprise, rural development and engineering information, data capture of learners, tender information and client rosters and data bases, designs innovative approaches to rural development, updates our website information, contributes to various publications and is involved in continuous agricultural research projects.

*             Scientific Roets managed various aspects of the SEDA-EIC (Small Enterprise Development Agency - Enterprise Information Centre) in the Kokstad area in 2006/2007 and has continued with services to assist SMME's in business training, business mentorship, the development of Business Plans and Feasibility Studies, assisting SMME's with tenders and procurement, and the provision of both business-oriented and technical-oriented information in service to SMME's. This includes the provision of the NQF 4 New Venture Creation (SMME's) learnership and identifying business opportunities for rural entrepreneurs.

*             Scientific Roets is highly experienced in conducting feasibility studies and implementation of various rural development projects, including several poultry production, goat and beef cattle enterprises, a co-operative development centre and land reform projects. Understanding the particular constraints and opportunities of each project is key to developing and implementing successful interventions.

*              CV's of Project Team members and Reference letters of previous clients are available on request.

4.   Scientific Roets: What are our successes?

*    Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd has been selected as an AgriSETA "Centre of Excellence" - one of five in South Africa! This attests to the high level of confidence expressed by AgriSETA in the quality of our learning, course material, project management, learning facilitation, record keeping, assessment and moderation standards and the overall innovative approach used in our learning methodology. Copies of our registrations and accreditations are available on request.

*    Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd has achieved the Services SETA 3-Star accreditation for Customer Service Excellence.

*    Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd has achieved the Services SETA 2-Star accreditation for its Quality Management System.

*    Dr Merida Roets was invited by Former US President Bill Clinton to serve as a panelist at his 2008 Clinton Global Initiative meeting, to share her expertise on "Entrepreneurial Development of Women in Developing Countries".

*    Dr Merida Roets was a finalist in the 2008 KZN Business Woman of the Year (Social Entrepreneur category).

*    Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd has created a name for itself as being the service provider of choice in the design and development of viable, sustainable and innovative rural agricultural, tourism and SMME Enterprises. As such they were instrumental in developing the highly successful AmaBhaca Crafts (Mount Frere, Eastern Cape) and KwaXolo Chickens (Port Shepstone) which includes an abattoir and processing plant.

*    Scientific Roets obtained funding from the Segal Family Foundation through the Clinton Global Initiative to undertake an NQF 4 New Venture Creation Learnership involving 22 Kokstad Entrepreneurs. This financial support has been continued from 2011 through to 2015 for similar work.

*    Scientific Roets has completed or contributed to more than 160 rural projects since its establishment in 2002.

*    Scientific Roets has trained more than 2000 learners/farmers in full agricultural or rural enterprise-related qualifications since 2004.

*    Scientific Roets were chosen as a winner of the British Airways Business Opportunity Grants in 2010. We applied this prize to international travel in 2011 to expand our business and acquire more expertise particularly in the field of poultry production. A team of four members from Scientific Roets travelled to the USA, for intensive poultry production and feed milling courses at North Carolina State University.

*    Dr Merida Roets was invited to serve as Key-note speaker at the National Department of Science and Technology's Women in Science Awards Ceremony held in Centurion in August 2012 addressing the topic of "Using Science and Technology to Empower Rural Women and Alleviate Poverty".

5.   Scientific Roets: Where are we based?

*    The company is based at their new AgriSPACE campus on Farm 314, Kruispruit, Karg's Post, Kokstad.  Projects as far as North West Province, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, northern KwaZulu-Natal and the southern parts of the Eastern Cape are managed.

*    Scientific Roets (PTY) Ltd can be reached at P.O. Box 461, Kokstad, 4700. Tel/fax (039) 727 1515, E-mail: or, Web: Cell: Merida (083) 630 7787