Dr Bongie Mcata
Dr Bongiwe Mcata is a Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in the Inclusive Economic Development (IED) division. She is a passionate social scientist, with expertise of understanding the different dynamics benefits, and also disadvantages the communities face for better development and livelihoods. She aims to contribute effectively to the economic development of South African communities, while focusing on smallholder farmers and livelihood improvement, by leveraging her experience and expertise in agricultural economics through focusing on income generation and alleviation of poverty..
Bongiwe's research focus and interests include Food systems (Food security), Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and socio-economic development, rural development and livelihood improvement (smallholder farmers and IKS based livelihood), community engagement (data extraction, dissemination of information and skills development via teaching/training).
Dr Mcata holds a PhD in Agriculture (Agricultural Economics), MSc Agriculture (Agricultural Economics), BSc Agriculture (Agricultural Economics) honours as well as a BSc Agriculture (Agricultural Economics/ Economics) all from the University of Fort Hare.
Bongiwe has worked as a Senior Researcher at the University of South Africa in the Department of Institute of Corporate Citizenship. She was actively involved in community engagement whereby she was a project coordinator at Melani Village on a Biogas production project. This pilot project was aimed at improving sustainability through energy provision, home garden promotion, bringing awareness on the aspects of climate change that impact on agricultural practises and improving rural livelihood. She coordinated and trained the project beneficiaries on what renewable energy is and the reasons for renewable energy, biogas digesters, benefits and disadvantages of biogas digesters, prepared training material for the beneficiaries, collected data regarding the progress of the project (Monitoring and evaluation), understanding the social dynamics at the study area and liaising with the different project partners. She has also worked as a Post-Doctoral fellow at the University of Fort Hare and she was actively involved in assisting students (Undergraduates and Post Graduates) and assistant lecturer (fill-in lecturer) as she was lecturing 3rd years and Honours/Masters (course work) on a full time basis with her Post Doc hosting department. Also, she got an opportunity to engage with different stakeholders both in academia (students and staff) as well as outside academia (communities). Moreover, she was awarded the 2016/17 Agricultural Professional Fellowship Program ? South Africa.
Bongiwe has authored and co-authored journal articles, recognised project reports and conference presentations.