Farming with less water

2017-07-20 06:01
: : Members of the Co-op Johannes Vermaak (Chairperson) and Henk Agenbach (CEO), as well as Roland Schulze (Prof. Emeritus) and Dr Theo de Jager attended the first of the series of talks hosted by The Co-op and held at the Oudebosch Farmstall, Tsitsikamma.Photo: SUPPLIED

: : Members of the Co-op Johannes Vermaak (Chairperson) and Henk Agenbach (CEO), as well as Roland Schulze (Prof. Emeritus) and Dr Theo de Jager attended the first of the series of talks hosted by The Co-op and held at the Oudebosch Farmstall, Tsitsikamma.Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE Co-op Humansdorp recently kicked-off a series of talks entitled “Farm Better with Less Water” in an effort to assist its members and supporter farmers during a time when water scarcity and drought is rife.

Owing to the trying environmental circumstances the region is undergoing, The Co-op took the initiative to present an opportunity where experts in the field of irrigation, animal feed, climate change and farming strategies could present information to farmers on July 11 and 12 in the Tsitsikamma, Patensie, Somerset East, Kirkwood and surrounding areas, with two sessions held per day.

The keynote speaker, Dr Theo de Jager, President of both the World Farmers’ Organisation and the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), motivated delegates to become more competitive, adaptable to technology and inventive approaches to ensure that farming remains sustainable throughout generations.

“Given the factual data and the scientifically calculated projections that are nowadays available to farmers, it forewarns the farmer to adapt and adjust his/her strategy timeously to align to the environment,” said Dr de Jager. “Agriculture is the only industry that – on a larger scale and with lesser risk – can create greater prosperity if we keep up with change.”

Another speaker, Prof. Roland Schulze, discussed the effect of climate change and how carbon emissions and the greenhouse effect leads to the steady rise in temperatures and how this practically impacts on citrus, wheat and dairy farming.

According to Prof. Schulze, the University of Kwazulu-Natal has a study underway that captured the past 50 years of weather and climate data to systematically determine the projected climate patterns in years to come. “One can clearly see from our projections how the daily temperatures will rise in say 20 years or 40 years from now. This has a direct bearing on the type of crops grown in a specific area; when yielding of crops will take place and the mortality of animals,” he said. “Data such as this enable farmers to plan better to mitigate the effect of climate change.”

This initiative is in line with The Co-op’s strategy of bringing innovating solutions to its member and clients,” says CEO, Henk Agenbach. “Following the success of these four events, we are considering similar pla-tforms where our valued members are provided with unique opportunities to interact with various specialist in the agricultural sector. Our aim is to pool resources and knowledge to better serve our clients.”

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