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20 July 2018 Photo Leonie Bolleurs
Research informs about sustainable use of fresh water for food production
Conducting research on the topic of water-footprint assessment, are from the left: Dr Enoch Owusu-Sekyere, Dr Henry Jordaan, study leader and Senior Lecturer in the UFS Department of Agricultural Economics, Dr Frikkie Maré (Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics), and Adetoso Adetoro.

The fact that South Africa is a water-scarce country has been highlighted during the past couple of years, and even city dwellers were suddenly very aware of the drought due to the strict water restrictions. These are the words of Dr Frikkie Maré, Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS) and one of the graduates who received his PhD on water-footprint assessment studies at the recent June 2018 graduations.

The department is currently involved in various water-footprint and water-management research projects which assist in providing solutions for better water management in the future. “As department, we want to be at the forefront of research that will assist all agricultural producers with sustainable production practices to ensure economic, environmental, and social sustainable food and fibre products for the society at large,” said Dr Maré.

Research funded by Water Research Commission

The UFS recently conferred two PhD degrees (Drs Enoch Owusu-Sekyere and Frikkie Maré) and one master’s degree (Adetoso Adetoro) in the Department of Agricultural Economics. All three have been working in the field of water-footprint assessment. The research formed part of two different projects that were initiated and funded by the Water Research Commission.

According to Dr Henry Jordaan, Senior Lecturer in this department, four of his students already received their master’s degrees on the topic of water-footprint assessment, while two students are busy with PhDs and three more are working on their master’s degrees.

Topic gains momentum in research community
The water-footprint concept serves as a useful indicator to sensitise society about the impact of the food we eat on scarce freshwater resources – from agricultural producers using water to produce primary food crops and products on the farm, to the end consumer buying the food products in the retail store in town.

“Water-footprint assessment is a relatively new field aimed at informing the sustainable use of fresh water for food production. This topic is gaining momentum in the research community, given the substantial increase in the global population in the context of freshwater resources that is getting increasingly scarce. The challenge is to feed the growing population while still using the scarce freshwater resources sustainably.

Volume of water used to produce food

“In order to inform water users on how to use the resource sustainably, it is important to know the volume of water that was used to produce the required food products. Through our research, we are contributing to this knowledge by assessing the volume of water that was used to produce selected products, and to interpret the water use in the context of water availability to gain insight into the degree of sustainability with which the resource is used. The results are expected to inform water users, water managers, and policy makers regarding the sustainable use of fresh water for food production,” said Dr Jordaan.

News Archive

UFS launches journal on name change
2008-11-14

 

At the launch of the journal on name change were, from the left: Prof. Johan Lubbe, research associate of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS and guest editor of the magazine, Dr Lucie Möller, expert on geographical names and place name expert - and also an occasional member of the United Nations' committee of experts, Dr Peter Raper, research associate of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS, and Prof. Theo du Plessis, Director of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS. The magazine is dedicated to Dr Möller.
Photo: Lacea Loader

UFS launches journal on name change

From all the language issues coved in the English and Afrikaans printed media, the name change of place names is receiving the most attention. This is according to Prof. Johan Lubbe, research associate from the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Unit for Language Management, during the recent launch of a journal on name change on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

In the journal it is found, among other, that, as a result of the nature of the new democratic foundation of the ANC controlled government which puts the interests of the majority first, there is a move in the thinking and execution of name change. In this way not only names change but art, culture and heritage matters are democratically thought through and planned.

“As a directive from the South African Language Board (Pansalb), the Unit for Language Management at the UFS annually compiles the SA Language Monitor which reports on the language rights situation in South Africa as mainly reported by the print media. Issues about name change appeared throughout and this is why the unit decided to publish a journal with various perspectives on this,” said Prof. Lubbe, who is also the guest editor of the journal.

Other topics discussed in the journal include, among others, language visibility, a historical overview of the change in place names, the Khoisan influence on naming and naming amongst Xhosa speakers.

In a contribution on language visibility it is found that geographical naming policy and the national language policy does not correlate and language visibility as language mechanism is not considered. In a historical overview on the change of place names it is found that name change was never a calculated, political process and only after 2000 mention was made of a conscious, orchestrated process of name change.

In a further contribution on the name change of Johannesburg International airport, it was found that the government, by ignoring the sentiments of the minority, made itself guilty of splitting the nation in spite of pronunciations that nation building is a priority. Where African languages are concerned, it was found that the English name is increasingly being discarded in favour of the Xhosa name. This is apparently connected to the language debate in South Africa.

The journal, “Kritiese perspektiewe op naamsverandering” (“Critical perspectives on name change”) is a supplement to the “Acta Academica”, an accredited national journal that is independently publishing selected research articles in the human sciences and interdissiplinary fields. Nine cooperators from across the country made contributions to the journal.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 November 2008
 

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