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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

First-year students encouraged to attend UFS welcoming function
2005-01-12

The University of the Free State (UFS) will host a welcoming function for all new first-year students and their parents on Saturday 15 January 2005 in the Callie Human Centre on the main campus in Bloemfontein.

The function starts at 11.00 and will be addressed by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Frederick Fourie. UFS staff will also be available to provide vital information to first-year students on academic matters.

According to UFS Registrar, Mr Vernon Collett, Saturday’s welcoming function can assist students and parents by providing vital information on the many high quality academic learning programmes on offer at the UFS in six faculties.

“If students and parents have this information it will make the registration process which starts next week Monday 17 January much smoother,” Mr Collett said.

The UFS has split the registration process into various categories of students and Mr Collett appealed to all students to adhere to the dates and times which apply to them as a one-stop service will be available so as to avoid unnecessary delays in the registration process.

The registration of first-time entering first-year students who applied before 30 November 2004 to study at the Bloemfontein campus will take place from Monday 17 January 2005 to 21 January 2005 at the Callie Human Centre.

Senior undergraduate students (that is, students entering their second or later year of study) may register from 22 to 29 January 2005.

Postgraduate students, first time entering first year students and other students who applied for admission to the main campus after 30 November 2004 must register at the Callie Human from 31 January 2005 to 4 February 2005.

Due to the limitations placed by government on student numbers, the applications of students who applied late will be regarded as pending and will be processed as places became available.

Vista campus

The Vista campus in Bloemfontein – which was incorporated into the UFS in January 2004 – no longer accepts applications from first-year students. Such prospective students had to apply to the UFS main campus.

Students who had been registered as Vista students last year must register at the Vista campus on the same dates as applicable on the main campus.

Qwaqwa Campus

At the Qwaqwa campus of the UFS, all first-time entering first-year students must report on 17 January 2005, after which the registration of these students will take place according to a specific programme.

The official welcoming functioning for new first-years at the Qwaqwa campus of the UFS will take place on Saturday 22 January 2005 at 11am in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall on the Qwaqwa campus. As on the main campus, this function will also be addressed by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Fourie.

Mr Collett appealed to first-year students who have applied to study at the Qwaqwa campus and their parents to attend this function which fulfills the same role as the one held on the Bloemfontein campus.

Detailed information on the dates and times of registration for the various faculties and academic learning programmes is available on the UFS website: http://www.uovs.ac.za/content.php?cid=9

Prospective students may also call 051-401-3000 for more information.

    Media release
Issued by: Anton Fisher
Media Representative
Cell: 072-207-8334

 


12 January 2005

 

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