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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

Faculty of Law establishes a Centre for Labour Law
2009-12-02

Here at a recent certificate ceremony for the students in Labour Law are Prof. Voet du Plessis, Ms Kotie Prinsloo (middle) from Netcare who received the Certificate in Labour Law with a distinction and Ms Alet Ellis from the Department of Private Law at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett

 The establishment of a Centre for Labour Law in the Faculty of Law was recently officially approved by the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS).

This centre aims to promote teaching and research in labour law at the UFS and to nationally and internationally establish collaboration with centres and institutes of labour law.

The first certificate course in Labour Law was presented in 2001 when a need was identified from persons who not necessary qualified for a LLB. An advanced course in Labour Law followed in 2004 and a postgraduate diploma in Labour Law followed in 2007. Since 2001, a total of 1 400 certificates have been awarded to students who successfully completed the certificate course and the advanced course in Labour Law.

“Where Labour Law is already to a greater degree functioning independently, the already existing operations will now be formally grouped in a centre,” said Prof. Du Plessis, acting head of the Centre for Labour Law at the UFS.

Apart from the Main Campus, the certificate course is also being presented in Qwaqwa and in Welkom. Distance learning is also provided for.

The official launch of the centre will take place early in next year. The board as well as the advisory panel, existing of experts from outside the university, will also then be appointed.

This centre can also be seen as one of the faculty’s community service arms,” said Prof. Du Plessis. The centre amongst others gives to persons who not have university admission the opportunity to study and to qualify themselves in their work. If a person completed all the certificate courses in Labour Law, he will be able to qualify for the postgraduate diploma in Labour Law with the recognition of prior learning process. Since the presentation of the last mentioned course in 2007, approximately 120 students have successfully completed this course.

“I am thankful that we are at this point where the Centre for Labour Law is officially approved. It is a great milestone for the Department of Mercantile Law as well as the Faculty of Law at the UFS,” said Prof. Du Plessis.
 

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
2 December 2009

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