Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

Spring Graduation
2011-09-12

 

Our university will be awarding altogether 91 diplomas/certificates and 624 degrees during the Spring Graduation Ceremony on 14 and 15 September 2011. Of these, 23 doctorates and two honorary doctorates will also be awarded.

As with this year’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony, we will be making the ceremony more accessible to students and the public. Two appearances, in particular, can be looked forward to on this occasion: a national concert pianist in Grade 12 from Voortrekker High School in Bethlehem, Caryn Reed, and a continental debating champion and second-year student in our Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Sibusiso Tshabalala, as guest speaker.
 
All the master’s and doctoral degrees of the various faculties will once again be awarded during one ceremony on 15 September 2011.
 
Prof. Robert Frater, Emeritus Professor in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Centre, New York, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Medical Science. As a teacher and trainer, Prof. Frater has influenced many surgeons in his training role in the wards, operating room and intensive care facility. Dr Akilagpa Sawyerr, an academic from Ghana, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Education for groundbreaking work done on the African continent. Dr Sawyerr, who is a member of our International Advisory Council, has visiting appointments at prestigious universities, such as the famous Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also has visiting status at the Harvard Law School and the Yale Law School.
 
The full programme for the various ceremonies is:
  • Wednesday, 14 September 2011:
At 10:15, the degrees will be awarded to students of the Faculties of Humanities, Education, Law and Theology. Diplomas/certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded. This excludes the Certificate in Education, National Professional Diploma in Education and the Advanced Education Certificate.
 
At 15:15, degrees will be awarded to students in the Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Natural- and Agricultural Sciences and Health Sciences. Diplomas/Certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded.
  •  Thursday, 15 September 2011:
At 10:15, a total of 125 master’s and doctoral degrees plus two honorary doctorates will be awarded by all the faculties in a joint ceremony.
 
The Chancellor’s Dinner will also take place on the same day.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept