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

UFS introduces a unique new module for all first-year students
2012-01-15

As from 2012, thousands of first-year students at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be attending a newly designed core curriculum module called UFS 101.

UFS 101 has been specially developed as an exciting learning experience to create a new kind of Kovsie graduate that will stand out amongst other South African graduates.

“UFS 101 will teach students to look at local and global challenges from different perspectives and engage critically with the newest thinking nationally and internationally in fields such as nanotechnology, law and history, to name only a few. Students will also learn more about themselves and confront the boundaries in their thinking,” says Dr Mallory Du Plooy, the module coordinator.
This 16-credit module is also intended to promote social cohesion amongst students. The module is compulsory for all first-time entering mainstream students registered for a first degree or diploma.

UFS 101 is also unique in the sense that no other South African university offers a similar course on a scale this big.

This module, which will be attended by about 4 000 mainstream first-year students, will be presented in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus. Classes will be interactive with lecturers by means of various audio and visual resources.

UFS 101 will be launched on Monday 27 February 2012.

More information about UFS 101 is available at www.ufs.ac.za  or can also be obtained by sending an e-mail to ufs101@ufs.ac.za .
 

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Telephone: +27 (0) 51 401 2584
+27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 (0) 51 444 6393
Web: www.ufs.ac.za
 

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