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

Springbok call-up tops Rhule’s dream season
2012-11-01

Raymond Rhule
Photo: Gallo Images
31 October 2012

We can add yet another name to our already impressive list of Springbok rugby players. Raymond Rhule has been included by Heyneke Meyer as one of five uncapped players for the Springboks’ upcoming European tour.

The nod from the selectors caps a tremendous year for the Ghanaian-born star. The former Technical High School Louis Botha pupil and current UFS student rose through the South African rugby ranks at a rate which can only be described as spectacular.

He was part of the Shimla team which competed in this year’s under-20 and senior Varsity Cups that culminated in inclusion in the victorious South African team at the under-20 World Cup.

Since then, he has been a fixture in the Free State Cheetah team in both the Vodacom Cup and the premier local rugby competition, the ABSA Currie Cup, gaining praise for his performance from the public and rugby experts along the way.

The 19-year-old wing has been the stand-out performer for a troubled Free State Cheetahs outfit, who had to see off the Eastern Province Kings in relegation playoffs to stay in the top division of the ABSA Currie Cup.

In an impressive season, Rhule scored eight tries, earning him the spot as the competition’s top try scorer.

Among a raft of awards, Rhule was announced as the UFS Junior Sportsman of the year for 2012 in October and has been nominated as the South African Rugby Union’s (Saru) Young Player of the Year.

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