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

UCT scholar in Philosophical Psychology of Black Existence to join Judge Albie Sachs on stage
2015-03-23

Dr Buhle Zuma, listed as one of the 2011 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans, is coming to the Bloemfontein Campus. He will share a stage with civil rights activist and former Constitutional Court, Judge Albie Sachs, on Thursday 26 March 2015 in the Albert Wessels Auditorium at 12:30.

Respondent to Judge Sachs

A former Mandela Rhodes scholar, and currently a young lecturer at the University of Cape Town's Psychology Department, Dr Zuma is particularly interested in issues at the heart of our rainbow nation . His research asks the question: What does it mean to be human for black people after centuries of dehumanisation? Dr Zuma also looks at the role of desire and fantasy in the political imagination of post-apartheid South Africa. He describes his developing thought and work as the Philosophical Psychology of Black Existence.

Dr Zuma will act as respondent to Judge Sachs’ public lecture, ‘Sites of memory, sites of conscience’ [Hannes, please link to the article on the main website]. This lecture will form part of a series that focuses on how the creative arts represent trauma and memory – and how these representations may ultimately pave the way to healing historical wounds.

Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past

This lecture will launch of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past. It forms part of a five-year research project led by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela [], funded by the Mellon Foundation []. The event is hosted by the UFS Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies [].

Dr Zuma lives by the belief that, if he imparts what he learns and knows lovingly and creatively, the world will be the better for it.

Details of the event:

Date: Thursday 26 March 2015
Time: 12:30
Venue: Albert Wessels Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: Jo-Anne Naidoo at Naidooja@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