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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

Call for campus review and participation into renaming and renewal of statues, signs, and symbols on UFS campuses
2016-08-25

 

The leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) is issuing a Call for the renaming and renewal of statues, signs, and symbols on the three campuses to staff, students, and alumni.

In line with the founding statement and guidelines of the Naming Committee of Council, The Call will seek to retain the best representations of the history and identity of the UFS over more than a century, while committing to the transformation imperatives of our new democracy so that the totality of statues, signs, and symbols give credence to both the past and the future, all in line with the values of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

Submissions should be made to the
SSSC between 21 July 2016 and 31 August 2016.
Proposals can be delivered to the
office of the Director: Communication and
Brand Management at Room 49,
Main Building, Bloemfontein Campus, or
via email to sssc@ufs.ac.za.

The ‘Guiding Principles’ of the Naming Committee, approved by Council on 8 March 2013, are transformation, reconciliation, excellence, distinctiveness, leadership, comprehensiveness, balance and sensitivity. The Policy of the UFS on Naming and Renaming is available here: http://bit.ly/2aeTLUz; and the Remit of the Naming Committee of the UFS is available here: http://bit.ly/29NXESC.

The Call will give special attention to creative submissions from staff, students, and alumni, such as signs and symbols that reflect our entangled past and place rival memories in critical conversation. Whatever is proposed, our commitment to the Academic Project and the Human Project remain foundations on which inspirational proposals could be based. In the end, a campus that is richly diverse, inclusive, and just in its symbolic infrastructure, would give visible meaning to the university’s commitment to social justice and reconciliation.

All submissions should be made to the Statues, Signs, and Symbols Committee (SSSC) between 21 July 2016 and 31 August 2016. Proposals could be delivered in hard copy to the office of the Director: Communication and Brand Management at Room 49, Main Building, Bloemfontein Campus or via email to sssc@ufs.ac.za.

Proposals will be reviewed by the SSSC, which is a subcommittee of the Naming Committee.

Final proposals will be submitted to Council for consideration at its final meeting of the 2016 academic year. In other words, new statues, symbols and signs – those approved by Council – will be implemented from January 2017.

Submissions could include, but are not limited to, the following: the renaming of streets and buildings; the proposal of new statues and other symbols on campus; the renewal of artwork collections; the reconfiguration of existing statues and symbols; the introduction of memorial gardens; the instatement of new galleries, sculptures, and literary collections; the establishment of prominent academic chairs or annual academic lectures in the name of illustrious figures, etc. Particular attention should be given to new buildings in the process of being built, such as residences.

Finally, it is important that the views and recommendations of all staff, students, and alumni be considered in submissions and that every campus citizen, past and present, has a sense of being able to participate fully and freely in the process.

Released by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Tel: +27 51 401 3422/2707 or +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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