Money must be spent more wisely to control invasive plants in SA

Money must be spent more wisely to control invasive plants in SA

The South African government has spent R7,1 billion (adjusted to 2020 values) between 1998 and 2020 to curb the spread of invasive plants, but we are still struggling to get them under control. What we need is a national strategy that focuses on clearly defined priority sites, improves planning and monitoring, and increases operational efficiency.…

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Benefits of plant biotechnology for smallholder farmers

Bringing the benefits of plant biotechnology to smallholder farmers

On a daily basis we are confronted with headlines signalling the urgency to address issues concerning the climate crisis, food shortages, our deteriorating environment, and declining natural resources. Within this context, agriculture will play a pivotal role due to the growing threat that these adverse environmental and climatic conditions have on our ability to safeguard…

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A low-cost shade net structure for vegetable production

A low-cost shade net structure for vegetable production

The demand for food and especially vegetables is increasing in the RSA, as a result of e.g., rising living standards. Higher prices are being fetched for better quality agricultural products. The producer must utilize this opportunity to apply additional and more intensive cultivation methods, to cope with the demand. This will also ensure a higher…

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Climate services can improve locally-led agricultural actions

Climate services can improve locally-led agricultural actions

Society is facing an interconnected crisis ranging from a climate emergency to rapid biodiversity destruction and engrained poverty. A myriad of global and local actors is working together to determine the importance of locally-led actions in this regard. The provision of climate services can support the need for farmers to adapt to the changing climate.…

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Is it possible to improve crop productivity?

Is it possible to improve crop productivity

A systems approach and specialist support could be the answer Globally, crop production sustains humans and animals alike, and it is pivotal to human survival. By nature, the two main focal points of the crop production system are productivity and profitability. All inputs into the crop production system have one or both of these two…

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The Benefits of Berries and Agro-Processing Part 3

The Benefits of Berries and Agro-Processing Part 3

Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat and is considered as top sources of potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and K, fibre, prebiotics carbohydrates, anthocyanins, disease-fighting nutrients, and minerals. They may also assist in reducing the risk of many age-related conditions. Frozen berries have the same health benefits as the fresh product. In the third article…

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A Potential Source of Food and Nutrition Security

Ensete Plant

Enset (Ensete ventricosum) is a large perennial monocarpic herbaceous plant, similar in form and appearance to banana (Musa spp). Referred to as wildepiesang in Afrikaans, motholo in Sepedi and mulala in Tshivenda, enset consist of a pseudostem of overlapping sheaths, large paddle-shaped leaves and produces a massive pendulous inflorescence with banana-like fruits which are inedible.…

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Protecting natural springs and seepages

Protecting natural springs and seepages

Springs occur where the water table within an aquifer meets a valley slope resulting in a slow flow of water emerging from the ground . Most springs occur as a slow, modest trickle of water, but greater discharge volumes do occur where artesian springs flow upwards to the ground surface under pressure, usually resulting in…

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South Africa’s winter rainfall zone and its future outlook

South Africa’s winter rainfall zone and its future outlook

September typically marks the end of South Africa’s winter rainfall season, which generally starts in April and is uniquely experienced across the country’s southwestern Cape and western coast, a region referred to as the winter rainfall zone. Much of this winter period rainfall is produced by cold front arms of mid-latitude cyclones deriving moisture from…

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