The threat of invasive Tamarix species to riparian ecosystems in South Africa

Tamarix species (common name: Tamarisk), also known as ‘salt cedars’, are native to the Euro-Asian region and some parts of Africa. It is one of the most prolific terrestrial plants on Earth and has invaded all continents where humans live. Its rapid spread is facilitated by several factors including, among others, its facultative phreatophytic and…

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Technology in a bottle: the story of C4L tech

Think of what matters more to you than anything else in the world. It is likely to be someone, not something. People matter more than anything. The story that I want to tell you today is about the future of humans, but more importantly the future of the little one you now hold dear. Your…

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Use of satellite data in Agriculture

Satellites are termed an ‘all-seeing eye in the sky’. They collect data from the Earth for different applications. The principle of satellite data collection is that different objects have distinct reflectance properties, and the reflected energy is captured by satellite sensors to produce images. Three terms are commonly used to describe satellite image resolution: spatial,…

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The importance of crop health to sustainable crop production

The productivity of crops relates directly to their health. But what is a healthy crop? A healthy crop is a crop that receives sufficient water, nutrients, and light for photosynthesis. Healthy crops are also void of injuries from biotic or abiotic factors. Such crops, growing under optimal conditions, are less susceptible to pests and diseases…

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Soil health in a nutshell

Soil is the upper layer of the earth’s crust, which sustains life. It consists of a mixture of mineral particles, organic material, organisms, and liquids, and has various physical, chemical, biological and morphological properties. It sustains plant life, which in turns sustains the lives of animals and humans on the planet. Since we rely on…

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Elements of Agroecology

Guiding the transition to sustainable food and agricultural systems. Today’s food and agricultural systems have succeeded in supplying large volumes of food to global markets. However, high-external input, resource-intensive agricultural systems have caused massive deforestation, water scarcities, biodiversity loss, soil depletion and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Despite significant progress in recent times, hunger…

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Food and clean water start with soil biodiversity

Although soils are vital for agriculture, biodiversity, and clean water, this below-ground world is often overlooked. The loss of life below the ground due to intensification of agriculture, climate change, erosion, and compaction, among other things, is one of the biggest global threats to soils. Many organisms live in the soil. In fact, about 25% of all biodiversity occur…

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To restore our soils, feed the microbes

Our soils are in trouble. Over the past century, we have abused them with ploughing, tilling and too much fertilizer. What many thinks of as “just dirt” is an incredibly complex mixture of rock-derived minerals, plant-derived organic matter, dissolved nutrients, gases, and a rich food web of interacting organisms. By ploughing and overtilling, we have…

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Dekgewasse help natuurlewe in wingerde

Die aanplant en behoud van dekgewasse, veral kruidagtige of breëblaarspesies, is een van die belangrikste bestuurspraktyke om te oorweeg deur wyndruifboere wat sensitief te werk wil gaan met die kewer-, ware insek- en spinnekoplewe in hul wingerde. Dis die raad van bewaringskundige dr. Marinus Geldenhuys, wat navorsing oor die onderwerp vir sy doktorsgraad in Bewaringsekologie…

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Can biotech crops secure enough food

Food security and nourishment is an important consideration for many communities in the developing world, including the African continent. However, addressing the food security challenge is a complex issue for which there is no single solution. While the green revolution in agriculture has provided several strategies to increase crop production, such as improved crop varieties,…

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