Nile Tilapia the preferred freshwater Aquaculture species for Africa

(Oreochromis niloticus) The culturing of fish is a very old practice in Africa, although commercial production of fish is still developing throughout the continent. Some fish species and strains are particularly suitable for commercial production. The Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is one of these very important fish species, introduced from Africa and the Middle East…

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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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Is Climate Change a Reality?

The Mangaung Metro Municipality experience Whether or not climate change is a reality is a dilemma faced by many within the farming community and poses different questions. For example, why have the onset date and duration of seasonal rainfall changed? Why are we noticing the intensification of prolonged dry spells that can last up to…

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Solar-powered irrigation systems

Solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) are increasingly in demand as they can provide a cost-effective and “clean” solution to increase agricultural productivity. Access to water for irrigation is key to farmers, particularly to sustain their livelihoods and food security. However, operating irrigation systems efficiently often calls for the adoption of local irrigation techniques and this in…

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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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Water in agriculture

Water is a critical input for agricultural production and plays an important role in food security. Irrigated agriculture represents 20 percent of the total cultivated land and contributes 40 percent of the total food produced worldwide. Irrigated agriculture is, on average, at least twice as productive per unit of land as rainfed agriculture, thereby allowing…

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Floating solar farm

Solar power is now the cheapest source of electricity in history, according to a 2020 report by the International Energy Agency. But there is something holding this clean energy powerhouse back: space. Unlike fossil fuel power stations, solar farms need a lot of room to generate enough electricity to keep up with demand. Most solar farms are composed…

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Food security is generally defined as the situation when all people have physical or economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food at all times to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Exposure to natural hazards and disasters is a major cause of food insecurity, a problem exacerbated…

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Valuing Water

Every year, 22 March has been set aside to mark World Water Day. The 2021 edition titled “Valuing Water” was celebrated in a virtual event globally including South Africa. Since its establishment in 2017, the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) hosted by FAO’s Land and Water Division, through its network of Partners,…

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