Home News Five things happening in agriculture today, 3 September 2020

Five things happening in agriculture today, 3 September 2020

Unpack spatial politics with Plaas, citizens are asked to save water, meet a bioinformatician, learn about wine tech developments, and global crisis affects pork industry

On our agenda today, latest wine tech up for discussion, SAPPO reflects on the year that was, human settlements minister Lindiwe Zulu (pictured) urges citizens to use water wisely, we meet a bioinformatician, and talk spatial politics with Plaas. Photo: Supplied

There is no room for idle minds in the agricultural sector as we kick off the almost-weekend.

First up, look out for another insightful webinar hosted by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Sciences (Plaas) as social activists share their perspectives on spatial politics and land redistribution.

What is a bioinformatician you ask? Today you get to find out on another podcast episode of the AgriSETA Learner Connect instalment. Remember this is also available on 17 local radio stations throughout the country.

Also: minister of human settlements Lindiwe Sisulu urges South Africans to use water sparingly for the greater good. South African Pork Producers Organisation reflects and global insights are shared amongst the pork industry. And: a friendly reminder to attend the Winetech Vinpro Webinar!


Webinar on land activism in SA

The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Sciences (Plaas) has kept its momentum under lockdown with a series of broad topic webinars.

Today social activists unpack the harsh realities of land distribution and spatial politics through a dialogue themed “Land activism in South Africa: the state of rural and urban struggles.”

As the land struggle persists, social movements and activists organized around land demands in South Africa have mobilized separately. Efforts towards equal land redistribution are collective and the segmented activism are a bitter remnant of the legacy of colonialism, argue experts.

Join the conversation with director of the Trust for Community Outreach and Education, Mercia Andrews, Themba Chauke, pres. of the Landless People’s Movement and Bandile Mdlalose, pres. of the Community Justice Movement, as they unpack the progress of land redistribution in South Africa here.


AgriSETA meet a bioinformatician

Like microscopes and thermal cyclers computers are regularly used in many laboratories too.

This week’s AgriSETA Learner Connect features Godwin Mafireyi (34), a bioinformatician at Starke Ayres seed company who says that bioinformatics is the application of IT to manage biological data that helps in decoding plant genomes.

Bioinformatics is a recent scientific discipline that has undergone strong and rapid progression and evolution and Mafireyi is here to unpack it all later on today’s podcast episode.

Missed the last one? We got you covered.


Use water sparingly, says department

The department of water and sanitation has cautioned South Africans to use water sparingly.

Decreasing dam levels coupled with the continued spread of covid-19 have put a strain on water management systems, the department said in a media release. “Now more than ever, each one of us has to use every single drop of water responsibly. We are an arid country, ranking in the world’s top 30 driest countries.”

Speaking at a virtual ministerial discussion on water issues during World Water Week last week, minister of human settlements and sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu requested citizens to value water even beyond the global crisis.

“I will not rest while in this portfolio, until I see every South African, rich or poor, urban or rural, having access to clean water,” Sisulu affirmed.

The department’s weekly report estimated the current dam levels lie at 66.6%, a slight drop from last week’s 66.9%.

Dam levels are expected to soar once again when the rainfalls begin to drench major parts of the country at the end of next month. The weekly report shows:

  • Free State: Has the largest volumes of water but has dropped from 78.2% to 77.6% this week.
  • Gauteng: Recorded 97.5% from 97.9% rainfall last week.
  • Northern Cape: Dropped from 92.8% to 91.7%. However, parts of the province in the Karoo are experiencing severely dry conditions.
  • Eastern Cape: Heavy snows have stabilised dam levels as they remain stable at 50.7%.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Dropped from 56.7% to 56.3% this week. Driel Barrage, which is fed by uThukela river, boasted the highest level at 98.1% followed by Midmar Dam in the Natal Midlands at 94.2%.
  • Limpopo: Slight drop from 69.2% to 68.6%, dam levels in Mopani district remain below 20%.
  • Mpumalanga: Remains amongst the top five provinces with sufficient water as it records 68.6%.
  • North West: Stays at the middle of the table at 66.6%.
  • Western Cape: Winter rains continue to pour. The WC is the only province with a substantial increase in dam levels, up 3% to 80.2% from last week.


Global pork landscape

How has this pandemic affected the global pork landscape?

This is the burning question on pork experts’ lips as they prepare to mull over predictions of the future and reflections of the past.

Presented by the South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) at 11:00, this hour-long dialogue will feature insights from global experts.

All you really need is a high-speed internet connection and you won’t miss out.

Book your seat here.


 Vinpro Olifants River Webinar

This morning the Olifants River webinar takes place and will look at maintenance fertilization in vineyards through the use of soil and leaf samples as well as solutions to dealing with mildew this season.

If you have registered, here is your reminder to attend the informative session which kicks off at 09:00.

Find out what alternative grape varieties hold potential for the Olifants River region, get feedback on the Gen-Z interplanting project and discuss the future of the wine industry in the context of covid-19.

  • Do you have an upcoming event that should be on Food For Mzansi’s watchlist? Drop us an email to diary@foodformzansi.co.zaand we’ll do our best to include it in this weekday feature.
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