The countdown has begun for Agri Gauteng’s young farmer webinar held tomorrow in partnership with Grobank. Many of the nation’s top water experts have confirmed their attendance for the webinar focusing on the importance of water in agriculture.
Dr Petrus de Kock, Brand SA’s general manager for research, has been secured as the webinar’s facilitator. He will kick off proceedings at 10:00 where after Dr Willem Pretorius, the president of Agri Gauteng, will deliver the opening remarks.
Among the top water experts participating is North-West University’s prof. Johann Tempelhoff, who will address challenges surrounding clean water and sanitation, and Johan Malherbe from the Agricultural Research Council, who will discuss linkages between organised agriculture and water.
“Water plays a vital role in life. Without water, existence of life is not possible. Without water, agriculture is not possible. Without agriculture, we cannot meet the ever rising demand for food,” says Thinus van Zijl, the CEO of Agri Gauteng.
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Also, Omri van Zyl, executive director of Agri SA, will deliver a masterplan for water, while Grobank CEO Bennie van Rooy’s presentation is titled “Banking on water”. Van Rooy says, “Grobank is delighted to partner with Agri Gauteng in hosting the Young Farmer Webinar. South Africa has scarce natural resources and agriculture is the biggest user of the available water. The challenge is to strike a balance between sufficient water availability to contribute to food security while also improving the efficiency use of scarce resources to make sure every drop counts.”
He adds that Grobank supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals and is delighted to therefore also sponsor a discussion on the enormous importance of clean, sustainably used water in agriculture.
The hundreds of attendees will also have an opportunity to engage with water experts, including Brendan Reynolds and Willie van der Schyf. Organisers say they are also particularly exicted about the integrated aquaculture presentation by Lance Quidding, the CEO of Integrated Aquaculture. Integrated aquaculture marks environmentally-conscious biological farming that produces exceptional quality with the smallest possible impact on the environment.
Other webinar highlights:
- The morning session will close with Andrew Barker from the Urban Agricultural Initiative speaking on using urban agriculture to stimulate urban growth and development, a highly significant topic in South Africa right now.
- The afternoon session includes “Where fire and water meet”, a presentation by Santam. Eksteen Brand from Hydac Technology will discuss the total cost of ownership with regards to water management.
- Head of irrigation design at Obaro, Gerrie Wiese, will discuss adaptive strategies at farm level. Obaro is a fast growing agricultural company with more than 85 years’ experience in the agricultural sector.
- A video presentation on water management by Tembisa township aquaponics pioneer Mosesi Mosesi will be followed by a panel discussion of Young Water Warriors. This panel discussion will be led by Food For Mzansi editor Dawn Noemdoe. She will be chatting to Anelile Gibixego from the Mapungubwe Institute, Dr Aluwani Nemukula from Alunem Holdings, Rita-Theresa du Plessis Van der Mescht from Shirita Boerdery, and Niel Louw from the Young Water Professionals in Gauteng Committee.