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Farmers to use water efficiently in Limpopo

Limpopo farmers will now be able to use water efficiently following the recent training of agricultural scientists and advisors in Polokwane.

 

The training was organised by the provincial Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). “South Africa is a water scarce country and Limpopo province is highly affected. The department has put in place measures to ensure more efficient use of irrigation water,” said department’s crop production manager William Sefara.

 


“These include designing and installation of irrigation systems, sprinklers, drips, centre-pivots and floppy to ensure evenly distribution of water, which leads to the possibility of applying the right amount of irrigation water at each application.” He said 15 officials were trained on aspects of irrigation scheduling including climate, crops and soil interaction, soil water management technologies, soil water balance calculations, water quality and leaching.


“They were also trained on scheduling planning, soil water potential measuring equipment, soil water content measuring equipment, irrigation system operation and maintenance,” Sefara said.


He said strategies used to ensure planned application depths would not improve water use efficiency if used alone. “They would need to be coupled with measures that determine the time when irrigation is needed. This involves the use of different available techniques that monitor profile water depletion - direct, indirect, water-potentials or water-content,” added Sefara.


Waterberg district advisor Tshidiso Gaompotse said: “The training will assist us and farmers to apply water saving measures since water is a scarce resource”. – SAnews.gov.za