Food security

Food Security and Land Reform

UFS strip research

Our academics are involved in research along the entire agricultural value chain, ranging from input, production, and collection, to processing and retailing, with a special focus on developing the skills of emerging farmers.

Agriculture dominates the landscape of the UFS’ home province, with most of its residents living in rural and farming areas. The university continues to explore and develop innovative farming techniques to work towards food security and the sustainable use of natural resources.

With our Agribusiness Transformation Programme, we have joined forces with the public and private sector to develop black commercial farmers and sustainable black-owned agribusinesses in the province. We are also making a local difference by enhancing the livelihoods of communal wool producers with the support of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, where we transform communal wool growers’ production from an underachieving enterprise to a profitable, sustainable, and renewable venture.

Our researchers are also attentive to agricultural and food processing, plant diseases, and disease resistance of field crops to improve food security in Africa. Through the genetic improvement of staple crops in our Department of Plant Sciences, seeds are developed with an inherent resistance to disease. Our Department of Soil, Crop, and Climate Sciences is also breeding novel plant varieties that are adapting to a changing global climate.

Researchers are investigating the effects of weather and climate on crops, trees, grasslands, and livestock production systems, and developing agrometeorological services such as early warnings, irrigation scheduling, microclimate manipulation, and weather forecasts, to cope with a changing and increasingly variable climate.


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