South Africa is a major exporter of fruit to the world. In particular, it plays an important role in sustaining nutritious and healthy diets in the United Kingdom (UK). In turn, the UK plays an important role as a market for fruit from South Africa. The Limpopo Province and the Western Cape Province, among others, are important regions locally in the production and export of fresh fruit. At the same time, the fruit sector is sensitive to water-related stresses, as evidenced by the recent and past droughts experienced in the region.
The Institute of Natural Resources, in partnership with a number of UK universities, is conducting research with growers and other stakeholders in the Groot Letaba catchment (Tzaneen and Letsitele, in particular) to better understand the resilience of fruit production to water related risks.
We will be hosting a workshop on Tuesday 5 June 2018 at the Coach House Hotel near Tzaneen, starting at 09:00.
The workshop will give farmers, representatives and buyers within the fruit industry and those with interests in water resources the opportunity to explore recent experiences and future scenarios related to changing water scarcity, irrigation management and catchment resilience.
To set the scene for the workshop, two guest speakers from the Western Cape will be talking about their experiences in adapting to the drought conditions in the Western Cape:
Mr CP Mouton of Mouton Citrus is a leading producer of citrus in Citrusdal in the Western Cape, who will share experiences in relation to orchard and water management practices to enhance drought resilience.
Prof Wiehann Steyn is the programme manager for crop production at Hortgro Science in the Western Cape. He leads research and development for pome and stone fruit production, with irrigation and water use efficiency as a key focus.
This will be followed by a workshop designed to systematically and creatively explore the resilience of the fruit sector to water-related stresses. It deliberately brings actors from across the fresh fruit supply chain together with experts on climate, water, catchment management, policy and legislation.
The workshop will be a participatory exercise where stakeholders are actively involved and contribute meaningfully to workshop outcomes. The format of the workshop will be a series of exercises where different role players work together to examine the effect of water-related shocks on catchment resilience. Stakeholders participating in the workshop will enjoy tangible outcomes. The workshop process will act as a capacity development activity, which will be valuable to the stakeholders and their businesses. They will also gain a deeper, systemic understanding of the Fresh Fruit Sector, be able to articulate desirable future visions for it and together consider future uncertainties that relate to water and identify desirable outcomes that are robust to future uncertainties. In addition, stakeholders will have an opportunity to connect and collaborate with other actors that may have otherwise not been possible.
The outcomes of the workshop process will be synthesised into a report that will be provided to participants.
There will also be an optional session on the Morning of Wednesday 6 June for those participants who are interested. This will provide the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the workshop and contribute to further discussion on water and fruit production resilience.
A morning tea and lunch will be provided for all participants on 6 June and you are invited to join us for a braai after the workshop. For those participants who choose to stay for the second day and require accommodation and meals, these costs will be covered.
Please click on the link below to register for the event. (Deadline 11 May 2018)
Contact: Jon McCosh (firstname.lastname@example.org)