http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.37Change: 0.22
R/$ = 11.64Change: 0.02
Au 1198.48 $/ozChange: 2.39
Pt 1205.50 $/ozChange: 5.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 10, 2012

Global warming could benefit potato industry

Back
University of Pretoria Potato Pathology Programme manager Dr Jacquie van der Waals discusses the impact of global warming on potato crops in South Africa. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer.
Agriculture|Africa|Industrial|Potato Pathology Programme|PROJECT|Africa|Ireland|South Africa|The Netherlands|University Of Pretoria|Wageningen University|Western Cape|Jacquie Van Der Waals
Agriculture|Africa|Industrial|PROJECT|Africa||||
agriculture|africa-company|industrial|potato-pathology-programme|project|africa|ireland|south-africa|the-netherlands|university-of-pretoria-facility|wageningen-university|western-cape|jacquie-van-der-waals
© Reuse this



Climate change could result in a positive outcome for the potato industry and possibly lead to potatoes becoming one of the top staple crops in the world, says University of Pretoria (UP) Potato Pathology Programme manager Dr Jacquie van der Waals.

She says potatoes appear to be the only crop which might thrive amid increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Most crops are negatively affected, or not affected at all by an increase in CO2 emissions, but more potatoes are produced when the crop is faced with higher CO2 emissions.

“As a result, we actually think the potato will [likely] become one of the top three staple crops in the world. “Currently, the top three staple crops are maize, wheat and rice, with potatoes at number four, but the current top three staples will be unaffected or negatively affected by the increase in CO2 emissions,” says Van der Waals.

However, she warns about the risk of some potato diseases increasing in intensity as a result of rising temperatures. The diseases would need to be overcome first to ensure the potato industry’s success.

The UP’s Potato Pathology Programme initiated a climate change project last year, in collaboration with other researchers at UP and the Wageningen University and Research Centre, in the Netherlands. Its aim was to model South Africa’s climate between 1960 and the present, and to determine how it is likely to change up to 2050, as well as the likely impact of climate change on potato diseases.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research provided modelled weather forecasts on which the study was based.

The results of the study were compiled over the past three to four months and will be published in September.

“We measured temperature and rainfall patterns to determine the likely changes in intensity of the five most common potato diseases and pests in South Africa,” Van der Waals explains.

The study concluded that South Africa’s temperature would rise by between 1.5 °C and 2 °C by 2050 in the inland regions, while the coastal areas will not warm as rapidly, owing to temperature regulation by the ocean.

In addition, it was determined that the total amount of rainfall will not drastically change, but rainfall patterns, however, will change with regard to timeframe and volume.

“The study analysed late blight, early blight, Pectobacterium and Dickeya, root knot nematodes and aphids (as vectors of Potato Virus Y) to determine whether they are likely to increase or decrease as a result of global warming. “This will enable potato farmers to adapt their management strategies accordingly,” Van der Waals states.

The five diseases were modelled in four different climates in three different regions – the Sandveld, in the Western Cape, with its dry summers and wet winters; the Limpopo area, with its dry winters; and the eastern Free State, with its wet summers.

Van der Waals says the researchers determined that the only disease not likely to increase in intensity is late blight – a devastating disease that was responsible for the Irish Famine between 1845 and 1852.

“The occurrence of late blight is likely to decrease in the eastern Free State because of the change in rainfall patterns and a rise in temperature, as it is a pathogen that likes cool weather conditions,” she points out.

However, the other four diseases are likely to increase in intensity, as the pathogens respond to warm conditions.

“We have already started to see an increase in the occurrence of these diseases over the past ten years. Except for late blight, and in terms of all of the diseases, global warming is not a good scenario for the agriculture industry,” Van der Waals stresses.

Potato diseases can have a devastating impact on farmers, as they either affect the foliage of the plants, which affects their ability to photosynthesise, or the appearance of the tubers, which reduces the market value of the produce.

“Researchers have to find ways to manage and control the diseases to increase the plants’ resistance to them and aid farmers in producing better crops,” says Van der Waals.

The UP’s Potato Pathology Programme focuses on research management strategies to help control the potential increase in these diseases and urges farmers to look at either planting resistant cultivars or changing their management options to combat early blight, Pectobacterium and Dickeya, nematodes and aphids.

“Methods to combat the effects of global warming will not put greater financial pressure on farmers, as they will only need to employ a paradigm shift,” she concludes.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Video News
More
 
 
Latest News
South African cement firm PPC on Wednesday named a mining industry veteran as chief executive, ending a three-month leadership vacuum that has hit its shares. PPC's former CE Ketso Gordhan abruptly resigned in September after clashing with the board. He then...
anzania's attorney general resigned late on Tuesday, becoming the first political casualty in an energy corruption scandal in the east African country that has led Western donors to delay aid and weakened the currency. The resignation followed a vote in parliament...
Forces allied to Libya's conflict parties clashed with heavy weapons on Tuesday over control of the country's biggest oil ports in the east as the European Union was considering sanctions on people obstructing U.N.-brokered peace talks. The United Nations had...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
TO BE PHASED INTO SERVICE The first MeerKAT dish, with another 63 to come
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
MATT BARKER Wireless networks should enable users to engage and must provide relevant information to them based on their activity and location
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks