http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.02Change: -0.03
R/$ = 10.68Change: -0.02
Au 1286.59 $/ozChange: -0.59
Pt 1423.00 $/ozChange: -1.00
 
 
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 Environment News
A society that is aware of the benefits of science and technology will work to ensure it remains competitive in those areas, and petrochemicals major Sasol’s yearly Techno X expo provides a dynamic and interactive platform for learners to discover career...
The financial director of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has revealed the losses currently being borne by the Benga coal operation in Mozambique’s Tete province. Anil Chaudhary reported that Benga’s production costs were $165/t while the current...
DEEP CLEANING Microbes in Deep Impact occur naturally without having to be genetically modified, making them nonpathogenic to humans, animals and plants
Stellenbosch-based probiotic product developer and manufacturer Probio launched a new biodegradable cleaning product – Deep Impact – last month.
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Government, in conjunction with industry clusters had to encourage preferential procurement in the mining industry, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) capital equipment and allied services director Tapiwa Samanga has said. In a statement issued on Monday, he...
Neil Gopal
The South African Property Owners’ Association (Sapoa) has appealed to Rural Development and Land Affairs Minister Gugile Nkwinti to invoke the discretionary powers available to him under the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act of 2013 to prevent...
The Financial Services Board (FSB) has extended telecommunications group MTN’s broad-based black economic-empowerment trading platform MTN Zakhele’s exemption to the directive requiring over-the-counter (OTC) trading platforms to apply for a licence to operate,...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
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...
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.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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