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With the development and improvement of new and existing technologies, the agricultural sector is being prepared for climate change and supported with appropriate measures.
The Department of Agriculture (WCDA) provides a wide range of development, research and support services for the agricultural community. To this end, the Department has become quite innovative in its usage of technology, development and enhancement of new and existing technologies to achieve its objectives.
The Department is spearheading the following initiatives:
- Climate change response strategy (Smart-Agri programme): The aim of the project is to develop an agricultural plan that could serve as a road-map to ensure a low-carbon, climate-resilient agricultural sector in the province. The project includes undertaking an analysis of the status quo, drafting the strategy as well as developing an implementation plan. The plan is currently being reviewed.
- Promotion of smart decision-making in the Agricultural sector: As part of its own drive to embrace the 4th Industrial revolution and ensure sustainability, the WCDA has developed several technologies and on-line decision-making tools to support the agricultural sector in the province. These include:
- Fruitlook: To show to grape and deciduous fruit farmers the benefits of integrated satellite technologies in water and farm management;
- Smart pen: Tool for extension workers to digitally map and communicate information on farmers for optimum service delivery;
- Spatial intelligence: Aerial mapping and survey project mapping of agricultural footprint in Western Cape; and
- Drones and 3-D printing: Support agricultural research and smart decision-making processes.
- Cape Farm mapper: Free spatially integrated web-based mapping application.
Dr. Mogale Sebopetsa – www.greenagri.org.za