By CDFA Secretary Karen Ross
THE WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA – We were fortunate to be able to visit one of the largest plum farms on the African continent – getting a first-hand look at strategies to further conserve water and extend crop yield.
The stone fruit industry here is dedicated to export markets – with quality, yield and storage suitability being key attributes.
At Sandriver Fruit Farm, part of the Le Roux Group, the farming operation experienced complete surface water loss for almost six weeks during the summer of 2018, because the river that runs adjacent to the farm and through the local production region ran dry. Groundwater was not an option for these farmers and as a result, many strategies and approaches are now being used to extend water-use efficiency.
It is very encouraging to see similarities between farmers in California and the Western Cape in combating climate change!