Agri Kultuur January / January 2018 - Page 8

That also have an impact on the water levels in our dams that are currently (10 January 2018) standing at 59.9% on average. See Figure 4. Despite the significant achievements in irrigated agriculture, efficient water use for irrigation need to improve. Irrigation professionals have an important role to develop advanced methods and smart Figure 4: Provincial summary of the state of dams in South Africa on 10 January 2018 irrigation systems to significantly reduce the water consumption and increases the water efficiency. In recent years, the cost of technology has dropped to make it both affordable and practical in farm management. The crop sensing and modelling systems can remotely collect data such as humidity, barometric pressure, temperature, luminosity, wind speed, precipitation and soil moisture. These data, in turn, is used to predict the right time and the amount of irrigation. This goes on both proving the impact of, as well as the future value in, the improvements in irrigation on poverty alleviation and on the fight with hunger and in ensuring adequate water allocation for agriculture while sustaining the natural resource base. Irrigation has come a long way, from its foundation to the present situation where the norm is equitable and rightful water distribution to all. This should continue, and all improvements in irrigation Figure 5. Percentage of cropland area equipped for irrigation in SADC countries (1990-2009). (FAO 2016) AgriKultuur |AgriCulture 8