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29 Jul 2016 00:00
Cultivating knowledge: The GreenAgri portal provides reliable, sustainable farming advice
Runner-up: Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation
Looking for tips, tools, legislation and research on energy efficiency and best practice in the agri-sector? Enter the GreenAgri portal, a one-stop, curated information hub for farmers, researchers, private and nongovernmental agencies interested in smart and sustainable agricultural practices.
Launched in September 2015, to date there are over 3 200 people who use it as a go-to for new information on agri-initiatives and research, and as a means for getting involved in the green economy space.
The portal was developed by the Agriculture Sector Desk at GreenCape, a non-profit sector development agency, in collaboration with the Western Cape department of agriculture (DoA).
“Farmers are looking at alternatives,” says Joyene Isaacs, head of department, DoA at the GreenAgri launch. “I think the energy crisis specifically has made farmers ask ‘Where do I go?’ and ‘How do I do it?’ and ‘What do I do?’ The questions are being asked, and we’re providing the answers.”
In addition to its function as a repository for expertly-selected information, it provides a platform for participants to engage and communicate, thus providing greater awareness and understanding of smart agricultural practices and the development of the green economy in the Western Cape.
“It’s very difficult to get access to a wide variety of information that one needs in the space around sustainable agriculture,” says Dr Stephanie Midgley, researcher and project manager on the SmartAgri project.
“GreenAgri is somewhere you can go where you know the information is reliable and it will help you make practical decisions.”
“Additionally, I think there is very little collaboration in this field in South Africa for farmers,” she says.
GreenAgri forms part of the Western Cape government’s goal of making the province the green economy hub of Africa. It supports the Western Cape’s Provincial Strategic Goals and its Green Economy Strategic Framework (specifically smart agri-production) and provides information on sustainable farming practices, resource efficiency and waste minimisation.
An article in the Greening the Future Awards supplement quotes Dr Stephanie Midgley at the University of Cape Town as the project manager of the GreenAgri project. The project is actually managed by GreenCape and the Western Cape department of agriculture. We apologise for the error.
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