e-Booklets to fast track climate change resilience in agriculture

by | Mar 30, 2021 | Article

Caption: Dr Ilse Trautmann (WCDoA’s Chief Director of Research and Technology Development Services), Hugh Campbell, Dr Ivan Meyer (Western Cape Minister of Agriculture), Bongiswa Matoti and Jannie Strydom.

On 29 March, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, launched the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA’s) e-booklets on climate change entitled “The Mercury Rises”.

Based on the popular award-winning radio series “Die Kwik Styg”, the e-booklets are available in the three official languages of the Western Cape – English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa.

Speaking at the launch Minister Meyer highlighted that climate change is one of his ministerial priorities.

Meyer: “Addressing the impact of climate change is one of my Ministerial priorities. The publication of the e-booklets, “The Mercury Rises”, provides another platform to advance a climate-resilient future for the sector.”

Dr Ilse Trautmann, the WCDoA’s Chief Director of Research and Technology Development Services and passionate campaigner for advancing a climate-resilient Western Cape, agrees.

Trautmann:” We must take the lead in ensuring that the agricultural sector becomes a low carbon, climate change resilient sector by advocating climate-smart production practices”.

The e-booklets contain 14 topics selected from the 104 programmes broadcast on RSG from 2018 – 2020. The series was the first-ever programme on climate change broadcast on radio.

RSG has also recently announced that they would re-broadcast the series from April 2021 due to its popularity and important content. These programmes are transcribed and translated into the three official languages of the Western Cape.

Embedded radio technology allows the reader to listen to the original radio programme while reading the Afrikaans’ booklet.

The WCDoA’s recently appointed Climate Change and Risk Assessment Scientist, Professor Stephanie Midgley, will drive its SmartAgri implementation and the Management Improvement Plan thereof. She sees the publication of the e-booklets as a step forward in advancing climate resilience.

Midgley: “The publication of the e-booklets marks another important step in supporting farmers and the sector with accessible science-based local information on how climate change is unfolding, and practical solutions at farm and household level. I am excited by this opportunity to take the radio programmes to a larger audience.”

“We have to increase agricultural production in a sustainable and climate-smart manner”, concluded Minister Meyer.

The e-booklets are available on the website www.elsenburg.com.

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