BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA-- Land degradation is posing a threat to food security in South Africa, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana.

Addressing the National Biennial Land Care Conference in Bloemfontein in Free State Province on Tuesday, he said: It is devastating because you will find that during times of drought, some of the alien species like wattle also make the situation worse as the wattle will absorb water and living habitat in the form of grass not growing."

The conference provides a platform to showcase strategies to address land degradation in order to optimize productivity and sustainability of natural resources. It is estimated that a large percentage of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded.

Sustainable farming practices were also highlighted. The challenge that we are going through in our farms is water: if there is no rain the production is going to be affected, says farmer Pauline Maleka.

The three-day conference is expected to adopt resolutions for best practice models on how to prevent soil erosion.


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