AGRICULTURE: OUR LIFE AND FUTURE

UKULINGA HOWARD DAVIS MEMORIAL SYMPOSIUMUKZN logo

EVENT: Ukulinga Howard Davis Memorial Symposium
THEME: AGRICULTURE: OUR LIFE AND FUTURE
DATE: 24-25 May 2016
VENUE: Ukulinga Research Farm, UKZN, Pietermaritzburg
CONTACT: Mrs Christine Cuenod, cuenod@ukzn.ac.za , 033 260 6557

UKZN’s Ukulinga Research Farm has a rich history and an ongoing reputation of innovative theoretical and applied research, technology development and technology transfer in the field of agricultural and its related disciplines.
The theme of UKZN’s inaugural Ukulinga Howard Davis Memorial Symposium, is AGRICULTURE: OUR LIFE AND FUTURE. This is intended to impress upon our collective conscience the role of agriculture and its related disciplines in the sustainability of food production and security in Africa.

UKZN Symposium pic2This symposium is intended for both scientists and the layman – anyone interested in climate change impacts, crop production, animal science, food security, community engagement, environmental sciences and agricultural engineering.
Specific aims of the symposium include:
• Showcasing research carried out at Ukulinga to the scientific community, agribusiness sector, and farming community;
• Exploring opportunities for mutually rewarding relationships with the agribusiness sector;
• Facilitating essential practical skills and knowledge transfer to benefit emerging and current small-scale community-based farmers;
• Planning for skills sustainability through attracting and exposing young learners to the agricultural industry.UKZN Symposium pic4

The symposium is thus intended to be a synergistic platform for information sharing and collaboration nationally, internationally and across agricultural disciplines.

The organisers gratefully acknowledge funding from the Howard Davis Farm Trust in their endeavour to see communities benefit from knowledge integration between higher education institutions and agricultural stakeholders.

FORMAT OF SYMPOSIUM
Day 1: Keynote speakers, stakeholder presentations and plenary discussion
Keynote Address: “Climate and Agriculture”, by Professor Richard Eckard, Director: Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Day 2: Practical applications, with input from community and industry partners
Keynote Address: “Agriculture in a Climate Changed South Africa – Too Hot to Handle?”, by Professor Emeritus Roland Schulze, UKZN

BACKGROUND:
UKZN will host the first Ukulinga Howard Davis Memorial Symposium from 24-25 May 2016, a research and knowledge-sharing event aimed at showcasing the University’s agricultural research through its facilities at the Ukulinga Research Farm in Pietermaritzburg.

The symposium is the brain child of the UKZN Foundation and the trustees of the TB Davis Trust, which operates a farm on the island of Jersey.  The founder of this Trust, Thomas Benjamin Frederick Davis, was a well-known figure in Southern Africa in the early 1900s, having made his fortune in the stevedoring business and eventually controlling the business of loading and unloading ships at docks from Port Elizabeth to Dar es Salaam. Davis supported the former University of Natal when it was founded, contributing £140 000 to the construction of the Howard College building in Durban which was opened in 1931. The building was named after his son, Howard, who died aged 21 in the World War I Battle of the Somme.

With 2016 marking 100 years since the death of Howard Davis, the Symposium has been instituted to honour his legacy and enable the creation of a new legacy. Given the link to the Howard Davis Farm in Jersey, the symposium aims to raise the profile of agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal and in South Africa through the dissemination of vital research.

The educational legacy of Davis will continue through the hosting of the symposium, which aims to showcase research done at Ukulinga to the scientific community, agribusiness sector and farming community. The organisers of the Symposium hope to make the event a catalyst for the development of mutually rewarding relationships with the agribusiness sector. The event will also form part of the facilitation of essential practical skills and knowledge transfer to benefit emerging and current small-scale community-based farmers.

UKZN has a legacy of contributing to these vital areas of agricultural development, with a large amount of the advancement in the industry in South Africa the result of research undertaken at Ukulinga. The farm, whose name is an isiZulu word meaning ‘to try’, was bought in 1948 after the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture at the then-University of Natal, and has been used very successfully as a research farm with a strong educational function.
In recent years, the research activities have expanded beyond ‘classical’ agriculture to include various ecological and environmental aspects for sustainability of rural systems.

The farm comprises facilities dedicated to engineering, hydrological research, grassland science, horticulture, crop science and animal science, with ruminant and monogastric animal research (particularly related to poultry and pigs) taking place on-site. Historically, embryo transplants and test tube calves have been pioneered at Ukulinga.
Among the first experiments started at Ukulinga were the Long-term Burning and Mowing Trials and the Veld Fertiliser Trials, which were initiated in 1950 and are still being fully maintained after 64 uninterrupted years. A new grassland research site is linked to 48 other similar sites around the world, and is focused on studying the effects of nutrient addition to natural grasslands.
There has been a strong focus on crop and horticulture related research over many decades, including plant breeding as well as production research. Important work in recent decades includes the breeding of high lycene maize which was widely recognised as a breakthrough in increasing the protein content of maize.

The University partnered with the Pietermaritzburg (Umzunduzi) Municipality in a project in which about 100 ha of the Ukulinga Research Farm was incorporated into the neighbouring Bisley Nature Reserve where there is a variety of vegetation types and several species of wildlife, including giraffe, zebra and a range of antelope.
Ukulinga is a popular venue for local schools to expose learners to agricultural science and practice.UKZN Symposium pic3

Directions to Ukulinga Research Farm, UKZN

GPS co-ordinates: 29°39’45.7″S 30°24’17.8″E.

Directions from the N3:

Coming from Johannesburg direction:
Follow the N3 to Market Rd and take exit 74 from N3. Follow Market Rd for 700 m, and turn left into Washington Rd/R103 at the glide-off just before the second set of traffic lights on Market Rd. Follow Market Rd for 800m, and then turn right onto Gladys Manzi Rd at the traffic lights. Follow Gladys Manzi Rd for 1.3 km, and then turn left onto Oldfield Rd. Follow Oldfield Rd for 400 m, and then turn right onto Haworth Rd. At the end of Haworth Rd is the entrance to Ukulinga Research Farm.

Coming from Durban direction:
Follow the N3 to Market Rd and take exit 74 from N3. Follow Market Rd for 700 m, and turn left into Washington Rd/R103 at the glide-off just before the second set of traffic lights on Market Rd. Follow Market Rd for 800m, and then turn right onto Gladys Manzi Rd at the traffic lights. Follow Gladys Manzi Rd for 1.3 km, and then turn left onto Oldfield Rd. Follow Oldfield Rd for 400 m, and then turn right onto Haworth Rd. At the end of Haworth Rd is the entrance to Ukulinga Research Farm.