SA’s agricultural sector needs to adapt quickly to climate change, which is already having a noticeable effect on the country’s weather patterns, says Mark Dytor, CEO of explosives and chemicals group AECI. “Rainfall patterns are definitely changing – the seasons are shifting,” Dytor said on Tuesday. In Gauteng, the rainy season had been pushed back, meaning farmers were planting less maize and more sunflowers, for instance. And the Western Cape still had irrigation restrictions in place. “If you’re relying only on rainfall to produce agriculture, that’s short-sighted because climate change is here to stay, and it’s now about how we use technology to get around that. “For example, we should be taking waste water, cleaning that up and using that in agriculture. At the moment, we’re putting it into rivers and dams and contaminating them,” Dytor said. Farmers also needed to use technology to monitor rainfall patterns, soil moisture and crop health in order to reduce irrigation. AECI ha...

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