Categories: ArticlesPublished On: 2nd May 2024

Cultivating success: Three decades of agricultural innovation with the ARC

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In commemoration of 30 years of democracy, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) proudly reflects on its profound impact on agricultural development in South Africa. Established in 1992, the ARC has been a cornerstone of innovation, resilience, and progress in the agricultural sector, embodying a commitment to excellence that echoes across the nation.

Dr Litha Magingxa, President and CEO of the ARC, remarked, “As we celebrate three decades of agricultural innovation, the ARC’s legacy stands as a testament to our dedication to the betterment of the people of South Africa. From empowering small-scale farmers to safeguarding invaluable genetic resources, our journey has been one of resilience, progress, and prosperity.”

The ARC’s journey began with a vision articulated by Dr. AJ Heyns, the first President of the ARC, who emphasised the institution’s expanded mandate to serve not only commercial farmers but also smallholder and subsistence farmers. This vision laid the foundation for the ARC’s holistic approach to agricultural research and development, ensuring inclusivity and sustainability across the industry.

Over the past thirty years, each of the ARC’s ten campuses has played a pivotal role in shaping the agricultural landscape of South Africa:

  • ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops (ARC-TSC): Revolutionising subtropical agriculture with pioneering seedless lemon varieties, drought-tolerant fruit varieties, and empowering small-scale fruit producers.
  • ARC-Vegetable, Industrial and Medicinal Plants (ARC-VIMP): Reshaping the food and health landscape through exploration of indigenous vegetables and underutilised crops.
  • ARC-Plant Health and Protection (ARC-PHP): Safeguarding plant health and biodiversity through invaluable genetic resources management.
  • ARC-Infruitec-Nietvoorbij (ARC INF-NVB): Leading herbal tea production and fruit cultivar development while innovating in floriculture and fruit production.
  • ARC-Soil, Climate and Water (ARC-SCW): Championing sustainable farming practices and empowering rural communities with innovative technologies.
  • ARC-Agricultural Engineering (ARC-AE): Empowering farmers with irrigation design standards and renewable energy integration.
  • ARC-Animal Production (ARC-AP): Revolutionising livestock research and promoting efficiency in the beef value chain.
  • ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Research (ARC-OVR): Safeguarding animal health and welfare amidst emerging threats.
  • ARC-Small Grain (ARC-SG): Addressing food security challenges through the development of diverse upland rice varieties.
  • ARC-Grain Crops (ARC-GC): Empowering farmers with drought-tolerant maize hybrids and essential knowledge for optimal yields.

As the ARC embarks on a series of reflections over the next few weeks, the institution invites stakeholders and the public to join in commemorating its journey of agricultural excellence. Through its digital platforms, the ARC will highlight research milestones and celebrate the individuals and communities whose contributions have fuelled its success.

Join us in honouring thirty years of agricultural innovation with the ARC, as we continue to cultivate success and usher in a new era of agricultural excellence and sustainability.

Follow the ARC social media channels for more information.

Source: ARC

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