Mar 09, 2012
Limpopo farmers receive productivity supportBack
Agriculture|Construction|Engineering|Nelspruit|Consulting|MBB Consulting Engineers|Pipes|PROJECT|Projects|Resources|Roads|Systems|Water|Lepelle Canal|Marble Hall|Centre-pivot Irrigation Systems|Pipes|Systems|Olifants River|Consulting Engineers|Infrastructure|Marius Kolesky|Water|Sekhukhune
© Reuse this
The R24-million project is to be owned by the local traditional council and the first crop of maize is doing well and is almost ready for harvest, says multidisciplinary consulting engineering company MBB Consulting Engineers project manager and engineer Marius Kolesky.
The project, which will be managed by a strategic partner, is funded by the Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA) and was designed and implemented by MBB Consult-ing Engineers.
Strydkraal covers nearly 400 ha and is situated in the Sekhukhune district of the province, about 70 km south-east of Marble Hall.
The 300 ha new section of Strydkraal is a combination of old fallow land, which has been unproductive for many years, and new land that has been cleared of bush. The farm also includes 94 ha already under irrigation, which produces maize in summer and potatoes in winter.
A total of 14 centre-pivot irrigation systems have been installed with coverage of between 11 ha and 40 ha to allow the farm to be commercially and financially viable. These systems are easy to manage and maintain, with low running costs and optimal use of water. The project also involved extensive bush clearing, the installation of surface drainage and bulk water supply pipes, as well as the construction of two pumpstations and the building of a balancing dam, he says.
The addition of a strategic partner, an experienced commercial farmer, to the project ensures the farm will be financially viable and sustainable. Members of the community working on the farm will be able to share in its profits as well as learn valuable skills and agricultural knowledge.
Strydkraal is one of several schemes being implemented to assist emerging farmers to earn a better living from the land in Sekhukhune, where agriculture is a cornerstone of the economy. “The projects provide infrastructure, resources and training in skills . . . which will help the historically disadvantaged to run effective and profitable farming ventures.
“Another scheme which is making a significant difference to farmers in the region is the rehabilitation of the 27-km-long Lepelle canal. Most of the work has been completed, with MBB Consulting Engineers having finished repairs on various small sections, including the 2.5 km end stretch. This canal carries water from Badfontein, on the Olifants river, to Strydkraal, but has been in poor repair for some time. Once the canal is operational, a water supply will once again be available on the doorstep of farmers who have existing water rights,” says Kolesky.
This ongoing programme was consolidated when the LDA commissioned the Nelspruit branch of MBB Consulting Engineers to undertake the design and implementation of a variety of projects in the Sekhukhune district on a three-year contract. The developments range from designing and implementing bulk water supplies, irrigation systems and agroprocessing facilities to building roads and dams.
He says the move to employ consulting engineers was a sound one. “It allows the agricultural engineering division of LDA to streamline projects, as it only has dealings and contact with one company. The progress towards achieving optimal and sustainable development can be gauged in a straight- forward manner and gaps in delivery pinpointed.
“Consulting engineers are generally unbiased towards suppliers and brands, and a tender process is used to employ contractors,” says Kolesky.
MBB has also been appointed by the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture for a three-year contract to design, implement and commission projects and is concluding work on about 30 projects for the KwaZulu-Natal Agribusiness Development Agency.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other News This Week News
Updated 1 minute ago The country's financial institutions should assist government to cost and fund the intended nuclear build programme, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa suggested on Thursday. Addressing members of the parliamentary Press Gallery Association (PGA), Ramaphosa said...
Updated 38 minutes ago South Africa should adjust labour laws so union members have to vote before striking, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday, suggesting the government may push ahead with reforms to curb damaging industrial action. The longest and costliest strike in...
Updated 3 hours ago A 50% cut in mobile termination rates (MTRs) implemented by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) in April has dragged down telecommunications group Vodacom’s service revenue for the three months ended June 30. The group on Thursday...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Local aerospace company Denel Aerostructures (DAe), part of the State-owned Denel Group, has won a fourth contract to manufacture parts for the Airbus A400M military air transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. The new contract, which was won in an international...
Although CEO Mark McChlery and chief marketing officer Bob Skinstad likened themselves to children in a playground when taking on the task of “reengineering and repositioning” the Seartec brand, the “young, dynamic and enthusiastic guys” were like proud...
An increasing number of buyers, in both the new and used car markets, are opting for finance structures that lower their monthly repayments, says asset financing company WesBank. These include the use of large balloon payments (also known as residuals), as well as...
Tertiary education institutions can use search engine giant Google’s Chromebook to provide secure mobile end-point devices for students on which they can share documents, work collaboratively on documents and access education materials and applications being used...
Local ceiling and partition company Abbeycon has beaten global competition at the Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy competition, which was held last month in Berlin, Germany.