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|Building|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 (150 word limit)
Other Agriculture News
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
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.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...