GZA recently held a Top Farmers Forum in Johannesburg. We hosted farmers from various parts of South Africa that represented numerous types of farming from irrigation, game farming to cattle and sheep.
The focus of the forum was to find out how the farmers approach their business and farming today in view of water shortages and high energy costs. We invited the Department of Water Affairs (DWAF) Head of Planning and Information, Mr Fred van Zyl, to present to the farmers the water challenges we face in South Africa today.
Today, Agriculture is the biggest user of our water resources at approx 65% Mr Fred van Zyl said, “We (all role players) have to ensure that all people in South Africa have equitable access to effective, economical and sustainable water supply and sanitation services”.
Along with DWAF we also invited from Eskom (South Africa energy supplier) Mr Neels Bezuidenhout Agriculture Department Senior Energy Adviser, who demonstrated the importance of variable speed drives, energy efficient motors, efficient pumps and some errors farmers can prevent when designing irrigation systems as well as the correct use of centre pivot systems to maximise the energy available, without wasting the expensive and scarce resources of water and electricity.
The farmer today is in many cases a qualified engineer as well as a businessman who will use many technological advances to improve on the yield of his land, which includes products like pumps and controls.
The farmers were very impressed with the Grundfos forum (a first of its kind in South Africa) they also commented that they had attended “presentations” but none had presented as full and useful program with promises from both Eskom and DWAF to work closer with the farmer and Grundfos going forward.
The key focus of the forum was energy and water and not pumps, this in itself was of more value as the farmer could relate to these areas where some spend huge amounts of money on an annual basis and where the pump solutions could assist them in their everyday business as well as the improvements they can make with their current installations but, more important the savings they can apply to existing systems when they make the necessary changes in the future.
To date we have always been known as the CR and SP pump company within the Ag space, but this forum also highlighted other products within the farming/Ag markets that could be installed in the future and part of the future total solution.