Irrigation plays a significant role in the production of crops worldwide; also in Southern Africa. Without irrigation, crop production would be unpredictable and limited, making it a challenge to meet the needs of a growing population.
The agricultural sector of Botswana contributes approximately 2% towards the country’s GDP, and offers opportunities for agro-industrial, agro-processing and supply chain development. Major crops grown in Botswana are sorghum, maize, millet, and cowpeas.
Jaco Strachan, a young upcoming and steadfast farmer in the Pandamatenga district in the north of Botswana, is one of the farmers who exploits every opportunity to improve the efficiency of his farm.
Jaco has been farming for seventeen years in this part of the country. “In the earlier years when we started farming here, it was only dryland, and most of the farming operations in Pandamatenga is still dryland. Irrigation is actually a luxury for us in this part of the country,”
Jaco adds laughing. Jaco mainly plants wheat, sorghum, sunflowers, mung beans, sugar beans, red kidney beans, and cowpeas under irrigation.
He says: “Our initial need was to plant more than one crop per season; however, the rainfall season limited us. That was when the need for irrigating our crops arose.”
“When I decided to switch to irrigation, I heard the name Reinke, whereafter I did some research and started investigating on what differentiates and makes a Reinke pivot different from the rest. What I read and with the information gained through my research, I was convinced that Reinke was the right choice, and still remains so today,” Jaco explains.
“I think the one thing that stood out the most for me, was the fact that Reinke pivots are manufactured of high strength steel. Although Reinke’s design and materials add up to a system that is lighter in weight, it is a more efficient and longer-lasting pivot than comparable systems,” he shares.
“After thorough research, I contacted the Reinke representatives in Botswana, as well as Werner Wolvaardt from Reinke Africa, whereafter they promptly assisted me with the design and layout to install pivots on my farm,” he explains.
About three years ago Jaco installed his first Reinke pivots. He started off with two 30 ha and two 15 ha pivots. A year later, he installed two more 15 ha pivots, and last year he installed a 10 ha and three more 15 ha pivots. Today, Jaco is the proud owner of ten Reinke pivots.
“One big advantage which is evident on my farm, is that the weight distribution of a Reinke is much better. For instance, a Reinke has four towers on their 15 ha pivots, while other brands have only three. It is also evident that the lighter weight of Reinke’s pivots results in less stress on the drive train,” Jaco claims.
Reinke’s remote management offers farmers advanced options to monitor and control their systems any time from practically anywhere.
“I currently irrigate around 150 ha with my ten Reinke pivots. My first four pivots have manual control panels installed on them, and the latest pivots that were installed have remote monitoring, so I can control the pivots from my cell phone, no matter where I am,” he says.
He explains: “On my smartphone I can switch them on and off, change the direction of the pivot and control the speed of the pivot. I can basically do anything that is needed on the pivot from my phone.
“We use generators for electricity supply, and this also has the potential to create problems when it comes to effective irrigation on the farm. With the remote management system, I can see water flow and power supply, which makes life so much easier for me!
“One challenge that we have is the signal strength, however we have installed signal boosters to ensure that our systems have signal at all times,” he says.
“I am a big fan of Reinke, and I am sure it is evident in the uniformity of my pivots. I would really recommend Reinke to any farmer. Not only are their service and products exceptional, Reinke’s pivots also contributed tremendously to the economic growth of my farm,” Jaco concludes.
The future of irrigated agriculture depends on the acceptance of changing technologies to increase precision management practices and enhance crop production. Efficiency and effectiveness are essential to maintain a sustainable agriculture environment.
Reinke Irrigation’s people are dedicated to the future of irrigated agriculture, and they are ready to assist you with all your irrigation needs. Get in touch with Reinke Africa by calling them on (+27)31-350-4525, send an e-mail to email@example.com or visit their website at www.reinke.com.