There is no doubt that rolling blackouts have a negative impact on farming operations and production throughout Mzansi’s agricultural value chain. In this episode of Farmer’s Inside Track, we chat with Dr Naudé Malan, senior lecturer in development studies at the University of Johannesburg, and Daniel de Sousa, co-founder of The Farm Nearby, about how farmers can survive load shedding.
They discuss alternative energy options for farmers and how farmers’ business models should change.
According to Malan, it is critical to conserve energy in any way possible. He says that if you can save energy, such as electricity, the money you invest in saving your existing infrastructure will yield far greater returns than replacing the infrastructure with solar panels.
“It’s really important to start with saving and looking at the whole energy and electricity use system.”
Malan explains that 15% of our electricity bill goes toward constantly running electronics and lighting in our homes. As a result, a number of resources are being frittered away.
He suggests making use of pre-existing structures, and says we are doomed to fail in our load shedding fight if we do not come up with a strategy soon.
Effective strategies to prevent power outages
The best way to wrap your head around the concept of a circular business model is to break your company up into the various subsystems that make it function.
“Your typical systems include your energy, water, waste and land.”
He also mentions marketing, your operations, buyers, and those who buy via your logistics as a two-way street.
Throughout the session the experts discuss:
- How to essentialise production systems;
- The implementation of conventional agricultural practices as a viable alternative; and
- Recording of data as a potential course of action.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
Sign up for Farmer’s Inside Track: Join our exclusive platform for new entrants into farming and agri-business, with newsletters and and podcasts.