Engineers to improve agricultural services in NW

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

In a bid to improve and strengthen its agricultural engineering services, the North West Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development Department has appointed four young agricultural engineers who will bring much needed skills to the department.

Agricultural Engineering is the area of engineering concerned with the design, construction and improvement of farming equipment and machinery. The engineers integrate technology with farming.

The appointment of agricultural engineers follows stakeholder engagement meetings hosted by MEC Desbo Mohono in January this year, where she promised farmers and North West people that she will do everything possible to bring much needed skills to the department in order to improve services.

“The newly appointed engineers will work directly with the contractors in the project that will be implemented by the department,” Mohono said.

Mohono said that the engineers started working in the department on 24 January 2018, and were all previously employed by the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) as candidate engineers.

They studied BSc in Engineering (Agricultural Engineering) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the only university in South Africa that offers the type of qualification. On completing the course, students are required to register with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) in order to pursue the best practices.

Two of the engineers are currently based in Bojanala Platinum District, while the other two are based in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District.

New engineer Kholofelo Moloko, 26, said he was looking forward to assist with restructuring of engineering services of the department and improving on the infrastructure and standards.

“We are looking forward to work and improve the livelihood of the farmers under the management of this department. We will also adhere to the policy, rules and regulations of the department which were presented to us by the Human Resource Management practitioner,” said Moloko.

Although his passion in agriculture is in animal infrastructure, Moloko said he can also perform all other agricultural projects.

He said that among the skills needed in order to take up the job include problem-solving, technical skills, innovative skills, and good communication skills.

“We all have necessary work experience of designing agricultural infrastructure such as piggery, poultry, agro-processing facility, designing of irrigation systems such as drip irrigation, and centre pivot system. [We] also have work experience in conducting topographical and borehole surveys, compiling technical report and tender documents, construction, monitoring and evaluation of engineering projects,” Moloko said. –