While many South Africans are reaching their wit’s end, businesses in the agricultural sector are flushing away millions of rands in produce to a lack of refrigeration and storage solutions due to complete reliance on the grid. Loadshedding is seemingly here to stay for the long haul, and finding alternative solutions is now one of the few ways to maintain one’s day-to-day operations.
We take a brief look at some of the issues faced by the agricultural sector and attempt to offer gas solutions that can be used in a personal setting or to help offset losses to your farming business caused by loadshedding.
KZN Farmers are struggling to find solutions to loadshedding
A recent viral video depicting a farmer dumping over 12000 litres of milk shocked social media. Although hyperbolic, the video was meant to make a statement on just how much of an effect loadshedding has had on the industry. The farmer claimed access to backup storage, but it was no longer adequately functional due to constant power outages.
The reality is that this situation is not a niche issue; many businesses are suffering from ever-persistent power cuts, which hampers growth and may lead to a surge in unemployment as businesses close their doors. While it may be impossible to solve the Eskom crisis, gas solutions may offer some relief.
Gas-powered irrigation may be the solution
The term “LPG” is synonymous with heating and cooking. However, as the loadshedding debacle continues, gas production systems are becoming increasingly popular, pushing LPG more and more into the industrial and agricultural sectors.
In many countries, LPG (or propane) has been used to power irrigation wells for decades. Not only are gas irrigation systems effective at doing the job, but their longevity and durability make them an increasingly popular business move.
LPG-based irrigation systems are nothing new to our overseas counterparts. Farmers in Illinois, USA, who experience severe periods of drought, would not have been anywhere near as successful as they are today had it not been for implementing these systems. Over the past two years, usage has resulted in upfront costs being almost half that of their diesel counterparts, where growers have been saving almost R25 to R100 an hour.
Beyond these benefits, LPG on its own is used to increase the productivity of farms through a multifaceted approach. These include crop harvesting, crop drying, consistent temperature control for brooders and hot water sanitation.
Gas appliances for the home
Gas appliances and heating solutions for the home are nothing new. Gas is far more reliable in terms of heat distribution and cost solutions. Below we’ll include a list of gas appliances to help stem the tide of power cuts.
- Portable gas cooker:(for when you need a quick meal): As it turns out, gas cookers aren’t just for camping. All they need is a light and a gas bottle, and you can boil water for your tea, and cook basic meals in a jiffy. Affordable and easy to use.
- Gas stoves: For a more permanent solution, a gas stove allows you to cook whenever you need and helps you save on electrical costs when the power is on.
- Gas Geysers: They’re reliable and efficient at turning cold water hot fast.
- Gas Fridges: A permanent solution to wasted food. A backup gas fridge will ensure your food never spoils, regardless of the loadshedding schedule.
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