Agricultural engineering is on the rise! – Food for Mzansi

Engineers from across the country are preparing to gather for the biennial symposium of the South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers (SAIAE). Thabo MavundzaDirector of Engineering at Westfalia Fruit and President of SAIAE, says the symposium opens doors for the wider engineering community.


Thabo Mavundza, director of engineering at Westfalia Fruit and president of SAIAE. Photo: Supplied/Food for Mzansi

“We want to create an atmosphere where engineers who work in agriculture come together because we have recognized that as traditional agricultural engineers we need the help of [other kinds of] engineers. What we want is to house engineering in agriculture. We want it to have its place in the industry, so we invite all engineers to come.

For Mavundza, improving the agriculture industry through knowledge sharing is of utmost importance. He encourages all engineers to join the symposium as they can share valuable knowledge with industry and in turn gain value for themselves.

“[Engineers] should join us. They can come and share their stories, they can come and tell us about the successes of their industry, or their business, while growing the agricultural industry.

Mavundza says the symposium is not just limited to researchers, but also includes other professionals working in the industry.

“All engineers who work in industry, who wish to come and share their knowledge, share their papers if they are in research, or share their case studies if they are in the commercial or private sector, are invited. It’s not just about research. If you’re in a business or a private enterprise, and you find something that works and you have really good results, come share it with the world so people adopt it where it’s needed.

Everything you need to know about the symposium

Taking place at the Fairview Hotel from September 21-23, 2022, this year’s symposium is sponsored by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Limpopo Tourism, CIGR International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Free State University , among many others. .

Mavundza explains that the symposium will cover a wide variety of topics.

“We want to cover the fourth industrial revolution in agriculture, water resource management, mechanization, irrigation design and operation, as well as soil conservation, energy management and renewable energies. renewable.”

Symposium participants who wish to have their research, case studies or other work presented as papers at the event, have until June 30, 2022 to submit their abstracts. The call for papers is limited to certain areas, some of which are environmental engineering, agricultural structures and drought impact mitigation, and participants who submitted abstracts will receive feedback by 15 July 2022.

The theme for this year’s symposium is “The Rise of Engineering in Agriculture”, which Mavundza says is deliberately worded. The wording is intended to encourage all engineering specialties to join.

He recounts the famous proverb, “n boer maak ‘n plan”, or “a farmer will make a plan”, explaining that the proverb sums up the role of engineering in agriculture.

“This institute is there to tell the farmer, the business owner, the business people and the government that we can improve the agricultural industry by promoting engineering in all its spheres.

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Amalia H. Mercado