Home Africa Natafim SA expands drip-line manufacturing plant

Natafim SA expands drip-line manufacturing plant

by Grace Kisembo

Netafim South Africa has expanded its dripline manufacturing capacity, an investment with potential to increase economic activity, build capacity and create opportunities.

The company has been driving increased water-use efficiency in South Africa and SADC for the past 30 years, since 1992. In addition, the company has driven the adoption of precision irrigation solutions.

Some of the biggest highlights on this journey include starting a dripline manufacturing to better supply the market. In 1999, the Kraaifontein manufacturing plant was opened, and production started with two extruders.

“This venture was very successful, and we were able to steadily grow our production,” says Joe le Roux, factory manager at Netafim South Africa.

“In 2017 we invested in new extruders and have continuously improved our equipment and systems. We now have three state-of-the art extrusion lines and production runs 24 hours a day seven days a week.”

To date, locally produced drip-line include Uniram™, Dripnet PC™ and Aries™ driplines with wall thicknesses ranging from 0.3 to 1.5 mm. Netafim South Africa has been investigating the possibility to extend its local dripline production to include its tough thin wall dripline, Streamline™ X, for some time now.

The need for local production is driven by its aim to always adapt to market requirements and ensure that its business systems are optimised for efficiency.

Based on market readiness, and Netafim South Africa’s desire to offer faster and more stable dripline supply to the market, the decision was made, and local Streamline™ X production is now a reality.

“We are very excited to announce that, after the latest upgrades to our extruders, we can now manufacture thin wall pipe with wall thicknesses below 0.2 mm. This means that Streamline™ X can be extruded right here in our Cape Town manufacturing plant,” said le Roux. After intensive test runs to ensure the best quality product is produced, the first roll of locally produced Streamline™ X was recently extruded, and production is running smoothly.

Beyond the benefit of faster and more stable supply, this move speaks to the company’s passion for efficiency. Le Roux explains that local production is more cost-efficient and importantly leaves a much smaller environmental footprint.

According to Michael Esmeraldo, Managing Director of Netafim South Africa, the irrigation industry is seeing a global phenomenon that farmers are shifting to increased use of thin wall drip-lines.

“We prioritise the needs of our end-users and it is therefore important for us to adapt to market trends in order to supply the industry with what it needs in the field.”

Netafim South Africa is mostly known for its premium heavy wall driplines.

“Netafim has always focused on helping any farmer in any circumstance grow more with less. By offering thin wall, medium wall and heavy wall drip lines with ranging dripper features and capabilities, as well as our wider range of precision irrigation solutions, we know that we can help any famer overcome challenges in the field.”

Netafim South Africa has always been able to supply local farmers with the full range of drip solutions, our locally produced offer however needed one more piece of the puzzle.

“With this announcement, we can proudly say that our locally produced dripline offer is complete, and we can nimbly react to the needs of our end-users.”

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