Ravenhill and Setuse: Ensuring Umzimkulu Mill's Future
"At the Ravenhill Expansion project, 450ha has been planted."
A TOUR of the Umzimkulu expansion - (MCP 450ha, Commercial growers Guy Clegg 115ha and the Setuse Development 160ha) - was undertaken by Illovo Executive members Graham Clark, Gavin Dalgleish, Dave Howells and Stan Rau in January. This expansion will greatly benefit the Umzimkulu mill and ensure its future.
At Setuse planting commenced on 19 January 2013. Stan Rau (growers affairs director, Illovo South Africa) gave an overview of the Setuse development where it is anticipated that an area of some 3 000ha will be planted up over the next three years; this will largely benefit and provide significant upliftment to the local communities in the area.
Umzimkulu GM Vis Pillay reported that the development of new land on commercial growers’ farms was progressing well. A seed nursery has now been planted and this will help supplement seed cane requirements in the new expansion areas next season.
At the Ravenhill Expansion project, 450ha has been planted. Ravenhill, an Illovo farm on the lower South Coast 50km inland from Port Shepstone, delivers on average 40 000 tons cane per annum to Umzimkulu Mill. To increase this, the MCP farm managers have been asked to increase their farm area under cane by either leasing nearby farms or increasing their existing area.An area of 450ha was leased at the start of the 2012/13 season which fortunately borders the Ravenhill Farm boundary. The planting program was completed by 25 March. By 2014/15 season Ravenhill Farm should be cutting 65 000 tons. Another 50ha will be established to cane this season 2013/14, with the goal being to reach the 100 000 ton mark.