TSB is one of the largest sugar producers in South Africa. In order to complete each crush season effectively, crushing of all available sugar cane (at the correct age and time of year) supplied from many different farmers, sugar millers such as TSB require accurate estimates of area under cane.
Lidwala was appointed to verify field information and to build a GIS linked to the existing TSB Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Lidwala made use of existing paper maps and satellite images to produce land-use maps per farmer providing sugar cane to TSB in the Pongola area.
For the initial dataset, historic field information was obtained from the Mill Group Board and the Department of Agriculture (DoA). A spatial database was created into which updated data matching the latest available ortho-imagery were imported. The database was configured with historisation (e.g. changes / updates to fields can be tracked over time) as well as automatic spatial grids summarising the component data in various ways (grower summary, grower crop summary and grower cane variety summary). An ArcGIS project was then configured, using data driven map pages, to access a complete map per farmer and project. Each map had automated summary grids indicating field numbers, area, cane variety and other crops.
A Kosmo GIS project was configured and an extremely simple editing and updating procedure was devised to manage the data. Using the Pongola GIS database, it became possible to monitor areas under sugarcane, observe changes and demarcate development areas and small grower lots.