4 June 2014, Pretoria – AFGRI Limited (“AFGRI”), South Africa’s leading agricultural services and diversified foods group, has increased storage capacity by building five new bunkers in strategic locations within South Africa.
Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI, said that, “Our silo infrastructure is well distributed in our traditional area of operation and with the additional bunker facilities we are able to assist the farmers store grains closer to their farms which is a
huge advantage to the farmer as it reduces transportation costs and the grain is stored in accordance to strict criteria. AFGRI guarantees quantity and quality at all our Grain Management sites and this is extremely beneficial to the farmer in mitigating the risk associated with the storage of grain.”
Two new stand alone bunkers have been built at Sandspruit and Bergville. After consultation with farmers in the area, followed by a feasibility study the decision was taken to construct a bunker at Sandspruit. The area around Bergville traditionally had a shortage of storage capacity as a result of both summer grain and wheat cultivated in the area. “Grain producers are very excited about the bunkers as they can now participate in all the technology AFGRI has on offer in the storage facilities.” said Venter.
All AFGRI bunkers are SAFEX registered (except Sandspruit which is awaiting final approval) and therefore attract the same benefit as silo’s. Bunkers are much cheaper to construct and the main advantage is that a bunker can be constructed in the correct production location. The silo technology AFGRI makes use of can separate grades as well as other unique characteristics. Electronic certificates issued at the storage location are recognised by SAFEX. Bunkers furthermore provide an element of risk reduction to AFGRI capital and should production areas change; the bunker can easily be relocated and erected at a relevant site.
The remaining three bunkers were constructed at Afrikaskop and Eeram, both in the Free State, and Amersfoort in Mpumalanga. The bunkers have been placed close to AFGRI silo’s in the area in order to deal with increased capacity and storage demand. The Eeram bunker will be used to store summer grain due to the increased wheat stored at Harrismith as a result of the wheat mill commissioned by AFGRI Milling.
AFGRI manages a total of 15 stand alone bunkers and 8 temporary bunkers currently located on silo properties in South Africa, with a total storage capacity in the bunkers of 568 000 tonns.
Although this bunker technology can easily be erected in Africa, the market is structured differently in that bags and warehouse storage is more common as farmers are smaller and in most instances grain management has not moved to bulk handling yet. One bunker and eight warehouses are operated in Zambia, three warehouses in Uganda and one silo bag facility is managed in Congo Brazzaville.
“AFGRI is a leader in all facets of grain management and therefore the roll out of the service and facilities into Africa is a focus area for us. As we assist farmers in Africa with mechanisation and a greater variety of input options, they are scaling up and our bunkers will offer a sorely needed storage solution and access to markets for these farmers. In turn this puts AFGRI one step closer to our mission of being a functional player in ensuring food security for our continent,” concludes Venter.
Issued for: AFGRI Limited
Contact: Chris Venter, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Issued by: Keyter Rech Investor Soloutions
Contact: Vanessa Rech
Tel: 011- 447-8656 or 083-307-5600
Date: 4 June 2014