AFGRI, a leading agricultural services and processing company, today announced a collaboration with NCML, India’s leading post-harvest agriculture management firm.
Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI said that, “The importance of this landmark agreement is that the partnership draws on the respective strengths of both organisations and that AFGRI is able to extend its footprint onto the Asian continent.” AFGRI is currently operational in South Africa, 34 other African countries, Australia, the United Kingdom and in the USA.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two parties on 6 November 2015.
AFGRI’s subsidiary Collateral Management International (“CMI”) together with AFGRI Grain Management have achieved wide coverage on the African continent, coupled with established credentials at many local and international banking groups. “This, together with the fact that Fairfax Financial Holdings is a large shareholder in both companies, demonstrates how the extraction of these synergies can help move AFGRI along the path of greater expansion,” Venter said.
The advantages to AFGRI include a wider footprint with the ability to ensure grain flows across the continents when imports or exports are required. For both parties’ downstream benefits include value-add processing such as milling and crushing of grains and seeds as well as access to products such as weather-based crop insurance.
Both companies have experience in dealing with small scale farming operations as well as large commercial businesses and this expertise will benefit the collaboration.
The collaboration will include all services associated with collateral management such as inspection, testing and certification, grain management and marketing, trade finance and precision farming which includes geo mapping, crop estimation and weather intelligence. It also includes aspects of cross-border trade. Venter went on to explain that this collaboration is meaningful for AFGRI as it involves three divisions namely CMI, Grain Management and GeoAgro (in which AFGRI has a 50% shareholding). “This collaboration demonstrates the strength of AFGRI coupled with our ability to support our underlying fundamental – food security,” Venter explained.
It is expected that the agreement will aide trade, especially with regard to agricultural and food products between India and Africa.
Venter concludes by saying that, “Our vast experience in agriculture in South Africa is where our roots will remain. This collaboration is demonstrating how valuable our experience is and how, across continents, we can share ideas for a common goal.”