Josias le Roux van Langhoogte Plase naby Caledon in die Wes-Kaap is ’n bekroonde gars-, koring- en skaapboer wat alles uit ’n bewaringsoogpunt aanpak. Hy glo daarin om proaktief te wees, nie belangrike onderhoud op die plaas uit te stel nie, en om op hoogte te bly van landbou-ontwikkelings. Josias verryk sy kennis deur boere- en inligtingsdae by te woon, en maak tyd om navorsing op die internet te doen. Hy glo ingeligte besluite is noodsaaklik om vorentoe te boer.
Centurion, 2 October 2019 – AFGRI Technology Services (ATS), the strategic innovation and growth division of AFGRI Agri Services, has partnered with Aerobotics, the Cape Town based start-up that processes data from drone and satellite imagery through its proprietary artificial intelligence software to bring the latest technology to a broader section of South Africa’s farmers.
The partnership aims to provide critical tools to support the growing market of tree crop farmers to ensure they are optimising how they make decisions, manage risk and operate their farming business.
“Our customers stand to benefit from Aerobotics’ tools, which are used for general farm management and to discover and analyse problems affecting individual trees, to proactively manage pests and disease outbreaks as well as monitoring tree crop health and optimising their yields,” says AFGRI Agri Services CEO, Jacob de Villiers.
According to Niki Neumann, GM for Strategy & Innovation at AFGRI Agri Services, Aerobotics has seen good traction and growth in the tree crop market in South Africa and abroad. “Their focus on a superior product experience and customer service has put them strides ahead of their competitors. We look forward to working with dynamic, disruptive companies like Aerobotics to bring only the best-of-breed solutions to our farmers.”
Neumann adds that the Aerobotics tool was introduced to AFGRI Agri Services employees during August, and that some farmers have already been introduced to the company and its capabilities through ATS’ Future Farmers Forum, an initiative aimed exclusively at forward-thinking early adopters in the agricultural sector with the sole goal of connecting South Africa’s farming community with the latest in agricultural technology.
“By working with start-ups like Aerobotics, we can encourage a truly tech-enabled sector in South Africa that promotes sustainable, responsible and efficient food production, with a focus on increased productivity and data-driven decision making.”
Aerobotics Head of Sales for Africa, Vic van den Berg, is excited about the partnership as an opportunity to bring their farm management software to a larger market. “Our team is consistently working on product updates and features with the key objective being to save our farmers all over the world time and money through our early-stage pest and disease detection software – which gets smarter by the day. This partnership means that we will be able to add value to more farmers with our data-driven software, which ensures that farmers can make smart, data-driven decisions when it comes to their crops’ health and yields.”
About AFGRI Agri Services
AFGRI Agri Services is a leading agricultural services company with core competencies to enhance, support and guide the growth of agricultural enterprises. It provides services across the entire grain production and storage cycle, offering financial support and solutions as well as inputs and hi-tech equipment through the John Deere brand supported by a large retail footprint. Lemang Agricultural Services was established to train, develop and mentor new era farmers with a focused service in the further development of commercial black farmers in South Africa. AFGRI Agri Services is part of the AFGRI Group, the investment holding company with interests in a number of food, agriculture and financial services related companies providing products and services to ensure sustainable agriculture and food security.
About AFGRI Technology Services (ATS)
ATS is the strategic growth and innovation division of AFGRI Agri Services. Catalysing growth through superior strategy, insights, technology and innovation across the agricultural value chain, with the vision to introduce solutions that solve agriculture’s biggest challenges and enable food security. Visit www.afgritechnologyservices.com for more information.
Based in Cape Town, Aerobotics was co-founded by James Paterson (CEO) and Benji Meltzer (CTO) and combines aerial imagery obtained from satellites and drones with its machine learning algorithms to provide early problem detection services to farmers, helping them to monitor their crops, receive early warning of potential risks, and optimise yields. Aerobotics provides farmers with accurate statistics on their trees and vines and allows them to use its management zones to plan planting. It now operates across hundreds of farms in 11 countries throughout the world, has commanded 40% and 20% of South Africa’s macadamia nut and citrus markets respectively, has won numerous awards including Best Technology Company of 2019 at Africa Tech Week, and has raised two funding rounds totalling US$2.6million.
Visit www.aerobotics.com for more information.
Ons kuier by Koos en Philip Blanckenberg van die boerderyonderneming JH Blanckenberg. Dié twee broers is meestersuiwelboere by Klipheuwel, noord van Durbanville in die Wes-Kaap. Hulle maak ook hul eie kuilvoer en plant koring, gars en kanola. Die Blanckenbergs het ‘n gediversifiseerde boerdery met sterk integrasie en wedersydse afhanklikheid tussen die vertakkings. In 2014 was hulle die Kaapse finaliste in Graan SA se Graanprodusent van die Jaar-kompetisie.
In die week se episode van Landbouweekliks kuier die span by Gert Claassen van die Claassenboerdery in die Swartland. Gert en sy pa, Koot, het in 2012 die mielielande van Delmas in Mpumalanga vaarwel geroep en hul bedrywighede na die Wes-Kaap verskuif. In ’n kort tyd het Gert indrukwekkende resultate behaal met gewasse wat aanvanklik sy nuwe bure se wenkbroue laat lig het. In dié bekende koring- en skaapwêreld produseer die Claassen-boerdery koring, gars en kanola, maar ook aartappelmoere, wortels, blomkool en broccoli. Hulle het ook wingerd.
Die span van Landbouweekliks kuier in dié episode by Rustin Shawe, wat verlede jaar aangewys is as KwaZulu-Natal se Jongboer van die Jaar. Hy boer in die bergagtige Groenvleiomgewing van KwaZulu-Natal, tussen Wakkerstroom en Utrecht. Rustin se plaas, Grassfields, is 1 850 m bo seespieël. Die hoogste plek waar beeste kan wei, is 2 200 m bo seespieël. Rustin, ’n Droughtmaster-stoetteler, benut onder meer DNS-tegnologie om sy kudde optimaal te verbeter. Hy is ook besig om sowat 600 ha, met titelaktes en al, aan sy werkers te oorhandig. Die episode word Dinsdag, 17 September 2019, om 19h30 op Via TV (kanaal 147) uitgesaai.
In hierdie week se episode Landbouweekliks kuier die span in Kiepersol in Mpumalanga by dr. Reuel Khoza. Dié nederige man is die eienaar van Koeltehof-verpakkers, die tweede grootste uitvoerder van avokado’s in Suid-Afrika. Reuel, wat op Bosbokrand grootgeword het, is ’n gerekende sakeleier en het voorheen gedien in die direksies van Nedbank, Liberty en Old Mutual. Hy is ook die tussentydse voorsitter van die Openbare Beleggingskorporasie. Maar in Kiepersol rol hy sy moue op as ’n avokado- en makadamiaboer. Sy beeste loop naby Machadodorp.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 have wrapped up their preparations for the SA Rugby U21 Championship final against DHL Western Province U21 at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday, 7 September 2019.
There is only one change to the starting team that narrowly beat the Cell C Sharks U21 in the semi-final last week with Marnus Potgieter recovering from his training injury to resume his role as outside centre.
Sango Xamlashe drops to the bench and is joined by flyhalf Vaughen Isaacs, who made his Currie Cup debut against the Cell C Sharks two weeks ago.
Kick-off is 13:45 and will be televised live on Super Sport 1.
Vodacom Blue Bulls U21: 15. Richard Kriel, 14. Gershwin Mouton, 13. Marnus Potgieter, 12. Wian van Niekerk, 11. Sebastiaan Jobb, 10. Theo Boshoff, 9. Keagan Johannes, 8. Muller Uys (C), 7. Hanru Sirgel, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Ryno Pieterse, 3. Mornay Smith, 2. Werner Fourie, 1. Kudzwai Dube.
Replacements: 16. Llewellyn Classen, 17. Etienne Janeke, 18. Carl Els, 19. Ewart Potgieter, 20. Johan Mulder, 21. Vaughen Isaacs, 22. Sango Xamlashe, 23. Cabous Eloff.
Johan Reyneke van Reyneke-wyne buite Stellenbosch is ’n filosoof, branderplankryer en bekroonde biodinamiese wynboer. Hy het regte gestudeer, maar mettertyd begin boer en in 2000 oorgeslaan na organiese en biodinamiese wingerdpraktyke. Johan glo in ’n stelsel met verskeie plante en diere, al bly wingerd en wyn sy kernbesigheid. Ngunibeeste sorg byvoorbeeld vir goeie bemesting in die wingerd. Die Cornerstone-projek help werkers om hul eie huise te bekom en finansier naskoolse onderrig.
Centurion, 27 August 2019 – Chris Venter, the CEO of AGH, the investment holding company with interests in a number of food, agriculture and financial services related companies providing products and services to ensure sustainable agriculture and food security, has announced the appointment of Jacob de Villiers as the new CEO of its AFGRI Agri Services business, following former CEO Tinus Prinsloo’s retirement at the end of July 2019. De Villiers is no stranger to the business nor any of its stakeholders, most recently filling the position of CFO of AFGRI Agri Services.
De Villiers, a Chartered Accountant by training, has held various roles within the organisation since first joining in 2002. Most recently, he acted in a dual capacity as managing director of AFGRI Grain Management and CFO of AFGRI Agri Services.
He believes there will be no major changes in the business, a leading agricultural services company with core competencies to enhance, support and guide the growth of agricultural enterprises, under his leadership in the next 12 to 18 months. His focus will be on strategy implementation and exemplary customer service.
“We are privileged that Tinus is leaving behind such an excellent legacy. AFGRI Agri Services has gone through extensive restructuring during the past two years as part of the overall AGH reorganisation, which has successfully positioned us to take this business forward. We’ve also during this time dealt with legacy issues and have built a solid management team – now it’s really a matter of fine tuning,” said de Villiers.
“What we want to do is to implement our strategy, ensuring our processes are optimised and working for us, doing more with less, and executing swiftly with an even greater focus on our customers, ensuring they are always front of mind.”
De Villiers says that given a number of external forces affecting the agricultural sector, including drought, political intervention, and foreign exchange fluctuations, amongst others, that are simply beyond the business’ control, it’s critical to remain heedful of those things that can be managed to ensure that AFGRI Agri Services continues to flourish.
“We are responsible corporate citizen, contributing wholeheartedly to building South Africa’s economy, employing more people – all this to ensure our business thrives.”
With the newly-created AFGRI Silo Company now in place, de Villiers says leveraging this platform will be a major focus in the next 12 to 18 months, with the intention being to have more grain storage participants come on board, with the goal of building storage capacity from 4,7 million tonnes to six million tonnes, as well as branching out into the storage of other agricultural commodities beyond grain.
On the financial services side, de Villiers believes that apart from having a more robust financial services offering from UNIGRO following AGH’s acquisition of the South African Bank of Athens (now Grobank) last year, securing long-term funding is critical to ensuring that the farmer book continues to strengthen, all the while ensuring the relationship of origination for the Land Bank remains steadfast.
“We are working with like-minded funding partners that have the best interests of the sector at heart to support South Africa’s farmers across all nine provinces, with AFGRI Agri Services now having a solid presence across the country.”
From AFGRI Equipment perspective, de Villiers says that the next 12 to 18 months will be a period of consolidation for this division, which has gone through several mergers and acquisitions over the past three to four years. “Here the focus for the next year or so will be on further process improvement, bedding these down, and ensuring the business operates optimally.”
Lemang Agricultural Services, created last year to focus on assisting black commercial farmers, is now in the final stages of being accredited as a level 1 B-BBEE financial intermediary and will be supported by UNIGRO and other funders. “This is a very exciting initiative – it’s almost like starting a new business from scratch, and here certainly the long-term goal is to grow Lemang to the same size as AFGRI Agri Services.”
AFGRI Technology Services (ATS) will also play a key role in supporting the other divisions adapt to innovation and technology, as well as bringing AgTech to customers as part of AFGRI Agri Services’ overall suite of offerings. Furthermore, ATS has several joint partnerships and in terms of data extraction and mining with the aim of ensuring that AFGRI Agri Services has the right information at hand to ensure its sustainability going forward. “We’re very excited to see various other developments coming to fruition soon.”
Another clear focus will be on people – for de Villiers having an engaged workforce is imperative to achieving a truly customer-centric organisation that is set apart from others in the sector.
According to Venter, AFGRI Agri Services will remain in good hands. “I am confident Jacob has what it takes to further cement this business’ position as a leader in providing agricultural services and products and I look forward to working with him.”
Venter added that whilst Prinsloo may be retiring as CEO of AFGRI Agri Services, he will continue to serve as a non-executive director on the boards of a number of invested companies falling under the AGH umbrella, and further assist in the positioning of the AFGRI Silo Company.
“In this way his skills and expertise will remain available to AGH, which will ensure that his knowledge and deep experience of the agricultural sector are passed on to another generation of leaders within the Group.”