twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

AFGRI leverages technology to help local farmers build a sustainable future

Pierre Durand, head of IT and innovation at agricultural services company AFGRI Agri Services, in recent conversation with Ahmed Mahomed, CEO, Datacentrix, explained that when it comes to technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, they are only as good as the connected infrastructure that underpins them

Pierre Durand AfgriPierre Durand, head of IT and innovation at AFGRI Agri Services. (Image source: AFGRI Agri Services)

There’s a misconception that the agriculture industry is behind the curve when it comes to technology adoption. In fact, the opposite is true, although unfortunately often at the expense of the individual farmer.

Jacob de Villiers, financial executive at AFGRI Group Holdings, said, “Modernisation is probably the conversation we have the most frequently with our customer base. Technology in the form of agricultural equipment has come on in leaps and bounds, and is the leading driver of crop production.

“Our farmers’ ability to innovate and use technology is often underestimated, and so, as a 98-year-old organisation, AFGRI is continuously striving to be at the cutting edge of innovation to help our clients ensure sustainable business into the future.”

AFGRI has taken on the role of integrator, assisting the local agri sector to find these critical technologies and pull them together in a meaningful way while leveraging economies of scale, Durand explained

As such, the organisation has made significant investments to extend its support to the industry.  There are many examples, such as the revamping of AFGRI’s siloes for faster offload speeds, as well as the updating of its stock monitoring systems, ensuring that there is a constant view of stock and its movements through the siloes. Then, there are also the softer issues, such as the company’s online platform, which allows easier transacting for its farmers.

“Our smaller farmers need practical solutions, and another example of how AFGRI has stepped in to help unlock this value is with the introduction of Axl in 2020. Axl is AFGRI’s online platform designed for the convenient rental of farm equipment, facilitating the contract between the renter and the owner in a few simple steps online. Every farmer is sitting with under-utilised equipment that stands idle between seasons,” Durand stated. 

Technology to deliver agri business results

AFGRI’s investment in innovation extends to executing on its digital transformation strategy. Last year, the organisation kick-started a three-year project with Datacentrix, which encompasses the rollout of a software-defined networking solution, cloud-delivered security, endpoint visibility with the software-defined WAN rollout, monitoring, connectivity delivery through Datacentrix company, eNetworks, an ISP and network specialist, and more.

Ahmed Mahomed, CEO at Datacentrix, commented, “AFGRI is leveraging Datacentrix’ holistic Hybrid IT value proposition, optimising workloads by migrating to Datacentrix cloud services to boost performance and improve cost management. The most important reason behind this, is the positive impact it will have on AFGRI’s ability to continue delivering value to local farmers.

“Farming is core to any country when it comes to sustainability, and modernisation is critical to safeguarding this asset. Technology plays a massive role in ensuring that you get the best yield from a piece of land and achieving the planned outcome. Looking at it from this perspective, as a technology partner, Datacentrix’ approach is to partner with its clients to solve business challenges by leveraging technology to deliver real business value.” 

AFGRI takes its role in delivering the best services at the best cost to our customers very seriously, with the aim of profitable, sustainable farming. Through our partnerships with companies like Datacentrix, we will continue to help our farmer base to solve their problems, providing a solid foundation to really deliver sustainable value,” De Villiers concluded.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

Advanced drying techniques to enhance quality of South African raisins

Advanced drying techniques to enhance qu…

Innovative drying techniques are among the several new initiatives helping to boost the quality and sustainability of South African raisins

African food imports bill predicted to double by 2030

African food imports bill predicted to d…

Experts have warned that the cost of Africa’s yearly food imports could increase from US$50bn to US$110bn by 2030 if immediate measures aren’t taken to increase food production

Wildlife and forestry sector in the spotlight

Wildlife and forestry sector in the spot…

On August 22, the 23rd session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, hosted by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo opened in Kinshasa, putting the future...

Boosting investment for Africa-made cotton

Boosting investment for Africa-made cott…

At a partner’s conference on cotton, jointly organised with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), donors were urged to mobilise resources for new partnerships.   

Nature-based solutions help farmers in Ghana

Nature-based solutions help farmers in G…

Organic pesticides, waste-based fertilisers and forest regeneration are just a few of the green initiatives being employed in Ghana to boost farming communities’ resilience to the impacts of climate...

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Saharan Africa

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Sa…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is set to fast track an impact-oriented project in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America for digital soil nutrient mapping, after...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

PelGar to give Burkina Faso rodenticide training

PelGar to give Burkina Faso rodenticide …

UK-based PelGar International has announced it is to organise training workshops for rodenticide and insecticide dealers in Burkina Faso

Inmarsat launches Application and Solution Provider (ASP) programme

Inmarsat launches Application and Soluti…

Inmarsat, a specialist in global, mobile satellite communications, has launched its Application and Solution Provider (ASP) Programme, an ecosystem for providers of software, hardware and solutions

AGRA announces partnership with Aceli Africa

AGRA announces partnership with Aceli Af…

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has announced a partnership with Aceli Africa to enhance capital flows to SMEs in the agriculture sector and support a financially inclusive...

Zambia seeks sugar investor

Zambia seeks sugar investor

The Zambian government is looking for a suitable investor to set up a sugar estate and processing plant in the Luena Farm Bloc

Kenyan goverment reduces fertiliser prices

Kenyan goverment reduces fertiliser pric…

The Kenyan government has reduced the prices of fertiliser by 25 per cent to increase usage as the planting season approaches

Mozambique irrigation schemes could cut rice imports

Mozambique irrigation schemes could cut …

The Mozambican government will run new irrigation schemes in the country, which it has predicted in the long-term could reduce rice imports

Amiran launches new irrigation system

Amiran launches new irrigation system

Agricultural products firm Amiran Kenya has introduced a new irrigation system that contains a gravity fed drip

Nigeria bans importation of maize to ramp up local production

Nigeria bans importation of maize to ram…

The Central Bank of Nigeria has banned the importation of maize into the country to increase the local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods and increase jobs which...

Canadian government backs agricultural development in Ethiopia

Canadian government backs agricultural d…

Minister MacKay and MP Armstrong have rolled out two projects that will help increase farmers’ productivity and resilience in Ethiopia

Inappropriate aid holds back African Agriculture

Inappropriate aid holds back African Agr…

A look at what has been holding African agriculture back

ICRC helps farming community in Nigeria’s Wuro Dadi

ICRC helps farming community in Nigeria’…

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has helped conflict-affected families in Wuro Dadi, north-eastern Nigeria, by rebuilding houses, distributing maize and rice seeds for planting and providing cash...

New Holland renews support of ‘Kids of Africa’ in Uganda

New Holland renews support of ‘Kids of A…

New Holland Agriculture and its supplier in Uganda, Cooper Motor Corporation Ltd (CMC), have together donated a TT55 tractor to the ‘Kids of Africa’ non-profit organisation

Prev Next