Rosch

ADVERTORIAL

OLD MUTUAL

FAMILY BUSINESS

Agriculture is big news all over the world these days,and coming to Pretoria- South Africa

Agriculture is big news all over the world at the moment, often for unfortunate reasons such as fires, droughts, global warming effects and flooding, but also for land reform initiatives.

South African farmers compete in a global village and often setbacks in one part of the world prove beneficial for farmers in other regions, as is the case with food shortage arising from fires, droughts, and floods.

Farming also faces threats in terms of sustainability and profitability going forward, as costs increase, so it is vital to make use of the multitude of technologies now available to the agricultural sector to improve efficiencies and productivity for established farms and to assist in empowering small-scale farmers to make their businesses more viable.

It is for these reasons that the upcoming Africa Agri Tech conference and expo, to be held at the Sun Arena in Pretoria from 18-20 February is so important for members of the agricultural family as it will probe all these new technologies and their many benefits.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already changing how we live, work, and communicate. It’s reshaping governments, education, healthcare, and commerce; almost every aspect of life, according to the Farming Portal. The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanise production, while the Second utilised electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production.

Now the Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, which developed on the back of the digital revolution that occurred in the 20th century. It provides almost limitless opportunities for billions of people, connected by mobile devices, with unprecedently processing power, storage capacity and access to knowledge.

Statistics show that 66% of the world’s unused land is on the African continent. The article says there is a big difference between South Africa and the countries north of the Limpopo River: in SA commercial farmers are responsible for 90% of the countries agricultural production, while in countries to the north the norm is that 90% of production comes from predominantly smallholder farmers.

This means there is scope to increase the input from small farmers in SA, using technology, education, and training in addition to providing subsidies. Companies using artificial intelligence and machine learning to extract data gathered via satellite and drone images are now able to supply reports to farmers on matters such as pests and disease protection measures, while gathering data which allows banks and insurer to assess the risks associated with agricultural proposals and ventures.

It is difficult to imagine a more exciting time to be involved in the South African agricultural sector; traditions must be respected and built upon, but there is no denying the focus is shifting towards innovative, technological approaches to farming so as to exploit South Africa’s diverse resources to the full.

Date:
Tuesday 18 - Thursday 20 February 2020
Venue:
Sun Arena, Time Square, Menlyn Maine, Pretoria
Cost:
3-Day inclusive package: R3 000.00 (excl. VAT) lunch and refreshments included

1-Day subscription rate R1 250.00 (excl. VAT) lunch and refreshments included


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