29 August 2018, Centurion – AFGRI Technology Services (ATS), part of AFGRI Group Holdings (AGH), is partnering with The SA Innovation Summit, taking place in Cape Town from 12-14 September, where the pioneering agricultural technology company will be participating in sessions focused on how technology can, and is, enabling the agricultural sector across South Africa and the rest of the continent.
ATS’s own MD, Niki Neumann, will be contributing to the Summit – as a panellist in the “Fintech for Farming: The Future of Financial Services for the Sector (Bankable Farmer)” session taking place on 12 September, and as the moderator for the panel, “AGRITECH: Investing for Growth in Food and Agri Tech” taking place on 13 September, which will look at venture capital, corporate venturing and investment support of the sector.
Joining her at the event will be Pieter Wasserfall, MD of the Six33 Group and Founder of PICSA, an affiliate start-up within the AGH investment portfolio that provides employee benefit solutions that holistically address the financial challenges faced by farmworkers in South Africa. They will be joined by a host of other guest speakers and panellists from a broad spectrum of technology-driven companies and organisations, start-ups, and academic institutions being represented at the Summit.
“We believe that enabling a platform for South African entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to connect with the broader AgTech ecosystem will have a positive impact on South Africa. Building the ecosystem will not only benefit our customers and our business, but the industry too. If you enable farming, you enable Africa,” says Neumann.
Neumann and Wasserfall both bring high levels of expertise in the field of AgTech to bear on the debates.
The Summit – an industry-leading annual platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought leadership – provides the perfect springboard to start conversations about the power of AgTech, believes Neumann.
“Platforms like these provide a way for us to inspire thinking and provide leadership in this sphere to a range of participants, whether they’re entrepreneurial start-ups or corporates considering how to grow and accelerate innovation within their own companies.”
She adds that AgTech can drastically change the sector as we know it. “We want to build a connected, globally competitive, efficient, inclusive agriculture sector through introducing technology and
innovative solutions. AgTech goes beyond on-farm technology, robotics, IOT and sensing – it’s about looking at the sector holistically and bringing together pieces of the puzzle to solve the challenges of financial inclusion, water scarcity, connectivity, food security, increased population growth, the increasing demand for farmers to increase productivity and outputs to meet ever-growing consumption patterns, climate change, enabling smaller farmers access to markets and developing surrounding conditions to enable farmers, for example infrastructure.
This is the first year that ATS will be joining organisations such as the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), The Allan Gray Entrepreneurship Challenge, the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences, and Adams and Adams, amongst others, with the City of Cape Town, to support this much-needed platform for innovators, not only in South Africa, but across the continent.
For more information on the Summit, including the full programme, visit www.innovationsummit.co.za.