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NIC Takes Aim at Technology and Funding

  • 15 May 2019
  • 2006
  •  press-release

Hosted by Theo Vorster, the discussion panel included: Fabio Roverso – Field Product Lead Europe, Climate Corporation; John Hudson – National Head: Agriculture, Nedbank Business Banking; Jacques Taylor – MD Sub-Saharan Africa, John Deere; Jaco Minnaar – Chairperson Grain SA; and Martin van Zyl – Group Executive: Innovation and Integrated Solutions, Senwes.

If you’re wondering where agriculture is going with technology, this is the episode of NIC not to be missed. 
Jacques summed things up nicely when he said: “We’re moving away from automation to autonomy.” Which basically means that machines will probably drive and operate themselves in the near future. He also used the analogy of the coffee pod and the coffee machine as the value-ad proposition example of how technology in John Deere machines will continue to evolve.

Martin said Senwes’ a approach is: “ to look at the client holistically by using their data to provide holistic solutions, we don’t sell them products, we sell them solutions.”

Fabio talked about the Field View application which “brings all the data together on one platform to improve the farmer’s profitability.” He also goes into detail about how the farmer’s data is protected, aggregated and shared.

John talked about whether data aggregation and analysis could be considered as a risk mitigation factor in getting access to funding from the banking sector’s perspective.
While Jaco put on his farmer’s hat and said that it was important for technology to be applied in a customized and profitable way. “South African famers have to compete internationally with other farmers to access markets.” He said that in order to remain competitive against different climate conditions and government support models, producers in South Africa have to be at the forefront of technology.”

He also added that small scale farmers should look at seed technology and connectivity to improve their businesses and maybe not focus solely on acquiring big machines.
Martin alludes to Senwes’ collaboration with John Deere in the spreading of the RTK Network; while both Jacques and Jaco wax lyrical about the potential of an “Uber” service in agriculture and the “Hello Tractor” service in the rest of Africa.

And that should just about whet your appetite enough to watch the broadcast and find out more about these concepts and technological developments. Go to for the broadcast schedule.

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