Agriculture is not what it used to be. My grandfather was an ostrich farmer in the Klein-Karoo, with a small dairy on the side to make ends meet. He raised seven children and supported a handful of farm workers on a small plot of land that was more likely to deliver soil erosion than bumper crops. From what I remember he had a tractor and a combine harvester and a lot of grit. And that is still largely my mental picture of agriculture today: the lonely farmer toiling away on his tractor, praying for rain.
That view, though, is utterly outdated. Agriculture, as Forbes magazine noted in February, is one of the most innovative industries at present. Investment in artificial intelligence (AI) agricultural technology is skyrocketing. PwC predicts that Internet-of-Thingsenabled agriculture (or IoTAg) will be a $4.5bn industry by 2025. And this is not a rich country phenomenon only. Thabi Nkosi is managing partner at African Green Alpha, a food and agriculture private equity fund manager. She explains most farming in SA has already made the switch. “To increase competitiveness, the use of advanced irrigation methods, remote sensing and drone technology is commonplace. I’m excited about technologies focusing on water efficiency and crop protection.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Why is Sars coming after emigrants' retirement funds?
Proposed changes to tax legislation may see retirees’ funds locked in SA for three years.
Up for the challenge
Attacq’s new CEO, Jackie van Niekerk, brings an entrepreneurial spirit, ability to identify opportunities, and creative deal-making to the role.
The drive to hydrogen fuels takes off again after 30 years
In the 1990s, fuel-cell electric vehicles were all the rage. Then it went silent. Now, as climate change sits at the top of investors’ agenda, this technology is accelerating again.
It's time to rethink fixed income with ETFs
Exchange-traded products focusing on fixed-income assets can overcome the largest challenges facing today’s bond markets.
Is that a bearish pattern forming?
BHP (originally BHP Billiton), which was formed in 2001 through a merger of the Australian Broken Hill Proprietary Company and Anglo-Dutch Billiton plc, is a multinational mining, metals, and petroleum dual-listed public company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The company is one of the leading global players in this sector. In 2015, some of BHP’s assets were demerged and rebranded as South32. In the 2020 Forbes Global 2000, BHP Group was ranked as the 93rd largest public company in the world.
Do you have a ‘ready-to-depart' file?
Preparedness for life events is paramount. Take note of the important documents that should be in your file.
TO GROW OR TO VALUE?
The impact of rising inflation is all the talk in the markets. finweek asked experts how this will play out among growth and value stocks.
Scan the market for the pandemic survivors
Some companies barely survived the pandemic whilst others have bounced back stronger. Take note of this when you are looking for new investment.
How to turn around a continent
Will a Marshall Plan for Africa combined with an enormous free-trade agreement be the tonic for the economic ailments among the continent’s nations?
BACK TO SCHOOL
South Africa’s listed education companies are riding out the pandemic. Are they worth investing in?