Advanced sustainability through technology

Well-managed large-scale agriculture not only mitigates but even reverses negative effects on the environment. The size of our fund farms provide economies of scale, enabling our operators to use the latest technologies and practices to reduce water consumption and minimise chemical inputs.

We stay up-to-date with evolving technologies and farming practises, which allow for better decision-making and reduced environmental impact. Breakthrough new tech, such as soil analysis and irrigation efficiency, is changing the way we manage water resources and chemical application.

Drones, in combination with purpose-designed cameras, map productive areas. The results are highly detailed aerial maps that show the health of individual trees by indicating the density of chlorophyll in their leaves – often indistinguishable to the naked eye. This level of information allows operators to identify and spot-treat plants, reducing chemical inputs overall.

The technology also helps to discern trends in certain areas, as drone surveys are regularly repeated. For example, during the Western Cape drought of 2017, drone surveys showed that the rows of beefwood trees planted as windbreaks were using so much water that tree health in the first three orchard rows was compromised. On balance, it was proven better to remove the windbreaks.

Spore detector of crop disease is used on citrus farms in our portfolio, with the support of volumetric spore traps. The spore traps detect various wind-borne plant diseases, including the notorious ‘Citrus Black Spot’ fungus that regularly Interrupts South African citrus exports to the EU. This early and sensitive detection method allows operators to provide targeted interventions and reduces routine prophylactic chemical treatments.

Technology helps us maximise production and protect soil health, biodiversity, air quality and water resources.