Standard Bank has gone into a partnership with service provider, Rhiza Africa, to boost agricultural produce and increase farmers’ yield.
The General Manager, Rhiza Africa, Danie Swart, in a statement, described the Contour solution as an aggregated remote sensing information platform with a complete suite of farm monitoring tools for farmers, whilst Grid is a digital service for financial partners and farmers which helps them grow together.
“Using algorithms to analyse and interpret images, Contour and Grid share data on; local weather, soil moisture, field accessibility and leaf wetness, while also providing optical satellite monitoring of area planted, germination and growth progress.
“This enables growth stage assessments, yield prediction and ultimately yield enhancement.
“Available on mobile and desktop, Contour is a digital platform and mobile app providing precision farming tools enabling; customer creation, field mapping, agronomic planning and recording, and crop and input allocation.
“Clients can use the information to understand the health of a crop; do fertilizer and spray planning; identify flooded areas; understand ground conditions such as soil health and moisture levels – and monitor historical weather”, Swart added.
“While this information is of huge value in driving the efficiency and productivity of individual farmers, Contour and Grid also enable Standard Bank to identify which fields in a farming area are the best performing.
“While this allows the bank to asses budgeted against actual yield predictions, it also allows the bank to aggregate this information across wide areas – and work this back to the portfolio of clients that we are supporting,” the statement added.
“The corporate that has signed up for the service simply opens the service to all their small-scale suppliers who are then easily able to access all the information required via their mobile phones.
On his part, the Head Agribusiness, Business Banking for Africa Regions at Standard Bank, Abrie Rautenbach revealed that information remains key to realise Africa’s vast agricultural potential.
According to him, as a result of the partnership, farmers and agronomists could take advantage of digital tools developed for the agricultural sector.