Ububele Holdings Limited (“Ububele”; JSE: UBU), through its Enviro Crop Protection business, has announced the installation of climate monitoring systems in its key operating regions to encourage more scientific farming.
Ububele, in collaboration with Pessl Instruments Austria, implemented this system on an exclusive basis for the Yield Group of companies. In addition, the company’s recent acquisition of Turf-Ag Products, a company that imports and distributes agricultural and turf irrigation equipment throughout the country, compliments this monitoring service.
This is a valuable addition to Ububele’s service offering and to its ability to partner with its extensive base of farmer customers to encourage more effective farming, thereby enabling them to become more competitive and to increase their sustainability for the future. By implementing the climate monitoring system, a farmer can potentially save up to 60% on water costs. A saving of this magnitude cannot be ignored.
“Water is a scarce resource across the continent and water management has to be a critical resource focus area in Africa going forward. We believe that scientific farming is the only solution to the world’s growing demand for food,” says Bertie Cloete, Ububele CEO.
Most farmers rely on innovation in all fields of agricultural sciences to offer solutions to the challenges presented by the ever-growing food scarcity challenge.
“Monitoring, analysis and dissemination of accurate field level climate data is a key area of need. Understanding the effects of climate today, as well as the future impact of changing climatic conditions on our production systems, will be vital in ensuring that our farmers remain competitive. A very exciting part of the service includes the prediction of key pests and diseases, which will allow for optimization of control measures at farm level,” adds Cloete.
So far, Ububele has installed five operational climate monitoring system clusters to provide its clients with accurate, up-to-date weather information. Each cluster consists of one main weather station and five secondary stations that monitor soil water content. The five clusters are situated in Kroonstad, Koppies, Christiana, Wolmeransstad and Lichtenburg. The company will install around 70 further clusters across South Africa over a three-year period.
Details of the climate monitoring system
The instruments supply farmers with accurate, real-time information on water, levels of moisture in soil, leaves, air and wind. They also measure precipitation, atmospheric pressure, humidity and temperature, wind speed and direction, collecting all the vital data required for the efficient management of crops. This data is then available through a website: www.fieldclimate.com in near real-time, where customers can log in from anywhere.
Each climate monitoring cluster has an early-recognition and warning function, which helps to plan, control, and manage complex weather-dependent processes. For example, they measure soil water content at six depths, which enables farmers to know exactly how much water is available to the plants during the growing season. This will result in better irrigation scheduling throughout the season.
Moreover, soil temperatures are measured, which will assist farmers regarding planting times. Further parameters include frost warnings, five days detailed weather forecasts, disease modelling and consequential optimal spraying times to name but a few. We intend to use this vital data and collaborate with universities and other research institutes to study the impact of climate in our farming regions.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 – Ububele Holdings Limited (“Ububele”; JSE: UBU), the food-processing and agri-chemicals company, today released interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2012.
This announcement comes only days after the announcement of the acquisition of a majority stake in Turf-Ag Products, which positions Ububele well in the water management arena.
Commenting on the results Bertie Cloete, Ububele CEO, said: “It has been six months now since Ububele decided to primarily exit from the food sector and focus all of its energy on agriculture. This strategic decision paid off, in that it moved the company from a loss making position for the prior six month period, to a profitable turnaround of more than 130%. During the period we increased our sales by more than 13%, our attributable profit by more than 120% and very importantly, our cash generated from operations increased with more than 190% from R13 million to R37 million.”
Ububule recently announced the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in Turf-Ag Products Proprietary Limited (“Turf-Ag”) for nearly R3.1 million.
Turf-Ag, which operates throughout South Africa, imports and distributes agricultural and turf irrigation equipment and supplies products to the agriculture and turf market. The company holds the distribution rights to the well-known American irrigation brand, Hunter.
Commenting on the acquisition, Cloete said: “We consider water management to be a critical future resource focus area in Africa and believe that scientific farming is the only solution to the world’s growing demand for food. Through our exciting agro-chemical and biological product and service range, combined with our new investment in water management and irrigation, we are well positioned to assist our farmers to be more competitive and sustainable for the future. Ububele will continue to invest in scientific products in future, whether by acquisition or through organic growth, to grow the business even further.”
The effective date of the acquisition is 1 April 2013.
Monday, 20 August 2012 – Ububele Holdings Limited (“Ububele”; JSE: UBU), the food-processing and agri-chemicals company, today announced the disposal of its 100% equity stakes in Unique Dairy Products (UDP) (Pty) Limited and Uni-Way Logistics (Pty) Limited for R25.6 million.
Commenting on the transaction, Ububele CEO, Bertie Cloete said: “This transaction forms part of our strategy to disinvest in the short- to medium-term from the food sector and divert all of our available resources and effort into the agricultural sector. The global emphasis on food security and the current high agricultural commodity prices make the agricultural sector very lucrative.”
Commenting further, Cloete said: “We are proud of what we achieved in turning around these two businesses while they were part of Ububele. The value added to them is evident in the price we have achieved in this transaction.”
However, this is not completely the end of the road for Ububele and UDP. During this year, Ububele was awarded the title of second most socioeconomic responsible company in South Africa by Financial Mail.
“This was mainly due to our dairy entrepreneurial development projects in Makapanstad and Soweto. Ububele will remain the custodian of these projects and for this reason one of our directors, June Matala, will stay on UDP’s board,” added Cloete.
UDP is an award-winning manufacturer and supplier of ice-cream, soft serve, frozen novelties, frozen yogurt and related ice-cream products, and Uni-Way is a logistical company that operates with its own vehicle fleet within the cold chain in South Africa. New Manco, the purchaser, is an associate of, and represented by, Stephan Abraham Roux, currently an executive director on the board of Ububele. As a result, the disposal is regarded as a related party transaction in terms of the Listings Requirements of the JSE. The management and staff of UDP and Uni-Way are also shareholders of New Manco.
The effective date of the Disposal will be 1 December 2012, which is subject to the approval by Ububele shareholders in general meeting.
Written and distributed by: Arcay Financial Communications