As part of its vision to build a South Africa of sustainable communities through a digital farming programme, IFS has teamed up with local firm Matsei Technologies and Consulting to create a digital aquaponics farming solution.
The two companies have demonstrated the solution today using a live model of the working farm at their Sandton offices.
The demonstration shows how the solution leverages next-generation technologies such as the Internet of Things, EOI (Enterprise Operational Intelligence) and advanced analytics to automate and monitor fish aquaponic operations in real-time.
The objective of this solution is to help feed the nation, drive job creation and support the rise of innovative small businesses.
The digital farming solution and the programme also aimed at changing the outlook on farming and growing the program to accommodate new businesses, growing supply chains spanning food production, logistics, retail and other support services. These value chains and ecosystems will also provide the foundational infrastructure for government services and solutions that address socio-economic challenges such as the need for education and health services.
IFS and Matsei are offering this solution as a platform to avail nutritional high protein foods to communities while enabling SMME’s (small, medium and micro-enterprises) to fast-track their entrance into the market and create sustainable employment.
The two companies have committed to transferring skills to South African communities, including youth, to develop sustainable, commercially viable businesses that also address the challenge of malnutrition amongst communities.
“As executive sponsor for our global corporate social responsibility program, I believe we have an obligation to give something back to the communities in which we operate while creating value for organisations with whom we do business,” Stephen Keys, regional president of IFS in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
A Stats SA survey in 2018 indicates that a third of children in Gauteng and Free State were stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition.
“This is a challenge we are passionate about helping to solve,” said Bertus van Niekerk, chief operating officer at Matsei Technologies and Consulting.
“We believe that this program is a localised African turnkey solution that encourages good nutrition for human development and behaviour while being a sustainable community aquaponics solution for the future of Africa.”
Mohamed Cassoojee, MD and country manager for IFS in South Africa, added that the proposed programme addresses one of the gravest challenges in South Africa, nutrition and self-sustenance, allowing technology to be a catalyst and a key enabler to unlocking the potential we have in addressing our own social ills.