“Optimising returns on input while preserving resources”

Your Facilitator/Chairperson

Kim James

UAV Aerial Works (Pty) Ltd

Kim spent over 20 years in the investment banking industry in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates. Kim is now fortunate enough to be using her global experience gained in a highly regulated and structured industry, in the aviation field back in South Africa.

Kim is a Director of the SACAA-certified drone operation, UAV Aerial Works and the company’s drone security brand, Drone Guards, as well as the regulatory Safety and Security post holder for UAV Aerial Works.

Aviation is her second career and passion, and among her latest achievements, chapters in co-authored Amazon #1 best sellers, “Drone Professional 1” and “Drone Professional 2”. Kim is also currently an Executive Committee member of CUAASA – the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa and the Chairperson for the Drone Council South Africa New Applications chamber.

Day 1 | Thursday, 16 September

07:45 - 08:00 |Arrivals & Registrations
08:00 - 08:05 |Introductions & Welcome Remarks
08:05 -08:40

Topic: To the Power of (YIELD)

Erald Smit

Head of Services
Agri Technovation & MYFARMWEB™

Erald obtained a degree in Mechatronics and has an MBA, both from Stellenbosch University. He has vast experience in various sectors with the manufacturing, power generation and technology verticals. He heads up a diverse portfolio of agricultural services delivered by Agri Technovation and is responsible for the roll out, growth and guaranteeing the success of this range of services on a global scale. Furthermore, is he also responsible for the development of the innovative MyFarmWeb™ super platform.  

08:40 -09:00

Topic: Cutting-Edge Farm Management Hardware and Software for the Agricultural Sector

Val Harker

Marketing and Finance Director
Farm Costing Solutions (FCS)

My name is Val Harker, and I’m the Marketing and Finance Director of Farm Costing Solutions (FCS), for the past 20 years.

I’m family-orientated, and I thoroughly enjoy my children, my grandchildren, my siblings and the rest of my extended family.  I enjoy outdoor activities, music and socialising. I also serve on the Board of the Down Syndrome South Africa(DSSA,) based at the Red Cross Hospital, Cape Town. When I retire from my fulltime career, I would like to serve the organization full time.

Fritz Wesson and I started the business from scratch, and today, we employ 30 people in our Agtech business. FCS collects raw real time data in the field electronically, for Time & Attendance, Piecework, Job Costing, Unscheduled breaks and Payroll.

We present all the information in a simple meaningful manner to our clients. All the hardware and software packages are developed and manufactured by FCS. I regard this as a huge achievement.

09:00 -09:30

Topic: Innovative Agriculture Tracking and Management Solution.

Bryan Slaven

Head of Sales and Marketing

Bryan Slaven is the head of sales and marketing for Technetium, a company with more than 15 years’ experience of tracking and managing assets at over 6,000 facilities. Bryan will highlight the typical challenges that the farming industry faces and how they have been addressed through the use of technology solutions as they apply to real world examples. Bryan will touch on the issues of product types, record keeping, accountability, traceability, legislation, handling (collection / transportation / storage) and optimisation.

09:30 – 10:00
Topic: The impact of drone technology on precision farming for crops

Topic: Agri Drone Solutions and their applicability in specific regions and crops

Tim Wise


Tim Wise is the CEO of PACSys – a farmer-owned organization established in 2016 to research and develop emerging precision agricultural technologies. An experienced IT Project Manager, Tim is also a registered Pest Control Operator (for aerial application) and an RPL (Remote Pilot License) holder.

10:00 -10:30 | Coffee/Tea Break
10:30 -11:15

Topic: Precision Farming from Above

Louise Jupp

Founder Terreco Aviation
Amazon Best-Selling Author

Louise Jupp is the Amazon best-selling author of Precision Farming from Above (2018) and editor of the best-selling Drone Professional 1 (2020) and Drone Professional 2 (2021). She is a South African Civil Aviation Authority licensed drone pilot and drone instructor. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Science and has over 29 years’ experience in environmental impact assessment and management in the UK, Europe and across Africa.

Louise is the founder of Terreco Aviation, a consultancy dedicated to developing the professional use of drone technology in general and in agriculture and sustainable food production in particular. She believes commercial drone systems are fundamental to improving food security and meeting increasing food demand in inherently more sustainable ways.

Louise actively promotes the professional drone industry through books, collaborative papers, international speaking, as an advisor, Industry Awards judge and as a member of several committees that aim to advance the use of drones in Southern Africa, USA and Europe.

11:15 -12:00

Topic: Tagging and Scanning system using GPS and RFID

FG Adriaanse and JD Naude

Adagin Technologies

“Friends and founders, FG Adriaanse and JD Naude’ crossed paths while doing an Entrepreneurial course at The University of Stellenbosch. Their journey together started with a simple question to trace fruit back to the exact location, time and person that harvested it.

The solution was a Tagging and Scanning system using GPS and RFID. Farmers loved it and asked to also help them manage their workforce through the same technology. They started working together on some prototypes and it started bearing fruit due to their approach of keeping simplicity in the technology to allow anyone to use it.Today the founders and the whole company stands firmly behind Adagin’s purpose to simplify agricultural technologies for all to use and sustain man-kind in the future through intelligent farming.”

12:00 -13:00

Topic: Building the Bridge between Data and Farmers

Jacobus Els

Managing Director
Revolute Systems

Jacobus Els, Co-founder and COO at Revolute Systems, an Agri remote sensing company based in Stellenbosch. Throughout his career, he has worked to further the development of high impact remote sensing solutions, with the belief that this could be one of the key answers to ensuring a food secure world for future generations. Over the short period of time, the teams he has worked on have commercialized several different sensor systems. These sensors are aimed at quantifying and comparing variation in orchards, including soil scanning, satellite canopy health monitoring and machine vision programs to count and map fruit in orchards through a camera system.

13:00 -14:00 | Lunch Break
14:00 -14:45

Topic: Precision Agriculture (Satellite and Drone-based) Research at the CSIR

Dr Laven Naidoo

Senior Researcher
Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

Dr Laven Naidoo is a Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research, CSIR in Pretoria, South Africa. He completed his PhD in Geoinformatics at the University of Pretoria in 2018 and specialises in the use of Earth Observation technologies for monitoring savannah & forest vegetation with a specific interest in the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data for mapping & modelling woody structure in South African Savannahs. He has expanded his areas of interest in savannah tree species mapping using hyperspectral and LiDAR airborne sensors and the assessment of soil moisture and grass biomass in afromontane wetlands using SAR technologies. He is currently involved in precision agriculture applications for maize structural attribute estimation using satellite and drone based approaches. He is also a Y-rated scientist by the South African National Research Foundation.

14:45 -15:30

Topic: Biosecurity for the livestock industry

Francois Knowles

Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC)

Francois Knowles is Registrar of the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC). A statutory body regulating the occupations of fresh produce, export and livestock agents in South Africa (an industry worth more than R100 Billion per year) in terms of the Agricultural Produce Agents Act (APA Act), 12 of 1992. He has 24 years’ experience in the fresh produce market environment backed up by a degree in accountancy & economics, a post-grad qualification in management and a Masters Degree in Environmental Management from the University of Pretoria. He has a passion for agriculture in SA and believes that “the best is yet to come”.

15:30 -16:15

Topic: Agricultural Statistics

Eugene du Preez

CEO and Founder – Agricultural Statistics Specialist
SiQ Pty Ltd

Eugene du Preez started his career in Agricultural Statistics in 1999. He obtained his BSc Civil Engineering degree in 1995. He is also registered as a Professional GIS Practitioner. He started SiQ Pty Ltd in 2004, which has been providing agricultural statistics to various Government and Private entities since. He developed the Producer Independent Crop Estimates System (PICES) in 2007 and PICES has been providing accurate and timely crop estimates on a monthly basis in South Africa and abroad. PICES has been recognised internationally as one of the most innovative approaches in collecting agricultural information on a large scale for surveys and also censuses.    

Day 2 | Friday 17 September 17

07:45 - 08:20 | Arrivals & Registrations
08:20 - 08:25 | Introductions & Welcome Remarks
08:30 - 09:00

Topic: Remote Sensing using Drone Technology in Crop Analysis

Bertus van Zyl

Managing Director
UAV Aerial Works

Bertus is an electronics engineer and software developer, and holds an MBA from UCT. He is a manned pilot, instructor rated drone pilot, SACAA Designated Remote Examiner, and the Managing Director of Aerial Works. His talk is about Business Disruption by drones, specifically in the Agriculture Financial Services Supply Chain. He is currently enrolled for a PhD at Wits University in their Faculty of Science in the School of Geography and Environmental Science, specifically the Remote Sensing and GIS programme. His research is focused on reducing risk in the Agri space through the use of remotely sensed data overlayed by Machine Learning Algorithms.

09:00 -09:30

Topic: Precision Agriculture (GIS) and Cost Optimisation - Optimising resource use to maximise yield/productivity

Jonathan Freeman

Precision Agronomist - Senior Water Specialist Crop
Pro Consulting and Croptimistic

Agro-climatology, yield forecasting/modeling, soil health, soil and water nutrient management, soil water balance (Vadose Zone Hydrology), pest and disease management, precision agriculture (GIS) and cost optimization with a specific focus on optimizing resource use to maximize yield/productivity. Client management, project management, business cost management, growth and precision agricultural information systems scoping, design and implementation.

09:30 -10:00

Topic: Precision Irrigation-How to be more Sustainable

Chrisjan van Vuuren

FieldNET Sales Coordinator
Lindsay Africa

I joined the Ag industry back in 2011 because I love to help people save water through technology.
During this period, I have had the privilege of helping many clients choose the right technology that works for them or to quickly identifying what wouldn’t.

What makes Lindsay unique is our global comradely and focus on technology. Through Lindsay I’ve been able to help people save time and to behave proactively around the farm which helped them stay safe and use natural resources more intelligently. I specialize in FieldNET and my qualifications include a diploma in Mechatronics Engineering. I focus predominantly in Southern Africa and will be delighted to help you navigate through Lindsay’s FieldNET solutions.

10:00 -10:30 | Coffee/Tea Break
10:30 -11:15

Topic: Precision farming practices and opportunities for small farmers - the most overlooked opportunity in Africa

Kobus Hurter

AgricultSURE Agricultural & Farming Services CC

Kobus is a Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the food production industry. Skilled in Practical farming practices, Negotiation, Budgeting, Food & Beverage, Business Planning, and Operations Management. Strong business development professional with a Msc Agric focused in Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Development and Extension from the UFS.

11:15 -12:00

Topic: The importance of Education in the Agric Sector-Online Learning for Aspiring Farmers

Wynand Espach

Chief Operating Officer
Agricolleges International

Growing up in rural Limpopo Province, South Africa, Wynand Espach has always had a love for soil and agriculture and a passion for education and the people of the African continent. After completing his studies, he joined Amorentia Estate where he started as nursery assistant and worked through the ranks to where he now serves as Managing Director, just over 18 years later. The developmental challenges of farming, education, training and rural development has driven Wynand and the team to become a beacon of excellence in the farming community. Wynand took over as the Chief Operating Officer of Agricolleges International in 2018 and has since been managing the Brightspace and Moodle platforms, developing Curriculum and developing courses for the blended and shared teaching model.

12:00 -12:30

Topic: ICT and data solutions/traceability in the Agri industry

Dr. Albert Strever

Agri Innovation & Informatics
Stellenbosch University

Coming from an agricultural background, I have always had a very practical approach to both my research and teaching endeavours. After conducting research and teaching for about 15 years, I veered from the “normal” University career in 2017 into a position combining teaching with industry interaction and innovation coordination. I started an Agri Innovation Hub, initially focussed on grapes and wine in the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University.

The aim of this is to stimulate the translation of products, services, and technology development in the Agricultural sector with an initial focus on the wine industry, but with an implementation model suitable for other Agricultural sectors.

In 2017/2018 I was the Agricultural Consultant on a project team of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USBEd) commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to scope the future of Agriculture in the Western Cape within the context of the 4th Industrial revolution. This study has been widely cited and several aspects of it are being adopted, even by other provinces’ agricultural departments.

I also work close to Innovus (, Stellenbosch University’s university-industry interaction platform for the commercialisation of SU’s assets, as well as the Launchlab ( assisting with programmes related to entrepreneurship and start-up development in Agriculture

12:30 -13:00

Topic: Farm Security

Günther Wockelmann

Executive Member
Roteck South Africa cc

With more than 40 years’ experience on all levels of security I came to the conclusion that security the way we know it, does not work. Not only in the rural areas of South Africa, but actually everywhere around the world. The reason is simple, all alarms and warning system are developed responsive and any response takes unfortunately some time. Our approach is buying valuable time by detecting unusual behavior at vulnerable points of entry, and enabling safe remote activation, even under severe stress or threat. We act swiftly and on spot to irritate, confuse and interrupt criminals to a point of surrender to prevent violent attacks, hijacking, armed robbery and looting in the making.

Our unique tools are a range of non-lethal fully or semi-automated water cannons for indoor and outdoor installations or mobile applications have an immediate impact on targets and the use of water as carrier allows several mixtures to enhance physical effects. Dishwasher makes certain surfaces slippery without causing damages and makes attacks or escaping difficult. Bleach has similar properties as pepper spray and food color leaves easy recognizable stains on clothing, skin and goods for identification.

13:00 -14:00 | Lunch Break
14:00 -14:45

Topic: Precision Viticulture and Plant Physiology

Dr Carlos Poblete-Echeverria

Senior Lecturer in Advance Viticulture
Stellenbosch University

Doctor in Agriculture Science from University of Talca, Chile. Dr Poblete was working as a lecturer and researcher in Chile at the University of Talca and Catholic University of Valparaiso, in the areas of water management, modelling and use of new technologies. Currently, Carlos is Senior Lecturer in Advance Viticulture, Coordinator of the research group of Digital Viticulture, and project leader of the Winetech project “Integrated vineyard monitoring system to improve water management”. Carlos is part of several research committees in South Africa and he serves as editor of the South African Journal of Viticulture and Oenology (SAJEV), Sensors (MDPI), and International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (IJABE). Carlos has published more than 80 scientific and popular articles.

14:45 -15:30

Topic: Small farmer and global food safety: Building the data bridge

Dr. Venkat Maroju


Dr. Venkat Maroju is the CEO of SourceTrace, a SaaS Agtech company revolving around sustainable agriculture and empowering farmers across 32 countries, impacting over 1.5 million farmer livelihoods. Venkat has been able to achieve this by combining his core capacities in tech leadership with extensive grassroots farming experience with social enterprises. His journey has been epic in transforming the global agricultural value chain. During his prolific career, he has worked with NASA, BOSE, ComauPICO, founded a venture company, and led impactful agtech companies in the world. He was also an advisor to venture capital firms investing in social enterprises that supported people at the bottom of the pyramid in developing economies. He also regularly contributes articles to leading agri-business portals, newspapers, and magazines across the globe. He has several awards that stand testimony to his diverse experience in Agtech industry and has been invited to speak at many international conferences and forums.

The proprietary platform of SourceTrace – DATAGREEN is crop agnostic and covers diverse products like cotton, cocoa, coffee, banana, spices, food extracts, fresh produce, fisheries, to over 350 commodities. Offering customized digital platforms that help capture and share information among all the stakeholders in agriculture and food supply chains; working directly with farmers such as cooperatives, commodity companies, input suppliers, food processing, food brands, financial institutions, government agencies, and more.

15:30 -16:00

Topic: Actionable intelligence to optimize livestock operations and improve animal health

Andrew McKenzie

Livestock Technologies

Andrew McKenzie co-founded Precision Livestock Technologies in 2019 to bring modern technology to livestock production environments.  He received a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.  He started his career in engineering at a global  industrial gas company and has also worked in finance, venture capital investing, business development, and product development.  Whether at a global engineering firm or a nimble technology company, Andrew has a demonstrated track record of synthesizing the needs of stakeholders to develop solutions that meet client needs while taking usability, scalability, and profitability into account.  His cross-disciplinary experience allows him to appreciate multiple perspectives and effectively combine the interests of customers, partners, and teams to achieve great results.


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