Firstfruits Consulting joined ANB Investments early last year, bringing them within the fold of the ANB Group which encapsulates such industry leaders as Indigo Fruit Farming, various packing facilities and brands such as ClemenGold® mandarins, LemonGold® seedless lemons and Sweet C®.
The consultancy of horticulturists and soil scientists has a very strong focus on citrus production, complemented by comprehensive administrative and data management.
Operational manager Eugenie-Lien Louw notes that this new partnership with the ANB Group gives them access to very valuable resources including an internal agri-software development company, Citrii.
Citrii’s team of developers design software for farming practices like irrigation, scouting and chemical application, available on one live platform.
The system’s data is then easily imported to, for instance, South Africa’s Phytclean system that monitors the incidence of phytosanitary pests.
The agri-software is now available to private citrus growers.
Right: citrus fruit sprayed with Screen Duo to reduce losses due to sunburn (photos supplied by Firstfruits Consulting)
Secondly, a guide to operational excellence for soft citrus production has been compiled from the best practices followed on Indigo Farms, as well as partnering growers.
Tree manipulation critical in soft citrus
“One needs to manage soft citrus very closely. Tree manipulation is critical and because it is a high-value crop, fruit quality is very important. We use the agri-software on soft and hard citrus and we are currently investigating its use on avocados,” says Zander de Witt, continuous improvement lead at Citrii.
When visiting a farm, Firstfruits Consulting assesses the systems in place and identifies the factors that would give the strongest benefit if implemented forthwith, using the standardised protocols and best practices of the guidelines.
Right: a consultant from Firstfruits inspects the soil in a citrus orchard in Voor-Paardeberg
“Our aim is to assist growers to take their farming enterprise to the next level and through our connection with the larger ANB Group and resources we have access to great entomologists and plant pathologists,” Eugenie-Lien remarks.
The intensive and complete service offered by Firstfruits Consulting and the agri-software component, which includes the management consulting, is currently implemented within the extended Group as well as with producers supplying fruit through its marketing channel.
For more information:
Tel: +27 21 001 3134