When South African agri-tech startup IQ Logistica was formed in 2014, the focus was to be a service provider to the government, and it played this role for a while. It was later acquired by Zebu Investment Partners in 2020 and immediately pivoted to become a farming community, empowering farmers through digital tools.
IQ Logistica recently announced the launch of Farmers Friend, a mobile application to help farmers manage their daily operations from their mobile phones. Farmers are able to monitor their operation data which in turn helps them to mitigate risks, engage stakeholder relationships and optimize production opportunities.
“Farmers Friend allows farmers to easily access all of the critical data they need in order to make the best-informed decision, in the here and now,” said David Jeromin, director of business development at IQ Logistica.
The idea of helping farmers to monitor their fields from their phones is ultimately is not only exciting to farmers but to the team at IQ Logistica too. Jeromin said the data collected from these engagements further helps farmers to access supportive services.
“By creating a digital footprint, farmers using Farmers Friend have the ability to see every aspect of their farm and its needs offline or online. The team at IQ Logistica are excited that South African farmers are able to use the app to optimise their production while seamlessly accumulating the information necessary to obtain insurance, finance and sustainability certification.”
The company has been received well in the target market with more than 4,000 farmers coming on board.
“We are currently operating in the South African agriculture and tech markets with a specific focus on row crops like sunflower, cotton, maize, wheat, and soya, and have recently added sugar to our success stable. We are in the process of developing and expanding into livestock, as well as various tree crops by year-end and will further expand into SADC countries.”
The startup’s revenues are driven by farmer subscriptions as well as subscriptions to farming organizations such as cooperatives and small farmer programmes that require monitoring and oversight.