What started as a homemade picking harness solution has grown into an agricultural company called Adagin Technologies, which offers a full suite of high-tech solutions to help farmers monitor and optimise their operations.
Adagin founder and joint MD FG Adriaanse says his first solution was borne from a simple problem on his family farm, with the simple picking harness having helped farmworkers to harvest more effectively and to handle grapes with greater care.
Since this initial idea was shared with local farmers and got the ball rolling, Adagin has grown to offering a full suite of solutions for harvest output monitoring using scanners and satellite technology, workforce management through smartphone applications and smart scales that help reduce packhouse waste.
Adriaanse explains that although he knew his ideas were good and filled a niche market, he was inexperienced in gaining access to market.
He then approached Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab to help with distribution and marketing.
Adriaanse subsequently joined the lab’s Knowledge Acceleration Programme in 2016, where he met Adagin joint MD Jonathan Naude and tech venture building specialists Acumen.Zone.
He says the programme had taught him crucial entrepreneurial principles that he uses to this day and he has since joined other LaunchLab programmes to help improve and scale up the company.
“The courses, networks, support and help we have received from LaunchLab over the last five years had provided us with the foundation to build an enduring and healthy company,” Adriaanse notes.
Naude adds that Adagin aims to be farmers’ preferred partner when it comes to managing their farm’s job-costing, harvesting and packing, and that the company plans on extending its reach in the South African market, while building systems and infrastructure.