Grain producers in South Africa have taken to technology to free up more options for individual farmers on the open market.
Following extensive engagement through online discussion group BasisDiff, a farmers’ collective has launched an open trading platform called TonnUp.
Funded by Dubai-based tech investor Avenir Technologies, the launch of TonnUp is said to have followed years of dissatisfaction among farmers about the way Grain SA has represented their market interests at the South African Futures Exchange (Safex).
TonnUp director Stephen Krüger said disgruntlement over the JSE’s Safex service went back to 2015, when farmers had first started talking about an alternative commodity market.
The news that farmers will be able to seek opportunities, negotiate prices, and develop new markets through TonnUp comes at an opportune time as the grain market adjusts to mounting pressure from price escalation due to China’s spiking demand for grain (Read this: https://tinyurl.com/rty562ws).
TonnUp would enable farmers to market and sell their products as they saw fit, at a fraction of the current costs, Krüger explained.
Distributors and consumers would also be able to transact through the platform, Krüger said.
* This story has been updated after we received the following email on April 22.
I've just seen your article dated April 9th:
I'm the PR consultant for Avenir Technology who developed this platform https://www.avenir-technology.com/?p=368. There are a couple of errors in the article which I'm wondering if you would be able to correct for us?
1) We are Avenir Technology which is based out of the UK & New Zealand, not Avenir Technologies, which must be a different UAE entity.
2) The commercial relationship is wrong. Avenir didn't fund the project, it was a normal commercial arrangement where TonnUp paid my client to do the work.
Unfortunately I didn't spot this earlier as the company name was wrong, but your assistance here would be much appreciated.
Editors' note: We regret the incorrect information and appreciate the engagement we have received from Tony Cross at Monk Communications in this regard.