Water-related business and own-manufactured products will be Agrico’s main focus going forward.
Agrico is a name that is familiar to most producers and after a successful 100 years in the agriculture industry, a new dispensation is essential for the company’s future growth. Whereas more and more companies are diversifying in order to survive an economically challenging climate, Agrico decided last year to henceforth only focus on maintaining its presence in its current service area and expanding to the rest of Africa, with water-related business and own-manufactured products as the company’s two main arms.
“It is important for us that Agrico do business with greater focus in future,” says Alfred Andrag, operations and marketing director of Agrico. “We realised that with our own products, and specifically irrigation, we can only be a world-class supplier if we focus 100% on that. Therefore it was necessary to sell all dealerships and services that were no longer part of the core focus. Our customers remain our first priority. By integrating the supply chain vertically and keeping it short, we offer our customers an optimal system at affordable prices.”
As part of this new focus, Agrico sold its mechanisation division, including its John Deere dealership and other import and vehicle agencies. The bulk of the mechanisation business was sold to the specialist firm, Afgri Equipment, and the rest to other specialist retailers.
“This new dispensation is important for continued growth. We have retained more than 800 of our 990 employees and are continuing to invest in our South African manufacturing and distribution infrastructure. Agrico’s clients are currently supported by 26 strategically located branches in Southern Africa, offering customers solutions and all forms of irrigation products.”
As an established international irrigation firm that manufactures among others centre pivots, PVC-, polyethylene- and quick coupling pipes, valves, pump sets and fittings in factories in Bellville and Lichtenburg, Agrico is continuously looking for opportunities to expand. To this end the company opened its first fully-fledged foreign branch last year in Lusaka, Zambia.
In its focus on water-related business, Agrico has now also acquired the Wellington-based irrigation business, Dripco. “Dripco is a company with an irreproachable reputation,” says Alfred. “It was simply a logical step for us to take hands and expand this business in this way. Dripco was established 34 years ago and built up over time to a leader in retail irrigation in Wellington and the surrounding areas. The business markets a full range of irrigation solutions to leading producers in the Western Cape and Karoo.”
The components of a complete irrigation system that are not manufactured by Agrico, are imported or directly bought from local factories.
Alfred believes that the business will only benefit from the new focus. “The comprehensive product range, strong logistics and competitive prices that we offer, are merely a few of the benefits presented by the new business strategy. We will also offer financing on selected product ranges from now on, including our centre pivots.”
The Dripco acquisition further enables Agrico to provide a better service to agriculturists in the Western Cape, says Walter Andrag, CEO of Agrico. “Dripco’s focus on excellent customer service and technical skill fits perfectly with our strategy of setting the standard for expert water solutions. We are excited to expand the Agrico family together with the Dripco team and we look forward to a mutually beneficial long-term relationship with the focus on continued growth.”