Advancing agronomic expertise

International partnership to help local growers

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Agriculture remains a critically important industry in South Africa, and indeed many other African nations, not only as a provider of job opportunities but also from a food security perspective. Nearly 80% of farmable land in South Africa is used for agricultural production, which amounts to more than 97.6 million hectares.

Feeding the world has never been more challenging, and Africa is emerging as an agricultural hub of enormous potential with the future ability to produce enough food to globally fuel human prosperity. Now, more than ever, Africa can help feed the world through reaching its full potential. With the agricultural sector contributing around 2.5% (US$8.7 billion) to South Africa’s GDP, Villa is keen to capitalise on this market segment, investing heavily in product development in order to provide a total solutions approach to crop protection, as opposed to providing standalone products to the market.

As the market leader in South African crop protection products, Villa Crop Protection considers fighting hunger to be a key pillars of its strategy.

For more than 20 years, Villa Crop Protection has significantly contributed to South Africa’s agricultural industry via its unique and innovative approach to crop protection. Through massive investment in the development of its product portfolio, targeting products mainly towards “permanent crops”, or “export crops”—such as citrus fruits, table grapes, apples, pears—the company is helping to protect the seeds of continued growth of the country’s strong agricultural exports.

With more than 381 product registrations and nearly 900 on-farm research and development trials conducted each year, the ISO-accredited company has a reputation for high quality and innovative products that help local growers achieve their goals.

In 2015, Villa partnered with Land O’Lakes, Inc., a Fortune 250 global agribusiness and food company headquartered in the United States. Through Land O’Lakes’ leading crop inputs business, Winfield United, Villa gained access to new capabilities and levels of agronomic expertise. Going into the partnership, Villa and Land O’ Lakes (LO’L) were focused on two main synergies. The first was to bring Winfield United’s size and scale to help source product. The surety of supply has allowed Villa to strengthen its partnerships with key strategic dealers.

The second synergy was to bring Winfield United’s range of value added products and services to the South African market. For Villa, the adjuvant, Interlock has been the first truly value-added product.

Interlock is a unique, new generation adjuvant. Its “3D” technology—drift, deposition and depth—ensures that it locks in deposition and depth of canopy penetration, while locking out drift. Pest control is increased and therefore it has a direct positive effect on yield.

Interlock uses new Cornsorb™ Technology from Winfield United in South Africa. This patented technology protects the droplet to ensure that more active ingredient gets in to the target.

The next opportunity Villa is working on is launching Winfield United’s NutriSolutions360™ system together with the Max-In range of micronutrients. This range of products also contains Cornsorb™ Technology and is designed to increase humectancy and uptake. The program has been piloted in 2017 and the initial response was very positive from the market. Villa is working on changing the way the market approaches micronutrients by conducting leaf tissue sampling prior to making recommendations. This is made possible by using Winfield United’s technology and processes to quickly enter the market with a value-added service that will be difficult to replicate locally.

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