THE AGRICULTURE DIVISION, COMPRISING OF AGRICULTURE RSA, AGRICULTURE INTERNATIONAL AND AGRICULTURE TRADING, IS THE MARKET LEADER IN ITS FIELD IN SOUTH AFRICA AND SOUTHERN AFRICA. THE DIVISION PRODUCES AND TRADES IN GRANULAR, LIQUID, DIRECT APPLICATION AMMONIA AND SPECIALITY FERTILIZERS FOR A BROAD CUSTOMER BASE OF FARMERS, CO-OPERATIVES AND WHOLESALERS THROUGHOUT SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTHERN AND EAST AFRICA AND TO SELECT MARKETS IN AUSTRALASIA, BRAZIL AND MAURITIUS. THE DIVISION IS RECOGNISED AS AN INTERNATIONAL PLAYER IN AGRICULTURE BIOLOGICALS (AGRIBIO) AND WATER SOLUBLE NUTRIENT MARKETS WITH AN EXTENDED PRODUCT RANGE THAT IS EXPORTED TO 35 COUNTRIES GLOBALLY.
The Agriculture division’s competitive edge lies in Nutriology®, or the “science of growing”. This is Omnia’s business philosophy and involves more than just selling fertilizer to farmers – it is about optimising yield and crop quality to maximise returns while reducing farming and environmental risk. Achieving this entails becoming intricately involved in the producers’ business to better understand their objectives and targets. Nutriology® includes cutting-edge research and development that results in new products, services and farming practices. The Omnia Nutriology® brand is highly regarded in the regional market and strongly supports management’s vision of Trusted Performance and Innovative Solutions to create a Better World.
The South African market is serviced through regional sales offices, a comprehensive network of agents and representatives supported by qualifi ed agronomists and state of the art laboratories and research facilities located at the Sasolburg site. The rest of the southern Africa market is supported by regional offices located in Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, while other markets such as Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland are supported from South Africa.
Agriculture RSA’s main production facility is situated in Sasolburg and includes an ammonium nitrate/calcium nitrate plant, two nitric acid/ammonium nitrate plants, a porous ammonium nitrate plant (PGAN), granulation plants and a Nitrophosphate plant, to name a few. The facility also includes various greenhouses for research and development, the Chemtech group of laboratories, bagging and packaging facilities, as well as a fl eet of 185 specialised ammonia rail tankers and related storage tanks at Richards Bay and Sasolburg. Omnia also unveiled the new OmniBio laboratory to support the Biological business. The other production facilities in South Africa are in Rustenburg, Hectorspruit, Dryden, Wesselsbron, Daniëlsrus, Brackenfell, Cato Ridge and Sasolburg together with the eight liquid fertilizer plants nationally.
Internationally, the Agriculture division has two blenders in Africa, one in Beira (Mozambique) and the other in Banket (Zimbabwe), and a K-Humate™ manufacturing plant in Australia from where the Australian K-Humate™ range is distributed globally.
Fertilizer International sells agriculture inputs, including fertilizer, seed and agro chemicals through branded and well stocked retail outlets positioned to service small- to medium-scale farmers. The African retail network increased by 15 stores in the last fi nancial year and Omnia now owns and operates 65 retail outlets across southern and eastern Africa.
Taking the “Second Green Revolution” into consideration in the global agriculture sector, it is expected that increasing emphasis on nutrient and water use effi ciency, coupled with the rising demand for products that are environmentally friendly, enhance crop performance and improve yields will underpin the growth in global agriculture and specifi cally AgriBio products. This is in line with Omnia’s approach to the formulation and production of plant nutrition and biostimulant products over many decades and its stated strategy to expand its AgriBio portfolio.
Supporting this strategy, the recent acquisition of Oro Agri aims to add a biocontrol range to Omnia’s portfolio in the AgriBio space and to extend the current international distribution network of existing and new products. Oro Agri is a high growth international AgriBio player with strong complimentary products that can accelerate Omnia’s agriculture growth into key markets where Oro Agri is already well established. For the past few decades, Omnia has been a leading player in conducting extensive research and development into plant nutrition, soil science and water usage in the agriculture sector and developing related products, solutions and services for customers to address these issues. The combined product ranges between the two businesses complement one another and will provide a broader market offering of AgriBio products into the agriculture sector
Using the Oro Agri network, the sale and distribution of Omnia’s existing range of plant nutrients, biostimulant products and agriculture services is expected to increase signifi cantly. Omnia will eliminate the time, cost and risk to establish a similar global network and undertake extensive work to formulate similar products to the same standard as Oro Agri, allowing focus on leveraging the synergies between the two businesses to maximise the sales potential in key agriculture markets. Omnia’s IP portfolio and product registrations process will be enhanced by the experience and knowledge of the Oro Agri team in the various jurisdictions in which it operates. Post year-end the integration of Oro Agri into the Omnia fold has progressed well with various synergies and growth opportunities identifi ed during the regional integration workshops.
Omnia has always focused on adding value through knowledge. Axioteq™ is a newly established company within the Omnia Group that aims to maximise productivity through the acquisition of data and being instrumental in transforming this data into useful information and ultimately insight to improve the productivity of players within the agriculture and other value chains. This fi ts the Omnia way of continuing to maximise value for its customers and stakeholders using data and the latest technologies. Leveraging data and technology will enable some of the valuable knowledge and expertise to be scaled outside of South Africa, supporting Omnia’s strategy of increasing the global footprint.