Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  30 Jun 2009

VENTURES: A Sprawling Enterprise


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE Andrag Agrico group can best be described as basically a trading company, initially having provided the agricultural sector with the tools required to best do what was at hand, that is, farming.

But Andrag soon proved a major innovative force in South African agriculture and industry. Through vertical integration the Andrag Agrico group now also has factories producing agricultural, industrial and irrigation equipment comparable with the best in the world. These complement a number of major franchises (think John Deere in tractors, KSB in pumps, Gason air seeders and Dorot in electric valves) to only mention a few, which, together with its own products, are distributed through a countrywide network of branches and agents. Some 60% of revenue is generated by the agricultural sector, with the balance coming from construction and other non-farming sectors.

These outlets also provide service, repairs, technical back-up and advisory services to all customers.

The agricultural equipment division of the group can meet most any need – from tractors to harvesters, from sprayers to ploughs. Well-known names here include its own manufactured Agrico and Andrag brands, John Deere’s tractors and equipment, Arag sprayer accessories, Gason air seeders, Honey Bee grain heders, URM and Gregoire grape harvesters.

The Agrico articulated tractors, built at its Lichtenburg factory in North West Province, are mainly used in forestry and construction. Having fewer ‘bells and whistles’ they are perhaps less sophisticated, compared to imported products, but are generally regarded as much more robust and find a ready demand.

The irrigation division sells irrigation equipment, pumps and pipelines to agricultural customers and qualified technical staff can offer designs on drips, micro and sprinkler systems as well as the increasingly popular centre pivot projects. Turnkey irrigation projects are also undertaken.

But irrigation for farmers is not its only expertise. The company supplies turf irrigation and mechanisation products to golf courses, schools, sport clubs, plant nurseries, government departments, garden installers and landscape designers.

Pumps, pipelines and valves are also supplied to industry, mines, civil and building contractors and municipalities and government departments. It also specialises in the pumping of mediums other than fresh water – high temperature and high pressure can be accommodated.

The wholesale division supplies irrigation products to companies for re-sale to irrigation dealers, co-operatives and hardware merchants. The group also exports part of the production.

The irrigation and industrial service back-up division repairs and services pumps at its workshops. Experienced mechanics render a field service where they do on-site repairs, installations and test boreholes.

Engine and electrically powered pumps, quick coupling piping, hoses and fittings, well points for dewatering and sewage-handling pumps can be hired. Contractor pumps that can handle solids in liquids are also available. Well-known brands include Bertolini, Flomax, KSB, Pumpex and Bornemann pumps. The group’s manufacturing and engineering activities are extensive. In Bellville, agricultural implements, irrigation equipment, special pipe fittings, filters and valves are designed, developed and manufactured. The factory also handles aluminium die-casting, as well as precision fitting and turning.

The Factory in Nigel, manufactures a range of cold-rolled seam-welded steel pipes.

Black low density polyethylene pipes, drip blankline and micro, rigid and flexible riser pipes for irrigation accessories are manufactured in- house. A range of micro spray and spinner sprinklers are also available and are keenly sought after on the export market because of their efficiency and quality.

PVC pipes are manufactured to SABS standards for agricultural, industrial and civil use. Sizes from 32 mm to 400 mm diameter and from class 4 to class 16 are made in its modern factory. To maintain the excellence of quality to SABS standards Andrag Agrico also has a well equipped laboratory to carry out regular stringent quality control tests.

Andrag Agrico is also, through it’s “Agricol” seed division, playing an important role in providing farmers with a wide variety of different hybrids for pastures, including lucerne and teff. It is, however, not involved in the supply of seed for maize and wheat.

The motor division grew from Andrag’s close ties with its clients and different outlets provide products from BMW, Toyota, Ford/Mazda, Nissan and Delta (General Motors).

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