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Hero spotlight: Stephan Le Roux from Amanteco South Africa

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Phytech’s irrigation management platform is used by top-tier almond growers. These growers are collectively accountable for 30% of the world's global almond production.

In South Africa, Amanteco Pty Ltd is one of those advanced growers who has been searching for technology which can help them take their business to the next level. They are now the first almond company in Africa leveraging Phytech’s plant-based data solution to optimize irrigation and maximize yields.

The company was established in 1974 and initially started as a broad acre & sheep farm. The first Almonds were planted on the farm in 1985 as part of a trial. Amanteco Pty Ltd also currently owns the only almond processing facility in South Africa. They grow 200ha of their own almonds and have processing contracts with other growers who collectively grow a further 1000ha of almonds. An additional 400ha is projected to be developed this year.

In a true covid-19 fashion, Amanteco staff were at the helm of the installation based on tutorial videos and remote support by Phytech Australia’s team - headed by Sales & Client Services Manager, Paul Grobler . They now have Phytech installed at two of their almond orchards and a small citrus orchard. Over and above that, two of the contracted growers have also opted to trial the service and have successfully completed their installations.

Stephan Le Roux, the operations manager of Amanteco, says that after just two weeks, data from the trees has contributed to some great insights.

"Phytech has already provided plant-based proof of how our irrigation practices should be adapted in our sandy soil and how the trees in different blocks have different water requirements" said Stephan, "We’ve already made some subtle changes to adapt, fine-tune & optimise our irrigation delivery according to the real-time demands of the trees, the current climatic conditions, trees' age and nut loads. Because of this, we are already considering adding additional blocks to the service.”

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