When it comes to the buying and selling of grain, South Africa is fortunate to have a First World trading system in the SA Futures Exchange (Safex), which provides a platform for transparent price discovery and price risk management.
First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
As with all exchanges, it cannot cover every agricultural product, and it does not accommodate price variances as prices are standardised on one area - Randfontein - and applied across the board.
This means farmers offering different prices from different areas are not visible on the Safex system.
Safex also only trades in South Africa's biggest commodities, such as wheat, maize, sunflower seeds and soya beans, leaving sellers of smaller commodities out in the cold.
Now Skudu, an agri-tech company based in Paarl, has stepped into the gap and launched Skudu Match, a free agricultural app that directly matches farmers and buyers of agricultural produce.
"South Africa produces more than 18 million metric tonnes of grain annually. The chain of grain sales can be costly for both farmers and buyers - anything between 0.15% and 15%," says Skudu CEO Cobus van der Merwe.
These costs, he adds,...