Nehad Agronomy ServicesLLc (NAS), popularly known as Al Raja Farms present in Al Suwaiq in Oman, are dedicated partners of FarmERP since 2011 (approximately 9 years). Nehad Agronomy services have multiple farms, one of the biggest ones spanning through 1400 acres of land. Established in 1979, NAS is an agricultural company using sustainable practices to produce and export fruits and vegetables like sweet melons, watermelons, beans, green peppers, dates, mangoes, carrots, lily cut flowers, and various other seasonal produce.
FarmERP came on board as their digital agronomy partners and monumentally enhanced their productivity and offerings. FarmERP is a leading farm-to-plate smart agriculture management ERP technology platform that works with individual farmers, contract farming companies, corporates, FPOs and various other entities alike, providing a rigorous and revolutionary amalgamation of agriculture and technology with tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, satellite imagery, etc.
Before collaborating with FarmERP, NAS handled the management of their farms using simple pieces of paper with the occasional use of excel spreadsheets. In the beginning, to tackle this massive challenge, their multi-locational farms (open field crops) and greenhouse crops were mapped completely–FarmERP studied the land infrastructure and the crop infrastructure, along with their packhouses.
With multiple plots, multiple SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) for multiple products, another challenge was mapping the activities and occurrences that the farm manager was taking care of, i.e., analytics and details on the optimum water amount, fertilizers and the practices to be followed. With the assistance of FarmERP, after the crop infrastructure mapping was complete, they could progressively provide NAS with a schedule of ‘good agricultural practices’, or a ‘package of practices’ to be carried out on the fields.
Through a task calendar issued by FarmERP, the farm managers started getting alerts on daily task allocations. With these real-time allocations, the agronomists could have a complete overview as to how their days, weeks, and months would pan out in terms of the activities to be carried out along with inputs provided with the data. This foresight enabled NAS to manage their inventory with ease. Processes were tracked regularly ensuring minimal ‘dead inventory’. This control allowed NAS to drill down and gauge an idea as to their monetary spending on each plot, along with arranging and making adequate inventory requirements for the future.
An imperative pointer to note where FarmERP lent support to NAS was in terms of water scarcity. Water scarcity is one of the foremost and most prevalent problems faced by individuals in the middle east. FarmERP’s technology enables NAS to understand their requirements of water for each plot, on a day-to-day basis.
In these times of uncertainty, people are extremely wary and cautious regarding the produce entering their homes. Implementation of food safety and traceability ensured that when the fruits and vegetables from NAS reach the marketplace, they are residue-free and safe. The agronomists are warned about any plot not fit for harvest with the technology provided with implementing FarmERP.
Due to everything being organized in a fashion wherein it was apparent where the gaps were present, and where assistance was required, the management proceeded to have complete control over all activities being carried out in the farms. This improved the operational efficiency of the farm by 25%.
Shauwn Basson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Middle East of Nehad Agronomy Services stated, "The integration of digital working patterns with agricultural practices has allowed NAS to work towards identifying the right product mix for the market in every season. This, in turn, has improved productivity and profitability to a large extent."
Inventory management was recorded, taking into consideration the minutest details, e.g., numbers as small as 50ml or 250ml of chemicals were being recorded. In turn, 15% was saved on inventory costs, and interest rates were reserved as well. Due to water being consumed at optimal levels, NAS was able to save 5% on their water consumption costs. Their manpower usually consists of ex-pats and local nationals which are of high value, NAS was able to save 5-10% on their labor costs through proper planning and foresight as to how many manpower hours were required to carry out their operations. Optimizing machinery usage saved them 5% on their machinery costs as well.
Ultimately, following all these practices set forth by the technology implemented through FarmERP, NAS can reach their fundamental goal, which is the cultivation and harvesting of outstanding quality produce.
The Managing Director, Mr. Al Muhalab Al Busaidistated, "With FarmERP, NAS was able to take the initiative of practicing digital agriculture in the middle east. Since we have adopted these practices since 2011, we feel we are always one step ahead. In times of uncertainty, it is always best to have science back your organizational processes."