April 17, 2024

Agri EC Attends EarthRanger User Conference in Cape Town

Agri Eastern Cape recently attended 4 day user conference in Cape Town hosted by EarthRanger.

EarthRanger is a software platform that is primarily targeted towards the conservation industry with a heavy focus on Wildlife parks and the rangers that protect them throughout the world. However, Agri Eastern Cape has adapted this tool and its resources to better service the organised agriculture sector throughout the Eastern Cape.

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Agri Eastern Cape first became aware of EarthRanger in early 2022 to assist with the locust outbreak that was plaguing not only the Eastern Cape Province, but the entire country. Agri Eastern Cape was investigating tools to assist with monitoring and understanding the movements and behaviours of the locust swarms as they carved a path of destruction across the agricultural lands of the Eastern Cape. An article on how EarthRanger was used in Northern Africa to track a similar locust epidemic was found and Agri Eastern Cape quickly reached out to EarthRanger for assistance.

We were delighted to discover that not only would EarthRanger be made available to us but that it would be at no charge as Agri Eastern Cape is a non-profit organisation.

During the 2023 EarthRanger User Conference, Agri Eastern Cape was invited to form part of a panel discussion on the lessons learnt through a locust outbreak.

Agri Eastern Cape Manager of Trade, Economics and Natural Resources, Günther Pretorius, sat on this panel and spoke about the challenges faced by Agri Eastern Cape and how the EarthRanger platform played a massive role in tracking the movements of the locust swarms as well as how this data was used to ensure the Locust control teams were deployed into the right areas with the correct resources to combat the outbreak.

Following the Locust outbreak, Agri Eastern Cape started exploring the full functionality of the EarthRanger platform and how this could be used to serve the agricultural sector in other areas.

It was quickly discovered that EarthRanger is an extremely powerful tool for data capturing and analysis. Agri Eastern Cape now uses this tool to track a number of occurrences in agriculture from fire outbreaks to predator sightings, and most effectively this tool is now used in the Rural Safety Portfolio of Agri Eastern Cape.

Through the Agri Ops 24/7 Coordination Centre located in the Agri Eastern Cape HQ in Gqeberha, Agri Eastern Cape captures all reports of crime experienced by its members and the neighbouring communities. Crime captured on the EarthRanger platform ranges from fences being cut to Stock Theft, Farm Attacks, and Protest Action experienced throughout the Eastern Cape.

Capturing this data does not necessarily mean that the crime will not be committed, but what it does allow for is the understanding of patterns, trends and hot spots for certain types of crime throughout the Eastern Cape.

This becomes an extremely powerful tool for Agri Eastern Cape when requesting assistance from the SAPS for certain resources to be deployed in what can be easily identified as a problem area or hot spot for a specific type of crime.

For example if a particular Agricultural Association is experiencing high volumes of stock theft and continuously reports this through to the Agri Ops Coordination Centre to capture on EarthRanger, then the Rural Safety Manager for Agri Eastern Cape would be in the position to pull a report for that specific crime type and area and use this information to encourage the Provincial Leadership of the SAPS to deploy a task team into the area to combat the crime experienced by the Farmers and local community.

Agri Eastern Cape Manager for Rural Safety, Jason Kümm, attended the EarthRanger User Conference along with Günther Pretorius where Agri Eastern Cape was afforded the opportunity to learn from other EarthRanger users from around the Globe. The intention being that Agri Eastern Cape can learn from other individuals and organisations through understanding the challenges they have faced and how EarthRanger has been used as an effective tool to overcome these challenges.

The Conference was attended by a myriad of people representing organisations from around the world. It was a great opportunity for Agri Eastern Cape to interact with some of these delegates and exchange ideas and challenges. Thank you to EarthRanger for hosting us and putting on an excellent conference that Agri Eastern Cape is privileged to have been a part of.