“Just as important as the best drip or micro-irrigation design, is your relationship with the client. We need to ensure every person in Agrico is fully equipped and also people-orientated”, says Johan Visser, who recently joined Agrico to further its precision irrigation capability.
A veteran of the irrigation industry, Visser started his career in 1968 as one of the first persons to complete the SABI irrigation course. Subsequently, he joined various engineering and irrigation firms until finally, in 1992, he joined the precision irrigation leader Netafim. Here he spent the majority of his professional career as manager of the SADEK countries, encouraging and advancing the use of precision irrigation practises across the continent, before joining the Agrico team in 2022.
“I’ve had a very interesting career in irrigation which has introduced me to various people, which is wonderful”, says Visser. “I value the people that cross my path and am passionate about making a difference in their lives. The most important thing is always communication. We need to respect each other and walk away as friends at the end of every conversation.”
His new role at Agrico will involve encouraging and advancing the use of precision irrigation across the firm and its clients.
“My first priority will be to focus on the 33 Agrico branches and their irrigation designers. My role is to support and teach them to become even more comfortable with drip and micro-irrigation, in order to help them help their clients,” he says.
“In the future I will also shift my focus to direct consultation with clients, but the first order of the day is to equip the Agrico team to deliver the best possible service.”
According to Walter Andrag, managing director of Agrico, Johan will assist the projects team, both in South Africa and further north.
“Johan is experienced and well respected, therefore ideal to head our training efforts. He will ensure our designers stay up to date and informed of all the latest products and options available to growers”, says Andrag.
Visser believes that Agrico has the potential to be a top player in the low volume irrigation industry, with strong designers, experienced technicians and a vast support network throughout southern Africa to provide effective service.
“The great advantage that Agrico has is an extensive infrastructure to support the client with precision irrigation on his or her farm.”
This network, along with a process of continuous improvement and a client-focused approach, will move Agrico forward and facilitate growth.
“I want to be a part of the team that builds Agrico into the best irrigation company in the southern hemisphere. It is not something I can do on my own, but the team can, and I want to be a part of that.”