South African livestock trading pioneers, swiftVEE, have launched PrysWys, an app designed to reduce the input costs for farmers. PrysWys, available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and via the internet, is a retail service that links farmers directly to input manufacturers, reducing costs by almost 50% in some instances.
Russel Luck, chief executive of swiftVEE, said PrysWys was developed to curb the rising input costs for farmers in the current economic climate. “Following our success in the online livestock trading space, we have noticed that farmers pay high premiums for their inputs at brick-and-mortar retailers. We believe digital technology is the best way to solve this problem.”
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With PrysWys, farmers can list multiple products required for their farming operation and receive price quotations electronically. This app offers price transparency, product accessibility, and cost savings for farmers.
Farmers can also source any input at the best price from anywhere in South Africa, empowering them with “any input, unlimited choices,” according to Luck.
PrysWys has built an international network of inputs manufacturers that supply their products via the platform at wholesale prices. By ordering online through the app, farmers benefit from direct-to-consumer input prices. They receive quotes from multiple suppliers across South Africa, despite being located in remote areas.
Luck pointed out that the average farmer purchasing inputs from retailers absorbs the costs of retail space, storage facilities, staff overheads, and inefficient manual processes. This can add 50% onto the supply of inputs before the retailer has even added their margin. Rising petrol prices and product scarcity caused by the war in Ukraine have aggravated the high input prices paid by most farmers.
PrysWys went into BETA testing towards the end of 2022 and already has over 1 000 active users. Since launching in January 2023, it has sold several million Rands of products online. It leverages off swiftVEE’s established customer base of approximately 100 000 commercial farmers in its network.
Also, it is part of swiftVEE’s broader vision to re-invent agriculture through technology. swiftVEE has won multiple awards from Google, Facebook-MEST, and the United Nations for technology innovation.
The agricultural sector in South Africa is critical to the country’s economy, accounting for approximately 2.5% of the GDP and providing employment for over 5% of the population. The sector has faced significant challenges in recent years, including droughts, land reform policies, and economic instability.
The launch of PrysWys provides a much-needed solution to the rising input costs faced by farmers, which has been further exacerbated by the global pandemic, said Luck. He described PrysWys as a game-changer for agricultural technology.
By reducing input costs, it can improve the financial position of farmers and enhance their competitiveness in the global market. It will also provide a platform for small-scale farmers to access the same inputs as their larger counterparts.