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OABS – a 'one stop' agricultural consulting firm


BY DAAN LOUW | 23 NOVEMBER 2012

Optimal Agricultural Business Systems (OABS) is a consulting firm that provides agricultural information, market evaluation, strategic planning, business planning and research services to farming companies, processing firms, trade and commodity organisations, and other agricultural input suppliers.

OABS's organisational structure has also adapted to changing market demand to that of a multidisciplinary business entity, giving our clients a "one stop service". Although, the primary focus of OABS is still aimed at the agricultural sector, the new organisational structure includes the following disciplines:

  • Agricultural and applied economics;
  • Institutional and social services; and
  • Technical services

Areas of specialisation within each discipline

Agricultural and applied economics

Agricultural information services such as database management, product flow, marketing information and strategic information (farm level and regional level information that is established by conducting farm surveys).

Whole farm plans: Strategic operational planning models (linear and non-linear) to do viability studies and farm level strategic planning for growers, in order to improve decision-making about crop selection, new production technologies, financing options, marketing strategies, pricing and risk management.

Strategic planning: Services by OABS are designed to assist agribusiness clients through a comprehensive analysis and planning process to identify new business goals and strategies for long-term growth and market success. It includes customised, comprehensive strategic planning, facilitation, risk analysis and implementation services.

Business planning services: OABS provides comprehensive business planning services to meet the diverse needs of a wide range of agribusiness firms and farming companies in increasingly complex market environments. We help clients establish business objectives and goals and design short and long term strategies to achieve business success. Our services include start-up planning (to obtain appropriate funding) as well as growth and expansion plans for established commercial and emerging agribusinesses.

Research: OABS specialise in quantitative and qualitative market research, including surveys, in-depth interviews, market overviews, sector overviews and focus groups. OABS has been involved in extensive research in water resource management.

Strategic Market Analysis: OABS provides market analysis to agribusiness firms and organisations throughout the entire value chain. The company's staff combines field research, market analysis, client resource evaluation and strategic thinking to develop realistic and effective marketing plans. Our services include market studies and profiles, strategic marketing plans as well as commercial development strategies for alternative uses of traditional crops and livestock products.

Feasibility studies and compilation of business plans: Given the multidisciplinary structure of OABS a holistic approach is taken when considering the feasibility of a specific project on farm-, agribusiness- or agro-processing level. OABS therefore have the ability to conduct a full feasibility study, which include the technical, environmental, economic, financial and institutional aspects of such a project. Additionally, OABS has the capacity to derive and compile a comprehensive business plan from the undertaken feasibility study to the needs and requirements of the various potential investors.

Professional Valuation services: OABS's current professional valuer (Pine Pienaar) has 25 years' experience in farm valuation. He has done a large number of valuations for financial institutions (amongst others, Absa), the land claims commissioner, the Department of Land Affairs and many other agribusinesses and individual farmers. He was also responsible for the development of guidelines used by valuers in land claim cases, evaluation of the quality of valuations, as well as explaining the land claim valuations to the land owners.

Institutional and social services

Development Support Services is striving to support the sustainable development of previously disadvantaged farmers and farming communities with a focus on the following:

  • Strengthening of social capital
  • Institutional Development
  • Facilitate capacity development of emerging farmers to create and maintain sustainable and profitable businesses
  • Operational analysis of emerging farmer activities to facilitate implementation of transparent, accountable and efficient management structures
  • Information exchange
  • Elevate depth of community participation
  • Pro-active advice and information
  • Project management & community development initiatives

Technical services

The main focus of the technical service section in OABS is to provide a support service in the company.

  • Basic assessments, scoping reports and full environmental impact assessments for feasibility studies and/or required prior to implementation of projects
  • Soil and Water Quality
  • Physical/biological adaptability of crops & livestock
  • Technical aspects of crop and livestock production
  • Marketing Logistics
  • Enterprise Gross Margin analysis
  • Professional valuation services

Contact details

For more information about OABS, contact Daan Louw at:

MAIL. daan@oabs.co.za
WEBSITE. www.oabs.co.za

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south africa, oabs, optimal agricultural business systems, agricultural, applied economics

 
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