Avenir Technology builds forward market for South African farmers

Avenir Technology Limited, a global developer of post-trade Financial Market Infrastructure solutions, has today announced that it is providing the technology for a centralised forwards marketplace for farmers and millers across South Africa.

Working in conjunction with South African agri-tech startup TonnUp, the project leverages Avenir’s wealth of experience in developing commodity trading platforms by formalising a nationwide approach for matching agricultural buyers and sellers. 

Brett Riley, COO of TonnUp, comments: “We are developing a comprehensive range of trading services to meet the needs of South Africa’s expanding commercial farming sector, including the grain market which currently produces a crop of up to 16 million tonnes each year. With less than 25 per cent of that currently being traded in a formal market, TonnUp will allow farmers to connect directly with buyers, removing the need for a middleman. The first stage of this process is the Forwards marketplace and Avenir’s extensive knowledge in this sector made them the natural counterparty for us to work with.” 

Avenir’s experience in Financial Market Infrastructure spans the globe, including the deployment in 2016 of a warehouse receipt system for the African Commodities Exchange in Malawi. The company has also developed a proprietary trading platform – Avenir Trade – to provide a secure, flexible and scalable solution for commodity markets run on both a continuously traded and matched-bargain basis. 

Stuart Turner, co-founder of Avenir Technology, comments: “Modern technology provides a wealth of opportunity to improve efficiency across all financial markets and agricultural commodities are no exception. We are delighted to be working with TonnUp to help them develop an innovative solution, enabling producers to tap directly into the market in real time and as a result better manage their financial exposure.” 

Access to the trading platform can be delivered across desktops, smartphones and tablets, whilst instant alerts can also be delivered via email SMS messages. The platform will be fully bilingual, with both Afrikaans and English language user interfaces on offer. The formalised structure enables multiple parties to use a common platform to strike a forward deal, agreeing the exchange of an asset at a specified price on a future date. Soybean and maize forwards will be offered in the first instance.