Each division within I-CAT serves a special function, with the Agri-Forestry division focusing on the survival of plant life and trees, which plays a significant role in environmental sustainability, Agri-Forestry Head Wessels Vlok explains.
The main advantage for customers is that all distributors are in-line with I-CAT’s guiding philosophy of innovation and service support. “All our distributors have extensive experience, particularly in the forestry industry, and are thus equipped to provide aftersales services to our end users regarding our products. We pride ourselves in providing an end-to-end solution for our customers.”
Products developed by the Agri-Forestry division include acrylamide-free Hydrogel, which reduces plant stress at the time of planting, especially during times of drought or reduced water supply. It provides a water and nutrient reservoir during the period following tree planting.
Suppositree, a small brown systemic tablet, is a simple and effective one-stop solution for the application of fertiliser and insecticide to planted trees to improve growth, and promote soil activity and root take-up. iFire is an innovative non-ionic surfactant that lowers the surface tension of water and other liquids, used as a water-treatment agent to improve the wettability of water.
By applying industry-leading expertise to horticulture and landscaping operations, EXLGel decreases irrigation requirements by means of a polymer base that improves water retention around plant roots, ensuring consistent moisture for improved crop yields.
EXLGro, on the other hand, is a non-ionic, low-foam surfactant to boost the coverage of spray solutions, and to assist in their penetration. This surfactant is compatible with most formulations, and works well when dosed through spray systems and sprinkler pivots.
Particular issues addressed by the Agri-Forestry division that pose a challenge to the industry as a whole are limited natural resources such as water. The ongoing drought in certain regions has resulted in increased loss of nutrients and water for plant life and trees. In addition, changing regulatory frameworks are forcing changes to plant-growing practices. Choices within the present framework are limited by products designed for a less environmentally-conscious industry with abundant labour.
Current innovation is also hampered by vested interests. “I-CAT is at the forefront of innovation by developing products that adapt to these changes in forestry practices. Not only are our products tailored to different types of ecological environments, but we have developed products that are easy-to-use, and which are very cost-effective,” Vlok highlights.
“We address our clients’ needs by helping them adapt to the rapidly-changing environment in an ethical manner. Our products assist our end users in saving water, which has become a top priority in legislation, as well as decreasing pollution, aiding in the well-being of the surrounding ecological environment and, most importantly, being easy-to-use which, in turn, decreases labour costs,” he concludes.