Precision Farming: Technological Advances in Agriculture

Agriculture has been innovative, digital and fit for the future for quite some time now: precision farming, smart farming, digital farming and farming 4.0 are all terms which are being discussed a lot publicly at the moment. Innovative technologies and current agricultural trends are topics which managers from Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova became familiar with when visiting RIELA, a family run enterprise for grain and mixed feed technologies.

As part of the visit, the MP participants discovered how to optimally exploit yield potential and cut costs, how to optimise the spreading of fertiliser and how self-driving tractors communicate with each other. The managing director and owner of RIELA, Karl-Heinz Knoop, introduced the different areas of the business and provided some insights in the business processes and the diverse activities of the firm.

The heart of the firm – the production area – proved to be a real magnet for the group. Here the most up-to-date 3D-CAD construction and production technologies are used in order to meet the standards of the “Made in Germany” seal of quality. Automated laser and bending technology ensure the highest standards and precision in every detail, explained Knoop. RIELA has set itself the target of providing its customers with energy efficient products and also aspires to produce its own products in an energy efficient and sustainable way. The construction principle is strictly based on a modular system. This results in the labour-intensive final assembly being relocated to the country of purchase and the transport costs being halved.

Responding Flexibly to Customer Requests
RIELA the customers receive everything they need from the one provider: development, construction, production, finishing and pre-assembly take place at different locations.  The substantial breadth of production and large storage capacities mean that the firm can respond to all demands at short notice. The MP participants saw numerous points of relevance in this respect with regards to their own fields of work. Andrii Biloholovka and Vadym Strielkov were primarily interested in the topics of ecology, alternative energy and sustainability. “These are the hot topics for us, and we invest a lot of effort in innovation in these areas” said the Ukrainian entrepreneurs.

Biomass Becoming Ever More Important as a Source of Energy
Due to the finite nature of fossil fuels, biomass as a source of energy is steadily gaining significance. In the course of the search for user-friendly energies, the processing of waste products into reusable materials is playing an ever more significant role. Businesses and properties will in the future require independent and economic sources of energy. “By using our special feed and turn dryers and belt dryers, organic waste products become attractive regenerative fuels”, explained Knoop.

Today, RIELA is a global player being one of the largest providers worldwide with a comprehensive product range for cleaning, conveying, drying and storing agricultural products, all of which are developed in the firm’s own engineering department and are produced using the most up to date technologies. With an export rate of almost 90%, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa are the main buyers of the RIELA post-harvest technologies. In order to maintain a close proximity to its customers, RIELA was quick to found subsidiaries in Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Russia. New markets are currently developing in Africa and India. An initial presence on the continent of Africa has been established through RIELA-Africa in Tanzania. The family run business which was founded in 1972 now has hundreds of employees in Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Russia and Tanzania. Thanks to special post-harvest technology, which was developed specifically for these countries, the hitherto high harvest losses are now being reduced substantially.

The Manager Training Programme participants were impressed by RIELA GmbH’s corporate culture and warm welcome and the openness displayed by the very experienced business owner whose motto in life will likely be adopted by more than one of the participants: “If you hear something good about me, then pass it on. If you hear something bad, tell me so that I can improve myself.”

Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein