AGORA (Agro-Industrial Resource and Application) underpins the development of agriculture and its industries. It creates agro-industrial centers that support agricultural practice. Modelled on the Israeli “moshav”, the agricultural settlement that was once the bedrock of Israel’s modern thriving state, it is the concept of fusing agricultural production with the services and social provisions that make agriculture viable. Time and again Mitrelli has shown that once the correct and most suitable structure is in place, settlements become vibrant, self-sufficient and self-perpetuating businesses.
The key to the success of an AGORA assignment is in creating the support structure around which an agricultural project can achieve self-sufficiency. The project may be a single farm or a whole community: it could be anything from farming poultry to growing vegetables, from operating a hatchery to running a slaughterhouse – but AGORA’s skill lies in putting in place whole solutions to enable the core business to thrive.
On a dairy farm, the morning milking is only the start of the production chain. The milking parlour needs to be efficiently run and maintained, requiring engineering knowledge, and the milk hygienically processed and distributed.
Animal health depends on access to veterinarian expertise and general welfare relies on good training of farm workers. And the story doesn’t end at the milking parlour: the marketing and distribution of milk and its by products depend upon ‘people skills’ and logistical knowledge. By building every layer required by a business into its blueprint Mitrelli creates the sustainability necessary for its independent survival.
Mitrelli believes that at the heart of any agricultural operation are people. This is one of AGORA’s key principles. Just as it serves the needs of industry with satellite services, AGORA provides the farmers and business workers and their families with education and prior training. AGORA’s aim is that its projects become self-sustaining. For Mitrelli, another key principle is facilitating training and helping with the resettlement of workers. Once they have acquired the knowledge they need, the trained workers can bring this back to their rural areas where their influence will help their peers flourish.
It is Mitrelli’s commitment to every aspect of the agro-industry that sets it apart.
AGORA In Action:
Agricultural Farm In Cacanda
Golden corn crops stretch over 250 hectares, 100 greenhouses are lush with fruit and vegetables, and cows, sheep and poultry populate open meadows: the Lunda Norte farm in Cacanda, Angola, is a living model of AGORA’s principle in action.
The farm, established in 2010, has become a training and research center that allows the farmers to learn facts, techniques and skills and to improve the standard of their work, the quantity of their crop and quality of the produce. This in turn will facilitate distribution, creating larger markets that allow the community to be proudly self-supporting and independent.
The farm demonstrates the principle of self-sufficiency in practice. It has its own source of clear water for drinking and for irrigation. Animal feed is produced from the feed factory; eggs, meat and vegetables are packed in the onsite packing center. The garage and petrol station, storage warehouses and slaughterhouse all add to the farm’s resources.
Compatible with its belief that people are the main source of any agricultural operation, it is obvious that without the farmers and their families there can be no farm, so there is a school and training center where farmers learn innovative techniques and train with new equipment. Because students live onsite they become part of the manpower –perpetuating the cyclical nature of the AGORA principle.
The Cacanda Farm project is part of a long-term plan to enable other farmers to follow this model of farming, and achieve self-sufficiency. It has proved to be a boost for regional economical development, providing employment and encouraging further investments. AGORA is about the creation – and maintaining – of viable, workable and sustainable business.