Grow Farm

Saving your back is the first step in mechanisation

by Michris Janse van Rensburg

Affordability and longevity of equipment are two of the major factors in the decisions made by small-scale farmers. With small steps, small-scale farmers are changing the image of the national agriculture profile. But only quality, understandable and inexpensive equipment will raise them up from subsistence hand planting.   

During the recent Agritech Expo in Zambia, AFGRI Equipment and Michris Janse van Rensburg stole the show with his innovative Backsaver equipment. Backsaver products include a wide range of hand-held planters and fertiliser applicators.   

AFGRI Equipment has always seen the value in investing early in grower evolution. “We have been looking at different solutions to effectively scale subsistence and small scale farmers to achieve better food security as well as to generate more income and yield to effectively progress to small scale commercial farming. We believe that the products supplied by Backsaver are built for African requirements and conditions, with proven material components and concepts. We are looking forward to the journey in scaling Agriculture as a whole in Africa, we are here to accompany our growers and provide assistance in their quest for success.” says Etienne Meyer, Marketing Manager AFGRI Equipment. This huge achievement was celebrated by allowing Backsavers to be part of AFGRI’s Evolution of Agriculture demonstration at the show. Backsavers covered the small-scale section demonstration.  

As a passionate and experienced crop farmer in the Free State, Michris’ first hand planter concept was born out of the need to fill in gaps left by his tractor driven maize planter. He perfected the design and then also ventured into designing hand fertiliser applicators.   From there on, Backsavers grew rapidly and conquered the African continent with their practical and easy to use equipment. Backsavers is now the leading manufacturer of small-scale crop farming equipment in Africa.   Normally, it is very difficult for smallscale farmers to apply fertiliser correctly. Backsavers came to the rescue by offering the correct calibration of fertiliser placement.

The wheel applicator’s calibration is determined by gears and it is very accurate at any walking speed.

Backsavers has three types of fertiliser applicators available:

1. Deep placement applicator

2. Topdressing applicator

3. Single shot applicator (5 g or 2,5 g per shot)

Michris believes that the same rules apply for a one ha farmer and a thousand ha farmer when it comes to spacing of seed and planting at the optimum depth.

Backsavers’ fertiliser applicator was a huge magnet at the AFGRI stand at Agritech.

Backsavers has two kinds of planters available:

1. The famous Backsaver hand planter is used by more than 10 000 farmers all over Africa. It plants at the optimum depth and an adjustable spacer ensures that all the seeds are planted at the correct spacing.

2. The Backsavers combi planter is a push and pull planter. It can plant different seeds like maize and soya beans. Because the Backsaver Combi planter uses coulters to open the plant row, it is easy to pull, even by two men. It is also suitable to be pulled by an animal. It can plant and place fertiliser at the same time.

Backsavers designs planters for almost all kinds of seed.

For more information, Contact Michris Janse van Rensburg on Watsapp at +27(0)73-454-4111 or e-mail

Backsavers’ planters are practical and affordable, and will ensure significant progress in the small-scale farming sector.

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