Youngest SABI President in the Institute’s history

SABI’s (South African Irrigation Institute) President Michael Esmeraldo is the new MD of Netafim SA, effective 1 November 2022, it was recently announced.

As the youngest ever president of SABI, Michael, who holds an MSc in soil science and a BSc in agronomy and agricultural economics and from 2019 was regional sales manager for Netafim, is very passionate about agriculture, irrigation and Netafim.

“It is a massive honour to be trusted with the role of Managing Director of Netafim South Africa,” said Esmeraldo.
Esmeraldo believes that modern farming is not only about using the latest technology, but also about farming more efficiently. “We must use water, fertiliser, and other inputs efficiently to get optimal benefit per unit of input. This is why I am passionate about Netafim’s purpose and want to play a leading role in helping the company drive the mass adoption of precision irrigation.”

“Our greatest challenge and duty in the irrigation industry is to continuously improve the way we use water and other inputs. Everyone in agriculture is feeling the pressure of what I like to call a cyclical dip in the agricultural industry. Beyond that, the industry faces many long-term challenges that tasks us to change the way we work. Luckily, tough times teaches us to be more efficient, and efficiency is exactly what we need.”

Esmeraldo says that continuity is vital with times of change for Netafim SA, the irrigation industry and the wider agricultural industry.

“I want to build on the strong foundation established by Adriaan, Etienne Erasmus, previous leadership and team Netafim over many successful years. My first focus will be to enable all Netafim employees to continue doing their jobs with excellence and helping farmers grow more with less. Our dealer and end-users are assured of a continuum in our ongoing excellent service and support.”


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