SQR Software was formed in November 1994. Development of the farmer version of CanePro began in January 1995 in response to a request by sugarcane farmers for an agricultural management tool. Thus, from the start, CanePro was developed in partnership with the sugar industry aimed at meeting the specific needs of sugarcane growing operations.
The initial farmer version of CanePro – designed for a single user on a Paradox database – was released in 1997 to South African sugarcane farmers. Adoption of “Farmer CanePro” has been rapid and the number of users continues to grow. There are currently over 150 sugarcane farmers in Southern Africa using “Farmer CanePro”.
In early 1999, after a lengthy evaluation process, Illovo Sugar, Africa’s largest sugar producer, adopted CanePro as their IT solution of choice for their agricultural operations. This resulted in further development of “Estate CanePro”. This estate version, built on Microsoft SQL Server, allows for multiple-user access, database security and includes many other database features that were not necessary in the farmer version. In addition, agricultural decision-support capabilities, for example the harvest planning module, were developed to assist with decision-making on tasks unique to large commercial sugarcane operations.
Over the past 15 years SQR Software has steadily increased their client base, and currently some 28 large commercial operations use Estate CanePro, producing approximately 20 million tons of cane from over 300 000 ha of sugarcane land.
SQR Software has long-term development and support contracts with all our existing clients, evidence of our commitment to the future of our systems and our clients’ confidence in SQR Software’s ability to provide support and continued development.
In 2009 SQR Software Pty Ltd (Australia) was established in Brisbane placing us in an ideal location to service the Australian and South East Asian sugar industries.
SQR Software has invested substantial development time and resources in CanePro over the last 18 years, and continues to improve and adapt CanePro to the advances in sugarcane agriculture and the evolving standards and capabilities of new information technology platforms. Our developers understand the requirements of an agricultural information system and have detailed knowledge of agribusiness and its information needs. In addition, SQR Software employs agricultural specialists with technical knowledge of sugarcane agriculture and GIS applications.
Egmont is a founding member of SQR Software and holds a Computer Science Degree from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Since completing his studies, Egmont has been involved in developing software solutions for agricultural industries. His first projects in the livestock industry led to the development of a Broiler Growth model for poultry and WinFeed – one of the first Windows-based livestock feed formulation solutions, still in use today. Over the past 15 years, Egmont has been involved in the development, marketing and implementation of CanePro and CaneSuppli. He has managed many of CanePro’s implementations in Africa, and over this time period has acquired considerable experience in the workings of commercial sugarcane operations.
Mark has worked in the Southern African Sugar Industry since 1992, the first nine years as part of a multi-discipline team developing and testing sugarcane crop simulation techniques. As a consultant he has been extensively involved in Southern and Central Africa providing specialist advice on yield benchmarking, yield estimates, feasibility studies and irrigation advice using computer simulation tools. His particular interest lies in increasing the development and adoption of these modelling techniques in commercial agriculture. At SQR Software he is responsible for agricultural decision support systems development and support.
Mark is another founding member of SQR Software. He holds a B.Comm degree from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Mark has worked exclusively on CanePro since its inception in 1996. He is SQL Server database certified and works on the development and support of Estate CanePro.