AGFACTS was founded in December 1985, with its main business being “the collection, interpretation, and distribution of information, particularly with regard to the agricultural machinery industry.”. The scope of AGFACTS’ activities has subsequently broadened to include the construction and mining equipment industry, the diesel and gas engine industry, and the fertilizer and agricultural lime industries.

AGFACTS came into being at a time when the South African agricultural machinery industry was going through very difficult times after record tractor sales of almost 25 000 units in 1981. The industry as a whole was forced to downsize drastically, with the consequence that most companies no longer had the in-house resources to provide much of the marketing service information that was necessary to run their operations effectively. AGFACTS was set up to provide these functions for individual companies within the South African agricultural machinery industry. Dr. Jim Rankin was the founder of AGFACTS and is still its chief executive.

Much of AGFACTS’ work is of a confidential nature and requires the utmost discretion in terms of handling information that comes to hand, information that could, of course, be beneficial to other participants in the industries concerned. Confidentiality of information is practiced at all costs.