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SOLUTIONS FOR TOWED MACHINES BENEFIT FROM THE KNOW-HOW OF AN EXPERT Place your trust in NTN-SNR, for the excellence of your equipment and guaranteed performance for your customers. Having partnered the world leaders for 100 years, we have developed solutions combining robustness, technical advances and reliability. From working the soil to harvesting, we offer a dedicated range of bearings, bearing units and maintenance solutions. We innovate for the world of farming, why not with you?


With You

Volume 8. Issue 6 Nov/ Dec 2020


Volume 8. Issue 6. Nov/Dec 2020

Editor’s Note


Hands-on quality control for mycotoxins

AfDB commits to engage youth in agribusiness..................................02 AgriPitch competition: Nigeria, Kenya firms emerge winners....02 Zimbabwe to avail funds for dipping chemicals...................................03

In this issue... xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Pg 12

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Pg 12



Ghana launches pension scheme for cocoa farmers........................03

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Pg 12

Please visit the website

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viewafrica .farmersrev farmersre






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Image courtesy of r-biopharm

Executive Editor Nita Karume editor@farmersreviewafrica.com Writers Silimina Derick, Bertha M. Contributing Writers Nqobile Bhebhe Zimbabwe Oscar Nkala Botswana Bertha M South Africa Nita Karume Kenya East Africa Advertising Executives Ken Tobby, Paul Amimo, M. Cherono Project Manager Victor Ndlovu sales@farmersreviewafrica.com Graphic Design & Layout Faith Omudho Art Director Augustine Ombwa austin@arobia.co.ke Correspondents - Isabel Banda zambia@farmersreviewafrica.com Sales & Marketing Gladmore. N gladmoren@farmersreviewafrica.com Mandla M. mandlam@farmersreviewafrica.com Kholwani. D kholwanid@farmersreviewafrica.com Polite Mkhize politem@farmersreviewafrica.com leslien@farmersreviewafrica.com East African Liaison Arobia Creative Consultancy Tel: +254 772 187334, 790 153505 arobia@farmersreviewafrica.com eastafrica@farmersreviewafrica.com Published by : Mailing Times Media +27 11 044 8986 sales@farmersreviewafrica.com

EVENT EIMA International, appointment in October......................................04

OPINION Strong meat prices signal expensive braais in December.............06

Feature BI is up to date with the latest quality standards thanks ...............08 Hands-on quality control for mycotoxins...............................................10 Randox Food Diagnostics Innovative Multiplex Technology for Mycotoxin Screening within Feed and Cereal Samples..................14 Effective mycotoxin management: mission possible.........................16 Goat farming in Zimbabwe.............................................................................18 SA’s New Dairy Powerhouse........................................................................20 TWK delivers results that mirror a year like no other....................22 The Tool Every Farm Needs At Harvest: Bushel Plus....................24 BMG’s agricultural services to Zambian farmers enhance efficiencies for increased productivity and profitability...................26 They are what they eat: Keeping cows fit and healthy longer with the right feeding strategy......................................................................30 Prevent disease outbreaks with good biosecurity..............................32 How Africa can become the breadbasket of the world................33 NTN-SNR’s expertise in the agricultural market available for all manufacturers..................................................................................................35 Sustainable agriculture according to BKT...............................................36 Experts urge Kenyan smallholder farmers to embrace nature-

Cheers to 2021 and the promise of a new dawn in agriculture


griculture has become a global business rather than a conventional occupation worldwide. It has gone through a number of revolutions which include the Green Revolution, Evergreen Revolution, Blue Revolution, White Revolution, Yellow Revolution, Biotechnology Revolution, and ongoing ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) Revolution. The sole motive behind these revolutions was to increase productivity to feed the growing world population. ICT revolutions, on one hand, are focusing not only on the multiplication of production but also in enhancing the quality of the food in a sustainable way to reduce agriculture footprints on the environment with the use of technology in agriculture. Due to the changing demands of the consumer for their food to be produced using natural resources, organically with greater attention to nutrition. The latest technologies in agriculture are one an integration of software, hardware and org-ware technologies. The impact of agriculture technology is measured depending on the changes in production, productivity, farm incomes, employment, and trading as well as its impact on the environment, society, and ethics. The introduction of IT (Information Technology) in agriculture has transformed the way communication in the complete agriculture value chain by making it faster and easier than ever before. The data related to market, weather, cultivation ideas and seasonal changes, updates related to banking, and insurance policies can be collected with a single click on a smartphone. As we draw a close to 2020 and everything that the year has brought with it while focusing on a better 2021, Farmers Review Africa brings you the latest in agri-tech and the implications of the same in farming. Be sure to catch the latest news as well. To all our Advertisers and readers-Farmers Review wishes to thank you for your support during this year - have a wonderful break and 2021 be much kinder to us!

based food production.....................................................................................38 It’s crunch time for South Africa’s land reform – Industry experts explore land reform perspectives............................................39

Mailing Times Media (Pty) Ltd makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of its publications, but no warranty is made as to such accuracy and no responsibility will be borne by the publisher for the consequences of actions based on information so published. Further, opinions expr essed are not necessarily shared by Mailing Times Media (Pty) Ltd

Nita Karume






Kenya, AfDB commits US $18m to engage youth in agribusiness


enya’s Ministry of Agriculture has partnered with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to commit US $18m to solve the issue of youth unemployment by engaging them in agribusiness. This will be implemented through the Empowering Novel Agribusiness-Led Employment (ENABLE) Programme that is cofunded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government, whose main objective is to create gainful employment, generate income for the youth and bridge succession gap in agribusiness and related value chains.

According to the Chief Administrative secretary from the Ministry Anne Nyaga, a number of challenges that hinder youth engagement in the sector have been identified and include negative perception and attitude to agribusiness and limited access to financial services. The implementation of the ENABLE Youth Kenya Programme is taking place in Youth Agri-Business Incubation Centres (YABICs) at identified government centres and also in partnership with the private sector across the country.

The YABICs operate using an incubation model for agripreneurship. The model involves training, nurturing, mentoring, coaching and financing of incubatees. The incubation process follows three key phases- pre-incubation, incubation and postincubation for a period of between three to 12 months. ENABLE Youth Kenya Programme has a financing component that seeks to support youth-owned agribusinesses by facilitating access to capital through financing and risk-sharing mechanisms. The programme will finance youth agripreneurs through three financing mechanisms. The mechanisms include interest-free loan to finance up to US $4.5m to youth for start-ups, soft loan where US $8m will be committed in the form of low-interest credit to the incubation graduates at an interest rate of five percent and the Risk Guarantee Fund where Sh800 million will be for a risk sharing fund, which will provide backstopping support to financial institutions to make available up to Sh5 billion as commercial loans to agripreneurs. Ms Nyaga said that despite the aspirations and efforts both by the government and the private sector to involve the youth in the agriculture sector, there is still low youth participation in various value chains in the sector. The Kenya Youth Agribusiness Strategy was developed by the Ministry and it aims at enhancing coordination, promoting innovativeness and sustainable employment for the youth through agribusiness.

Nigeria, Kenya start-ups emerge winners of AfDB’s AgriPitch competition


wo startups from Nigeria and Kenya have emerged winners of the African Development Bank’s US $120,000 AgriPitch competition. Disrupt Africa reported last month on the selection of finalists for the AgriPitch competition, after the AfDB received over 2,500 applications. The final round saw entrepreneurs pitch their agribusiness proposals online to a panel of experts and investors. Winners have now been announced, with companies sharing US$120,000 in prize money. The winner in the Mature Startup category was Nigeria’s Foodlocker, which supports smallholder farmers with technologies for the production of foods such as tomatoes and chicken. The startup takes home US$40,000 in prize money. Ivory Coast’s Lono was runner-up, securing US$20,000.

2 | November - December 2020

The winner in the Early Startups category was Releaf, a food pre-processing technology company, which took home US$20,000. Uganda’s Bringo Fresh was runner-up, winning US$10,000. Meanwhile, in the Womenempowered Businesses category, Kenya’s

Mhogo Foods won the top prize of US$20,000. The company, which adds value to cassava production, beat off competition from Nigeria’s Baby Grubz, which came second and took home US$10,000.


Zimbabwean government to avail US $577m in dipping chemicals to mitigate livestock losses


he Government of Zimbabwe has committed US $577m to availing dipping chemicals, years after the January disease decimated heads leading to a massive loss of livestock worth US $4.3 billion. The deadly disease, which was first noticed by communal farmers around 2015, has to date destroyed over 300 000 cattle. Most cattle owners affected by the crisis could not afford to purchase the required dipping chemicals. With a combination of reduced dipping sessions and impact of a recurrent drought period, most livestock succumbed. Presenting the 2021 proposed national budget last week Thursday, Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube finally acknowledged the urgent need to avail dipping chemicals. Arrangements are underway to increase the dipping sessions from the current 32 to 48 dipping sessions per year. To sustain the anticipated dipping sessions, government will avail US $577m for the procurement of dipping chemicals. In addition, government committed to supporting the procurement of 600 000 kg of tick grease for distribution to vulnerable households, with 80 000 kg having already been distributed to the

targeted beneficiaries.The blueprint also provides for the upgrading of at least 50 existing dipping facilities per province as well as rehabilitation of dip tanks countrywide. The Government remains committed towards controlling the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease especially in the nontraditional areas of Mashonaland and Manicaland

provinces. “Sustainable growth in the sector will hinge on resilience building efforts against shocks, in addition to productivity enhancement initiatives mentioned above. The sector is projected to grow on average by above 7%,” Ncube added.

Ghanaian President launches pension scheme for cocoa farmers


he President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday launched a pension scheme for the country’s 1.5 million cocoa famers. The Pension Scheme will enable cocoa farmers to make voluntary contributions towards their retirement, whilst COCOBOD makes a supplementary contribution on behalf of the farmers as well. This, he explained, “guarantees a decent retirement income for cocoa farmers for life, and ensures that they can maintain decent livelihoods after retirement.” In recognition of their hard work, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) was mandated, under Section twenty-six (26) of the COCOBOD Law, 1984 (PNDC L.81), to establish a Contributory Insurance Scheme for Cocoa Farmers within the framework of the Social Security Scheme, so that

they could also enjoy a well-deserved pension, upon retirement. Unfortunately, successive Governments, for various reasons, were unable to fulfil this, much to the disapproval of cocoa farmers who continued to make demands for the establishment of the “Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme”. Upon his assumption of office, the President tasked the CEO of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, to begin to work earnestly with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and other stakeholders to set up a Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme to support cocoa farmers enjoy a decent pension.

a robust database of all cocoa farmers in the country, and track their contributions. It will also facilitate the prompt payment of claims to beneficiary farmers.”

To ensure the successful rollout of the scheme, COCOBOD is embarking on a census to collect data on farmers for the Cocoa Management System (CMS), adding that “the CMS will hold

President Akufo-Addo entreated all cocoa farmers to sign on to the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme, in order to enjoy the full benefits of the Scheme.

November - December 2020 | 3


EIMA International, appointment in October The agricultural machinery exhibition, organized by FederUnacoma at the Bologna exhibition centre, will be held from 19 to 23 October 2021. The choice was guided by the health emergency and the complex needs linked to the trade exhibition calendar and the seasonality of the work processes. From November 2022 the Exposition will return to its normal frequency.


seasonality of agricultural processing, but above all on the basis of the projections regarding the Covid 19 pandemic and on the containment strategies implemented by Governments.

The top management of FederUnacoma aim to

the troubled events of 2020 and the persistence

This was the decision taken last night by the Board of Directors of FederUnacoma Surl - the service company of the Italian association of manufacturers, which is the direct organizer of the event - at the end of a careful assessment of the calendar of international exhibitions, the availability of the Bologna exhibition centre, the

The EIMA showcase, which should have been held in November of this year and which had been moved to February 2021 due to the health emergency and the ban on carrying out trade exhibitions, is thus moved once again. It is now scheduled at a time of year when we hope the health emergency will be resolved also thanks to the launch of the planned vaccination campaigns.

he showcase of machinery agriculture, landscaping and the related components EIMA International will hold its 44th edition at the Bologna exhibition centre from 19 to 23 October 2021.

4 | November - December 2020

create a high-content event from a technological and commercial point of view, which can also symbolically represent a moment of rebirth after of the emergency, which is expected to continue during the first half of next year. EIMA International will return to its ordinary scheduling with the 45th edition, already set for November 2022.

EIMA INTERNATIONAL changes and doubles The Digital Preview



The Event 44 th EIMA BolognaFiere February 3/7, 2021

EIMA Digital Preview November 11/15, 2020

The international trade fair calendar, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, has been completely revised and many events have been cancelled and postponed. EIMA International has also redefined its program, moving the 44th edition from November 2020 to February 2021. However, in the days in November initially established for EIMA, EIMA Preview comes to life, a great online event that anticipates the traditional exhibition and is the first example in the world of a review of agricultural mechanics entirely accessible on a digital platform.

As of 2022 EIMA will return to the traditional November appointment




www.eima.it Contacts

00159 Roma - Via Venafro, 5 Tel. (+39) 06.432.981 - Fax (+39) 06.4076.370 eima@federunacoma.it


Polmac Srl Spraying Equipment

Strong meat prices signal expensive braais in December By: Paul Makube, Senior Agricultural Economist at FNB


ith Christmas only five weeks away, the current trend in meat prices signals prospects of expensive braais during the 2020 December festive season. Seasonal demand for meat remains solid and has outweighed the relatively higher slaughter rate in the livestock complex, which would normally have resulted in lower prices due to the increased availability of the product. The pace of livestock slaughter has been relatively strong with cattle, sheep and pigs number slaughtered way above the 2019 levels. At this rate, the monthly consumer price inflation for meat is expected to remain sticky on the upside relative to last year in the next Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) update. The meat CPI increased by 4.4% y/y during September 2020 in the last Stats SA release. Beef The A grade beef prices have for the first time breached the R50/kg mark due to higher demand and are currently over 15% above the 2019 levels. Good grazing conditions due to rains in some areas bodes well for prices in the medium term as producers will hold on to stock for a bit longer. However, other areas are yet to recover fully as evidenced by recent fires in parts of the Free State. The current strength in beef prices is likely to be maintained as we head closer to the festive period. Nonetheless, farmers wouldn’t necessarily smile all the way to the bank as the combination of the relatively high weaner calve prices and the elevated grain prices squeeze feeding margins in the short term. Sheep At current levels, lamb and mutton prices are 28% and 40% higher respectively relative to the 2019 levels and are 15% and 16% above the 3-year average for this time of the year. We expect prices to retain the sideways trend but with further

6 | November - December 2020

upside in the short term on improved seasonal demand. The post-Covid-19 long term demand outlook however remains a concern given the high prospects of the weak economy and subsequent contraction of job numbers. Pork The upswing in the pig market continued with pork producer prices retaining levels above R30/kg due to the resilient demand and tighter volumes. Prices are now 15% and 9% higher from the 2019 levels respectively for pork and baconers and are both sharply higher by 37% and 36% relative to the 3-year average for this time of the year. The current uptick in pig carcass prices will continue underpinned by renewed demand as we approach the festive period. The rising maize prices in the near term and consequently higher feed costs however remains a concern as they will reduce producer margins. Chicken Unlike other meat types, the situation with chicken is that its product categories show a mixed trend with downward pressure for fresh whole birds while the frozen whole birds and IQF strengthened relative to the 2019 levels. Higher feed costs have significantly narrowed producer margins, thus necessitating upside pricing in line with red meat but in a competitive trading environment where this cheaper source of animal protein is often used as a loss leader. All intensive livestock categories face high feed input cost pressures as yellow maize prices, a major feed ingredient, averaged R3 342/ ton in the last three months which is 24% higher year-on-year (y/y). This was underpinned by the strong export demand despite a huge harvest, with China accounting for 28% of total exports for the 2020/21 marketing season.


olmac Srl has been in the market of machines for the distribution of agriculture pesticides and herbicides since 1972. Our products are produced to control and measure the management, mixing and distribution of chemicals in agriculture, in order to reduce to a minimum the environmental impact and contact with these products by operators. Greater precision in dosing, more safety in performing activities, compliance with the most stringent rules and the best end results. Our primary objective had been that of designing and manufacturing a complete weeding machine targeted exclusively for the Italian market. Over time, we specialized in the production of components and accessories for machines for the distribution of pesticides and herbicides, while also expanding our sales in foreign countries. Every year we invest a significant share of our turnover in Research & Development. Thanks to our specialist team we produce technical drawings, prototypes and new production moulds, while maintaining constant product innovation and customization to satisfy the requirements of the Italian and International market.�







POLMAC S.r.l. Via Statale Sud, 137 - 41037 Mirandola (MO) ITALY - Ph.: +39.0535.20004 - Fax: +39.0535.26595 - info@polmac.it - www.polmac.it


BI is up to date with the latest quality standards thanks to BSI L eading supplier Bearings International (BI) is up to date with the latest quality standards thanks to the services provided by the BSI Group South Africa. These standards are ISO 9001-2015, ISO 14001-2015 and OHSAS 180012007, reports BI SHEQ Manager Peter Oliphant.

BSI (British Standards Institution) is a business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn best practice standards into habits of excellence. Established in 1901, BSI was the world’s first national standards body and a founding member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). It facilitates business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, manage risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which were originated by BSI.

8 | November - December 2020

Utilising the services provided by BSI affords BI the opportunity to integrate the entire scope of its required standards. It also means that management takes accountability for its overall quality system, ensuring that its policies and objectives are in place and aligned with the company’s strategy.

Valid for a period of three years, the BSI certification places a greater emphasis on senior managers becoming involved in the management system. This broader approach mitigates risk and introduces new opportunities due to documented information and a more flexible approach. The main benefits for end users are improved customer satisfaction, efficient service delivery and a greater competitive advantage in the marketplace. “Not only are we committed to the quality of our products and services, but we also guarantee environmental compliance and

the health and safety of our staff,” comments Oliphant. “The end result is improved operational efficiency and labour productivity that translates into increased competitiveness combined with reduced risk.” BSI continues to support BI by communicating any updates about the relevant ISO standards and providing the necessary training on how to maintain the systems required. BI has been accredited since 2006, from quality to environmental, health and safety and corporate social responsibility. “The benefit of such ongoing accreditation is not only confidence in the products and services we supply, but it also references the back-up support and technical expertise we are able to provide our customers,” Oliphant concludes.


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R-Biopharm – dedicated to food safety

Hands-on quality control for mycotoxins Test systems for the detection of mycotoxins in food & feed




Immunoaffinity columns and solid phase columns

Sensitive ELISA for quantitative screening

Quantitative ELISA for quick analysis


Lateral-flow tests for semi-quantitative screening

Lateral-flow tests for accurate, quantitative results

Sample purification for HPLC/GG/LC-MS and ELISA


Reference materials and mycotoxin standards for your quality control

R-Biopharm • An der neuen Bergstraße 17, 64297 Darmstadt, Germany • E-mail: info@r-biopharm.de • www.r-biopharm.com

R-Biopharm – dedicated to food safety

RIDA®SMART APP Mycotoxins, Art. No. ZRSAM1000

RIDA®SMART APP Mycotoxin analysis in your hand The RIDA®SMART APP in combination with the smartphone is a fully equipped lateral flow analyzer with high performance and a broad range of interfaces (i.e. WiFi/Bluetooth/USB). Quantitative results are evaluated quickly and accurately. The software comes with a builtin database for quick and easy access to your results data. The implemented service request function allows instant RIDA®SMART APP customer support.

The RIDA®SMART APP is available for the evaluation of quantitative R-Biopharm RIDA®QUICK RQS mycotoxin lateral flow strips (e.g. RIDA®QUICK Aflatoxin RQS). RIDA®SMART APP will give full quantitative results within the individual test specifications. The RIDA®SMART APP will combine all necessary test information to cover all requirements for the future testkit portfolio.

Precise mycotoxin quantification Dedicated smartphone support

Maintenance free

Supported connectivity

• High CPU power • Long battery life • Pocket analyzer

• Easy access for cleaning • No mechanical parts • Software updates

• • • •

WiFi Bluetooth Cloud printing USB

R-Biopharm • An der neuen Bergstraße 17, 64297 Darmstadt, Germany • E-mail: info@r-biopharm.de • www.r-biopharm.com

R-Biopharm – dedicated to food safety

RIDA®SMART APP – the smart way to test for mycotoxins Unique combination of rapid mycotoxin testing and mobile reading Next generation of LFD testing

Quantification and performance

Lateral flow (LFD) tests play an important and increasing role in mycotoxin analysis. They are fast and very simple to use: Prepare your sample, pipette the extract on the strip and read the result after 5 minutes. Dedicated readers for quantitative lateral flow evaluation have been on the market for years. However, wouldn’t it be great to get reliable quantitative results by using a smartphone? The innovative R-Biopharm RIDA®SMART APP offers you this possibility. The software analyzes the LFD strip by a smartphone-taken picture and quantifies the mycotoxin contamination. Results are automatically stored in the internal database or can be shared immediately.

The RIDA®SMART APP allows for sensitive and high accurate measurements of quantitative R-Biopharm lateral flow strips. In conjunction with a compatible smartphone and RIDA®QUICK Mykotoxin RQS lateral flow tests, the RIDA®SMART APP can measure and quantify results below or at EU levels. The software has been extensively validated by analyzing LFD tests performed with naturally contaminated reference material which was compared to HPLC data. This ensures high accuracy and precision of results that are comparable to or even exceed the performance of conventional dedicated readers.

Full connectivity

Convenient barcode technology

The RIDA®SMART APP runs on an Android driven dedicated smartphone and supports all available connectivity (i.e. WiFi/ Bluetooth/USB). Use these options to send your results via email or save and print them on cloud based storages or print services. The software is updated via the internet (over the air) whenever required. There is no need for a technician and no additional expenses. You are not alone if you should encounter a problem: Connect to your local network and send a direct service request to your local R-Biopharm representative to get remote support.

A key element is the LFD cover contained in every RIDA®SMART APP-compatible test kit. It contains a QR code (quick response code) and the RIDA®SMART APP color sheet, both necessary for the precise evaluation of results. The QR code encodes basic data like test name and lot number but also links to specific application information of your test lot. Even the valid calibration curve of your specific test kit lot is transferred via barcode. Therefore, no calibration of the instrument is required in the laboratory. Additionally, the RIDA®SMART APP color sheet printed on the LFD cover allows you to use the app not only under controlled laboratory conditions but also in non-controlled environments (on-site testing).

Smartphone with RIDA®SMART APP RIDA®SMART APP color sheet

Detection well


QR-Code Batch

R-Biopharm • An der neuen Bergstraße 17, 64297 Darmstadt, Germany • E-mail: info@r-biopharm.de • www.r-biopharm.com

R-Biopharm – dedicated to food safety

Mycotoxin testing – anytime, anywhere The RIDA®SMART APP is designed to be an easy-to-use mobile analyzer for production facilities or small laboratories to perform in-process testing or goods inwards controls. Evaluate every R-Biopharm lateral flow test with its individual RIDA®SMART APP cover. All data specific for the test is stored in the QR-Code on the cover, so there is no need to enter any test relevant settings manually. You are using barcode encoded samples and customer IDs? Even this data can be

entered without typing. Just scan your barcodes and the app links the information to your sample (barcode scanner needs to be installed on the smartphone to use this feature). Results are calculated automatically and displayed on the screen. You can directly export them via email, cloud and network printer or review the automatically stored data in the internal database for export at a later date.

The testing procedure is simple, fast and generates accurate results. 1


Set your information and choose Measurement

Enter sample data via keyboard or barcode scanner and choose your application



Place the cover on top of the strip


Hold the smartphone above the strip and take a picture

View your results and export them via email or cloud printing


Access and view your results from the built-in database

R-Biopharm • An der neuen Bergstraße 17, 64297 Darmstadt, Germany • E-mail: info@r-biopharm.de • www.r-biopharm.com


Randox Food Diagnostics Offers Innovative Multiplex Technology for Mycotoxin Screening within Feed and Cereal Samples


ycotoxins are poisonous chemical compounds produced by certain fungi. There are many such compounds, but only a few of them are regularly found in food, farmed crops and end product animal feeds. Since they are produced by fungi, mycotoxins are associated with diseased or mouldy crops. Those that do occur in food may have an impact on livestock or human health and have been associated with conditions such as cancers, asthma, respiratory infections and chronic fatigue. The main cause of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp, damaged or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions. The formation of mycotoxins is climate-dependent, with temperature and moisture levels directly impacting fungal growth. Evidence has shown that climate change is causing an increase in temperatures and altered rainfall patterns. Additionally, extreme weather incidents have increased. As a consequence of these changes, increased levels of mycotoxins have been observed in a lot of crops globally. Mycotoxins occur and exert their toxic effects in extremely small quantities in foodstuffs. The identification and quantitative assessment, therefore, generally require sophisticated sampling, sample preparation, extraction, and analytical techniques. It is worth noting that

the absence of fungal contamination does not preclude the presence of mycotoxins. The presence of fungi does not necessarily indicate the presence of mycotoxins, however, the fate of the affected commodity batch must be considered, and mycotoxin presence ascertained.

In order to help the industry Randox Food Diagnostics developed the Evidence Investigator analyser. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), which provides multiple mycotoxin detection (up to 9) from a single sample. Within feed and cereals Randox Food Diagnostics provide testing for different matrices such as: barley, buckwheat, corn, cereal based feed, oat, wheat, rye, soya, sugar beet and rapeseed. Randox Mycotoxin Screening Products Our Myco 9 Array utilises Biochip Array Technology on the Evidence Investigator analyser and can allow the quantitative detection of up to 9 groups of mycotoxins from one single sample including; Aflatoxins G1/G2 & B1/B2, Diacetoxyscirpenol, Fumonisins, Paxilline, Ochratoxin A, Deoxynivalenol (DON), T2 toxin and Zearalenone. Randox Food also offer a range of premium quality ELISA kits which provide a fast reliable method to detect the presence of Aflatoxin B1 and Ergot Alkaloids in multiple sample types. Randox Food Diagnostics is a regular participant in the FAPAS proficiency testing scheme which provides an independent check of a laboratory’s procedures to ensure the delivery of quality results.

For more information on our arrays for mycotoxins please visit our website: https://www.randoxfood.com/matrices/mycotoxins Contact us via email at: info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com

14 | November - December 2020

Mycotoxin Detection Rapid & Reliable Results The Randox Food Diagnostics Myco 9, 7 and 5 arrays have been developed with Biochip Array Technology to provide a comprehensive solution that simultaneously and quantitatively detects the world’s most prevalent toxins from a single sample of feed or cereal. Randox Food Diagnostics also offer one of the only ELISAs on the market for Ergot Alkaloid screening within flour and grass seed. Mycotoxins Detected • Aflatoxin B1/B2

• Deoxynivalenol

• Ergot Alkaloids

• Ochratoxin A

• T-2 Toxin

• Aflatoxin G1/G2

• Diacetoxyscirpenol

• Fumonisins

• Paxilline

• Zearalenone

Evidence Investigator Analyser




Effective mycotoxin management: mission possible Radka Borutova, Business Development Manager, Nutriad International


ycotoxins are toxic substances produced by naturally occurring metabolic processes in fungi. Mycotoxins can invade the seeds before the actual harvest whilst the crop is still on the field, or alternatively, mould growth can occur during storage at the feed mill or on the farm. As a result, high numbers of mycotoxins could already be present in the ingredients before they are received in feed mills or farms. Mould can also grow during feed processing especially when the temperature and humidity in the feed is increased during mixing. Finally, mould growth and mycotoxin production can also occur at the farm level from improperly cleaned silos, transport systems and feeders. The production of mycotoxins is enhanced by factors such as the moisture of the substrate (10 to 20%), the relative humidity (≥ 70%), the temperature (0 to 50°C, depending on the fungus species) and the availability of oxygen (Kanora and Maes, 2009). The most important role of feed mills is to keep the levels of mycotoxins as low as possible while multi-mycotoxin contamination should be also avoided. Most of the mycotoxins occur concurrently and a commodity usually contains more than one mycotoxin at the same time. Test the raw ingredients

16 | November - December 2020

The best practical way to control mycotoxin levels is to use rapid test kit systems for the analysis of mycotoxins in raw ingredients which are not yet in silos. Different rapid test kit systems are validated for different mycotoxins and commodities and offer a very quick and effective way of raw material screening before they enter the feed mill. Once the levels are known, every feed mill can

estimate the quality of its raw ingredients in terms of mycotoxin contamination and can effectively and more precisely (dosage adjustment) apply mycotoxin deactivator during feed production. Test the finished feed Another strategy of mycotoxin risk management is to test for the presence of mycotoxins in finished feeds. This method has some advantages and disadvantages. The most important advantage is that as every raw ingredient can bring its own mycotoxins into the finished feed and by only testing some raw ingredients by rapid test kits, some important raw ingredients whose inclusion is not high (5-10%) and which can still cause significant contamination of finished feed can be missed. Since the 1960’s, many analytical methods have been developed for the testing of mycotoxins in human food and animal feeds due to the concern of toxicity for human health. Among them, the methods of thin-layer-chromatography (TLC), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunosensor-based methods have been widely used for rapid screening, while high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection (FD) and mass spectrometry detection (MS) have been used as confirmatory and reference. Accredited laboratory service is required for this step. The most important disadvantage is that analysis of finished feed takes quite a long time such that the tested feed is likely to have been fed to the animals by the time the results from the analysis are known. Use mould inhibitors Storage mycotoxin contamination (ochratoxins, aflatoxins) can be prevented by keeping temperature and moisture content in silos low whilst grain is regularly aerated. In case perfect storage conditions cannot be guaranteed, use of mould inhibitor is highly recommended. Apply mycotoxin deactivator The final possible step in mycotoxin management is the application of a mycotoxin deactivator. These products work strictly in vivo and will not counteract or mask mycotoxin in stored feed or raw ingredients. It is highly recommended to apply effective mycotoxin deactivator which offers an opportunity to significantly improve animal health, performance, productivity and profit impaired by mycotoxins. Depending on the target performance different mycotoxins can be more or less problematic. Therefore, using different products for different animal groups become a rational trend. References

Kanora A. and Maes D. 2009. The role of mycotoxins in pig reproduction: a review. Veterinarni Medicina, 54, 2009 (12): 565– 576.

Great feed. Are you sure it is?

MYCOTOXIN MANAGEMENT: DISCOVER HOW WE ADD MORE Nutritionists create the best possible composition and use the best raw materials. However they can’t control the conditions in the field or during storage. Mycotoxins can have tremendous effect on health and growth of animals. Nutriad is the expert in solutions for controlling molds and mycotoxins in animal feed and raw materials. Nutriad offers a complete, EU-approved and hands-on range of solutions across species; such as UNIKE® PLUS, TOXY-NIL® and MOLD-NIL®. These solutions have been tested extensively and have proven reliability. Additionally, Nutriad supports its customers with mycotoxin analytical services, providing accurate information on field status, which in combination with the MYCOMAN® app, helps make the right choice of product and product dosage as quickly as possible. Supporting customers in protecting their animals and achieving higher performance.

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attention is given to goats which explains the 65% pre-weaning mortality rate. Goats also tend to live in unbearable conditions that compromise their health with pneumonia being a leading killer. In addition, the market also poses a challenge as middlemen and the farmers only regard goats as an object for transaction. Farmers seem to only care for their goats when they exchange them for money. No one is concerned about fixing the gaps in the supply chain that will enable bringing goats to the market in a fairer and transparent manner. At the same time, none of these players have ventured further to unlock the full value and multiple functions of a goat.

Goat farming in Zimbabwe A

n increasing number of farmers are keeping goats for commercial purposes in Zimbabwe. Goat farming business is a very profitable business to operate in Zimbabwe. The demand for goat meat is increasing. People want to try a different type of meat which is not chicken, beef or pork. Goats are easy to keep and are very profitable as the feed costs are low due to the fact that they eat a variety of foods. An increasing number of farmers in Zimbabwe are keeping goats due to the high profits from the goat farming business. Demand for goat meat is high and there is a lot of potential for the growth of the market. So much so that Mnangagwa, while commissioning the Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) Goat Genetics and Artificial Insemination Centre, said that “Goat breeding projects and attendant value addition interventions will go a long way towards ensuring broad-based empowerment, wealth creation and lifting millions out of poverty within our society.� He further suggested that these project must be deployed towards the realisation of robust and vibrant rural industry systems supported by livestock production and related development of modern animal handling facilities. The Goat Genetics and Artificial Insemination Centre is a welcome development that serves to get a grip on genetics as a key ingredient in sustainable and successful goat farming. Zimbabwean breeds have not been subjected to adequate scientific scrutiny. However, a lot of work still has to be done to unlock the potential and promise of goat farming that can uplift

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millions of our people from poverty. Furthermore, and with a national goat herd of approximately four million, Zimbabwe is barely on the map of goat-producing countries. The goat herders are favored by the existence of abundant land and suitable climatic conditions that can be leveraged to boost their national herd to 25m by year 2025, should the current situation turn for the better. According to media reports, most farmers have a long-enduring love and hate relationship with goats. They are seen as troublesome animals that are guaranteed to bring problems including invading into neighbours’ fields. Very little

Breeding There is also currently an ongoing frenzy about mixing local goat breed with foreign breeds such as Boer, Red Kalahari, and Savannah, among others. While there is no fundamental problem with cross breeding, the matter is presented like a quick fix. However, it does not address the core of why the local Mashona and Matabele breeds have progressively grown smaller due to inbreeding. Despite their high profligacy and adaptability, high reproductive wastage under traditional systems of management remains a limitation to increased local goat productivity. This loss in production has been attributed to a number of constraints namely poor nutrition, poor health care and low management input. Without taking care of the basics, farmers can import all loads of exotic breeds to no avail. There is also a danger that we will end up wiping out our hardier, tastier and adaptable local breeds at the altar of increasing carcass weight through cross breeding.


NATURALLY FERTILE ! In the future, agricultural production should be intensified sustainably and with respect for the environment.

Who are FCA Fertilisants and Fertilux ?

Proven by the results of official experiments, the performances of FCA Fertilisants and Fertilux solutions provide an answer in the African context.

SUMMARY : Eco-friendly fertilisation has several advantages :


ll the continents, and especially Africa, should take on a challenge for the future :

To feed more and more populations under increasingly difficult soil and climatic conditions. Despite significant progress, productivity in the African continent is still below the other regions in the world and remains a primary concern. At present, one person in four on the continent still suffers from chronic malnutrition. The situation will get worse over the next decades, considering that demographic growth in Africa, forecast at 1.3 billion additional inhabitants by 2050, will further increase the challenge to the African food system. This is compounded by intensifying climatic changes which will put crops and animal rearing in peril and heighten food safety issues. Without adaptation strategies, the production of corn, which is a basic food in Africa, could fall by 40% between now and 2050. Although the extension of cultivated land has considerably increased agricultural production in the past, it has been to the detriment of the environment.

> An increase in yield Located in the middle of Europe, the geographic position of their production sites gives FCA Fertilisants and Fertilux direct access to natural raw materials for the agro-industry and microbiology. Through their patented know-how in soil life biostimulation technologies, FCA Fertilisants and Fertilux enable farmers to take the initiative towards a naturally fertile agriculture by following four principles : Enriching soil fertility Significantly reducing the carbon effect in comparison to standard fertilisers Increasing the effectiveness of inputs Decreasing the environmental impact

What are the solutions ? The solutions for eco-friendly fertilisation provided by FCA Fertilisants and Fertilux stabilise the soil by including nutrients and nourishing the microorganisms that are naturally present. Through a symbiotic relationship with plants, these microorganisms shape plant health in two ways : By helping to fight off diseases or pests By reinforcing the resistance to biotic and abiotic stress

> Sustainable strengthening of soil and plant health > Perpetuation of the biological, physical and chemical fertility of the soil FCA Fertilisants and Fertilux are dedicated to the preservation of relations with farmers and devotedly carry out tests each year directly on "pilot" farms in order to continuously evaluate the pertinence of their solutions and optimise their recommendations and fertilisation programmes. We invite you to follow the results of these tests and partnerships in the next issues of Farmers Review of Africa...

To contact us : Mr. SĂŠbastien DAVID sebastien.david@group-shfc.com + Mr. Christophe MONNOT christophe.monnot@fertilux.lu +


SA’s New Dairy Powerhouse D

airy Group is a new agri-business that combines the Dairy Farmers of South Africa’s (DFSA’s) 120 years’ experience as a market leader in the procurement of raw milk (and the raw milk supplier of premium brands such as Clover) with Coega Dairy’s lowcost efficiency and house-brand knowledge. The result is a powerhouse dairy brand with the potential to significantly strengthen the local dairy sector.

categories across its infrastructure network.’ Dairy Group’s ability to expand into Africa which features 500 million consumers with low exposure to South African dairy brands - is an important part of the logic behind its creation. Success in African markets will, in turn, strengthen the dairy value chain within South Africa. New business opportunities will be created for hard pressed South African dairy farmers, including emerging black-owned farmers, who are central to Dairy Group’s future growth plans.

‘Fewer and fewer dairy farmers are able to go at it alone, and collective action is often the key to long-term viability,’ explains Drikus Lubbe, Dairy Group’s CEO. ‘The creation of Dairy Group means the industry as a whole has a better, clearer future growth path, which is crucial for all stakeholders.’ Local dairy businesses compete against sophisticated international players within a volatile local economy. To stay competitive, dairy brands have to achieve better efficiencies and economies of scale, with capital-intensive process technologies key to transforming high volumes into better margins and sustainable business. DFSA and Coega Dairy’s combined infrastructure and experience rise to these challenges, creating a highly efficient,

20 | November - December 2020

Drikus Lubbe, CEO of the newly founded Dairy Group

optimised value chain for members’ raw milk produce. ‘The new formation immediately positions Dairy Group as the leading Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk supplier to consumers in South Africa,’ says Lubbe. ‘It also has the ability to expand its footprint into Africa by facilitating mergers and acquisitions in competitive dairy

‘We take a broad view of sustainability, which we see as being as much about achieving viable business growth as maintaining excellent environmental standards,’ says Lubbe. ‘In South Africa, commercial growth has to include a strong focus on black empowerment. This is especially true in the agri-sector, where we need to bring new players in to augment the strength of established entities. Consequently, nurturing new entrants is a central part of Dairy Group’s growth strategy. We’re looking forward to taking advantage of our new scale and structure to bring that vision to life.’


TWK delivers results that mirror a year like no other T WK Investments Limited a diversified agriculture and forestry company that operates through the following divisions, namely Timber, Retail and Mechanisation, Financial Services, Grain and Vehicles and Tyres, reported a set of results for the year ended 31 August 2020 that reflects the tough trading conditions experienced during the year, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. André Myburgh, CEO of TWK, commented: “The results of the TWK Group for the year under review are disappointing when compared with the record results of the previous year. The results should however be put into perspective. The past financial year was probably one of the most challenging years for most businesses. No business has escaped the widespread disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” During the lockdown, agriculture was classified as an essential service provider and therefore alleviated the impact on the industry in which the TWK Group operates. Although TWK is a diversified business operating in the agriculture sector, the Timber segment is the main contributor. Therefore, the biggest impact on the business of the TWK Group was the disruption in the export of fibre and the decline in demand for local lumber and fibre. Substantial losses were also incurred in the dealerships and fuel operations, directly related to the severe impact of the COVID-19 hard lockdown periods. Revenue was down by 1.0% from R7.8 billion (2019) to R7.7 billion due to tough market conditions. There was however an improvement in the Retail and Mechanisation segment of 15.7% due to higher volumes of fertiliser sold, the additions of new branches and better trading conditions in certain areas. Revenue in the Timber segment decreased by 16.8% due to a drastic decline in demand in the international pulp paper industry. The ability to convert revenue growth into operating profit growth is a critical measure of TWK’s success. This indicates the effectiveness of cost control, unlocking of synergies and the effectiveness of production and procurement. The focus will be to further unlock synergies

22 | November - December 2020

continuing operations decreased by 55.0% from R244.5 million (2019) to R110.0 million (2020), resulting in the operating profit margin declining to 6.0% (2019: 11.1%). During the year, TWK increased its interest in the mine timber sawmill, BedRock, by 25% to 90% as at 31 August 2020. The acquisition of the forestry assets (23 422 ha of land, 17 900 ha of standing timber, buildings and a sawmill operation) of Peak Timbers is still subject to Competition Commission approval.

within the different business units and segments. Improved cost efficiencies and strict cost controls resulted in the Group decreasing operating expenses by 0.2% when excluding the impact of the implementations of IFRS 16: Leases on operating expenses. Operating expenditure as a percentage of turnover was 12.9% (2019: 13.3%) and is in line with the Group’s commitment to maintain disciplined cost control. Operating profit, excluding discontinued operations, declined by 31.7% from R431.1 million (2019) to R294.3 million, resulting in the operating profit margin weakening to 3.8% from 5.6% (2019). Eddie Fivaz, TWK’s Chief Financial Officer said: “The company declared a total dividend to shareholders of 65 cents per share, a decrease of 27.8% on the previous year’s 90 cents per share. Our financial position remains strong with good cash flow. Net asset value per share increased by 5.1% from R40.74 as at 31 August 2019 to R42.83 as at 31 August 2020. Return on equity decreased from 13.7% to 7.8%.” The Timber Division reported revenue of R1 838.6 million, a decrease of 16.8% from R2 210.8 million for the previous financial year primarily due to a sharp decline in the export of woodchips on the back of the drastic decline in demand in the international pulp paper industry. Sales volumes to the South African eucalyptus, pine and wattle markets decreased by 54%, 21% and 22%, respectively. Operating profit from

Subsequent to year end, TWK acquired 51% of Sunshine Seedlings Services (Pty) Ltd (Sunshine) and has been granted an irrevocable right to acquire a further 49% of the shares in Sunshine over the next five years at agreed terms and financial ratios. Sunshine is a large nursery business yielding some of the highest quality timber and vegetable seedlings in South Africa and produces over 50 million vegetable seedlings annually, as well as 10 million forestry clones, seven million forestry seedlings and four million essential oil seedlings and clones. Revenue for the Retail and Mechanisation Division increased by 15.7% from R2 912.2 million (2019) to R3 369.7 million mainly as a result of higher fertilizer prices and 5 015 tonnes more fertilizer sold. TWK increased its retail outlets to 29 (2019: 27) adding the New Holland Mechanisation Agency in Pietermaritzburg with effect from February 2020 and the Harding retail store. Operating profit increased by 7.3% from R32.0 million (2019) to R34.4 million with an operating profit margin of 1.0% (2019: 1.1%). The Financial Services Division reported a decrease in revenue of 3.0% from R178.9 million (2019) to R173.5 million, largely attributed to the 34% decline in bridging facilities provided by the Credit Division. The Insurance Division reported a 20% growth in crop insurance and an 86% growth in its medical insurance portfolio. This contributed to operating profit increasing by 2.5% from R36.0 million (2019) to this year’s R36.9 million. The overall operating profit margin increased from 20.1% (2019) to 21.2% (2020). The Grain Division reported a strong set of results and was the only division unaffected by COVID-19. Contributing to the strong results was

the silo capacity increase at the Rietspruit Silo to accommodate the storage of Non-Genetically Modified Organisms (NGMO) crops. Revenue decreased marginally by 2.5% to R1 311.5 million (2019: R1 346.1 million). Operating profit increased by an impressive 131.4% to R44.1 million from R19.1 million (2019). The operating profit margin recovered to 3.4% (2019:1.4%), as the results exclude the loss-making (since 2019) Mkhondo Animal Feeds operation that was closed during the year. The Motors and Tyres Division experienced one of its most challenging trading periods in history Revenue decreased by 10.8% to R979.6 million (2019: R1 097.6 million), due to declines in sales volumes across all the underlying businesses. The Toyota, Hino and Isuzu dealerships showed a 21% decline in the number of vehicles sold, a 17% decline in new tyre sales as well as a drop of 21% in petrol and diesel sales for the year ended 31 August 2020. Operating profit declined severely by 45.5% to R19.2 million from R35.2 million (2019), resulting in the operating profit margin decreasing from 3.2% in the prior year to 2.0%.

“Although a slight improvement, we project that the international markets and prices of timber fibre will continue to be under pressure into the new year. We are expecting the “loss” in volumes, due to the lower demand by the pulp paper industry, to be taken up by the increase in packaging volumes as online or e-commerce shopping as well as the demand for sanitary products increased as a direct result of COVID-19, globally. In addition, with the volume decline in recycled wastepaper, we are expecting an increase in the demand for virgin pulp, used in the manufacturing of paper, corrugated carton Board and other paper-related products. We are also very optimistic that the rest of our business units will perform much better than the past year. We will continue to bear down on costs and improve the efficiency of our operations, including through range optimisation and lower stockholdings to deliver sustainable improvements in our cash generation and profit before tax. Our strategy is robust and the diversified nature of our business makes us resilient in the face of tough macroeconomic pressures;” concluded Myburgh.




Entirily hot galvanized

Via Togliatti 4 - 42016 Guastalla Reggio Emilia - Italy Tel. +39 0522 831544 r.a info@irriland.it www.irriland.it


November - December 2020 | 23


The Tool Every Farm Needs At Harvest: Bushel Plus Frustrated with mounting harvest losses, Marcel Kringe went to work.

Every year we’re seeing a massive investment of time, money and resources going into growing the best crop and then at harvest I kept seeing that some farms were throwing away five percent, or more, of their yield because there wasn’t a system out there to accurately quantify and calculate the value of harvest loss,” said Kringe, an agronomist who has worked on small and large farms around the world. Kringe was tired of seeing combines run at less than full capacity and recognized that loss monitors were constantly fluctuating. He also found some sensors weren’t always accurate leading to operators running the machine at what they believed was an acceptable level while losses piled up or speeds slowed down to the point where they became an issue. After identifying the problem, Kringe went to work on a solution inventing the Bushel Plus system, which is the first tool that lets farmers accurately test losses and quantify them on any combine in order to calibrate their machine and put more money in their pockets.

24 | November - December 2020

that covered the pan until we were ready to drop it,” Kringe said. “Anyone who has operated a combine will understand the pan must be protected to keep kernels and chaff from filling it prior to your point-in-time drop otherwise the sample’s integrity is destroyed.”

Marcel Kringe - Co-Owner - Bushel Plus

After building several prototypes and spending thousands of hours testing, Bushel Plus is now the most sophisticated yet user friendly tool to measure harvest loss on the market. “One of the first things we identified early on was that the system had to have a housing unit

Kringe designed a housing unit that not only protects the sample pan but is easy to move from combine to combine during harvest. Two high-strength magnets connect the system to the combine, where it’s usually placed under the straw elevator or on the machine’s rear axle. Once connected, a wireless signal activates the drop function which releases the pan onto the ground where the combine passes over and a sample of swath is deposited in the pan for testing. “We knew it had to be simple, fast and accurate,” said Kringe adding that the battery-powered system is good for more than 100 drops before being recharged. “No one is going to stop for an extended period of time during harvest to take a sample but if we can do it in minutes and the result is a small tweak to the machine or recognition

that speeding up won’t cause additional losses then we can save and potentially earn a lot of money with this data.” And the results have spoken for themselves as many of the largest manufacturers and dealers in the world have incorporated the Bushel Plus system into their internal training, client combine clinics and prototype testing. “This system makes my job a whole lot simpler, not to mention safer and cleaner,” said Dan Labossier a product specialist with New Holland in Canada. “I’m able to use it on multiple combines and get immediate results. The covered design I see as a must for sample integrity.” Safety was another major factor that went into the design of system, which comes with two different sized pans — a narrow pan ideal for tall stubble such as oilseeds and a wide pan ideal for shorter stubble like wheat, barley and maize. “Unfortunately we all know someone who has been hurt or injured on the farm,” Kringe said. “The truth is that we were seeing farmers run beside the combine in order to throw a makeshift pan to collect a sample. One stumble could have a catastrophic effect. With the Bushel Plus you can be a safe distance away from the machine, or sitting in the cab, and drop the pan remotely.” Once the sample is collected, Kringe identified another problem.

“It was taking too much time to clean a sample with sieves which are bulky and quite frankly annoying to use,” he said. “Now it’s as simple as dumping that sample into our air separator and in less than 30 seconds you have a clean sample of the losses that are coming out of the back of the combine.” The Bushel Plus air separator features a variable speed control that can be adjusted up for heavier crops like beans and dialled down for lighter seeds. Once the clean sample is collect it is weighed. The result is entered into the Bushel Plus app, which is available on any smartphone, where all of the calculations are done for the user. “We saved one to three bushels per acre,” said Dan Jan who owns and operates a farm in Canada. “That’s between $11 to $33 per acre. So it’s well worth the product cost and few minutes ti takes to test harvest losses.” Results like those, and from the increasing understanding of their machine means more savings in yield and time every harvest. “Some of our clients have been able to increase their speed by two kilometres per hour without seeing any adverse effects on losses,” Kringe said. “Those speed gains mean they’re done earlier, helping them beat the weather and maintain quality levels with less hours on the equipment.”

In other cases, tweaks to the internal settings of the combines have resulted in savings of two to 10 percent of the total yield, providing a significant return on the investment of purchasing a Bushel Plus. “Now, decisions like when to stop cutting in the evening are rooted in evidence,” he added. “You should never see farmers on their hands and knees scraping the ground ever again.” The systems versatility, allowing farmers to quickly test losses from the sieves, header or in the straw has created demand on all different sized farms around the world. “There’s a reason why we’ve had farmers from around the world, in places like Canada, Australia, the United States, the UK, Germany, Latvia, Chile, Japan, Russia and others buy the system — it works,” Kringe said. “It’s all about putting more grain in the bin and leaving less of it in the field.” That expansion is continuing as Bushel Plus is looking to partner with an importer and distributor in South Africa. Inquiries can be sent to Marcel@ BushelPlus.ca “First and foremost we are looking for a partner,” Kringe said. “Someone who believes in providing value to farmers and has deep roots in the agriculture community.”

November - December 2020 | 25


BMG’s agricultural services to Zambian farmers enhance efficiencies for increased productivity and greater profitability

Agriculture linkage, PTO’s, chain and gearboxes


he global COVID-19 pandemic caused a tremendous impact on human health and the economy worldwide. Poultry processing specialist Meyn is eager to help recover human health and global economy by supporting aspiring poultry processors and farmers in Africa and around the world to professionalize their business to achieve higher levels of hygiene, efficiency, AND increase their profit. BMG’s service to Zambia’s agriculture sector focuses on the importance of the investment in quality equipment and components for high efficiencies and optimum productivity across all farming disciplines. “Through dedicated BMG branches in Lusaka and Kitwe and with distributors in Mkushi, Mazabuka and Choma, the company is able to offer the Zambian agri-sector quick access to quality components, which are supported by the team’s technical sales team in country. “Through BMG’s Boer Slim/Smart Farming concept, the company’s agricultural experts based in RSA work closely with farmers throughout Southern Africa, to help them cope with constantly changing trends in agricultural

Tsubaki high strength RS100HT Agri Baler Chain

26 | November - December 2020


Agriculture ironware

machinery,” says Brendan Kitcat, BMG’s Branch Manager, Lusaka, Zambia. “We have recognised a greater acceptance by local farmers that advanced equipment is necessary to optimise productivity and minimise downtime and that this investment does translate into tangible operational efficiencies. Farmers acknowledge that there is value in BMG’s BTC agri-component product offering.

systems – including Motoline solar inverters and electronic variable speed drives (VSDs), which are designed to improve efficiencies, reduce energy consumption and minimise maintenance requirements.

“BMG offers farming sustainability solutions that focus on effective food production, the correct use of suitable equipment for the specific task and the efficient application of advanced technologies. The company’s extensive range of engineering components, which conforms to all relevant quality assurance and specification certifications, is carefully selected for local farmers, to ensure optimum performance - even in tough operating conditions. BMG’s electronic, fluid technology, tools and power transmission components have been carefully selected to operate together, to form an efficient system that enhances productivity and energy efficiency.

BMG’s Motoline solar inverters for water pumps offer dependable use in agricultural irrigation and water feed systems, for rural domestic and municipal water supply, as well as for ponds and dams. All solar powered systems require a solar inverter to convert direct current (DC) generated by solar panels or other alternative sources, into alternating current (AC) for use in industrial, commercial and residential applications. BMG’s Motoline P19000-S Solar series inverters for photovoltaic (PV) water pumps have integrated Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithms, which support accurate tracking of the PV output, to ensure the best possible power output is achieved.

An important focus is on the selection, installation and operation of advanced electromechanical

Notable features of these solar inverters include dry-run protection, tank water level control and a dual AC and DC supply mode. This series supports AC input connectivity, in addition to the

Wheel slogger for heavy equipment

Motoline solar inverter for PV water pump

DC input from a PV system, allowing the AC input to feed the drive when the PV supply is limited. A clear LED display indicates the real-time situation and system parameters and the RS485 remote control system enhances the flexibility of the system. BMG, which is an authorised DrivePro® service partner of Danfoss, has supplied Danfoss VSDs to farmers looking to accelerate and expand crop production, but who are restricted by power supply limitations. Positive feedback from farmers is with this energy-efficient system, there are no voltage dips when the process is started up and wear and tear on mechanical components is reduced. Production is less labour intensive, which reduces his shift costs.

designed for water and wastewater applications, including irrigation. A notable feature of this system includes a soft start/stop facility, which prevents water hammer on starting and stopping the pumps, thus reducing the possibility of burst pipes. Wear and tear on couplings, pumps and pipes is also reduced. These VSDs are available from BMG in IP55 enclosures, which do not require dedicated panels. This eliminates the need for additional cooling and ventilation, normally required to extract heat during operation. BMG’s highquality replacement agricultural components are engineered to improve productivity in the farming sector, to operate efficiently for extended periods,

BMG has also assisted farmers who needed to reduce the cost of irrigation per hectare. After the installation of VSDs on pump sets, the power supply is used more efficiently, resulting in improved crop production and expansion of the farmers’ supply to include other produce. Danfoss VLT AQUA Drive FC 202 VSDs - which offer saving additional energy savings compared with traditional VSD controls – have been

Slogging hammer

with minimal maintenance requirements and to reduce costs in the long term. Recently-launched agricultural components include slogging hammers and wheel sloggers, which are used to loosen and tighten bolts and nuts quickly and easily; BTC gearboxes, specifically designed for packhouses and robust Tsubaki RS100HT chain for balers, with a 25% higher maximum tensile strength, improved anti-shock performance and greater fatigue strength, when compared to other chain. Dual direction multi-purpose gearboxes, PTO clutches and components and specially designed heavy-duty coulter bearings are also new to the range. Immediate availability of a comprehensive range of quality branded products, technical support and a total solutions service, sets the company apart in Zambia’s agricultural community. The Zambian operation has partnered with Aqua Aura - T-L Centre Pivot agents in Mkushi -to supply consignment stock in the region. BMG provides solutions to all key players in Zambia’s agricultural sector, including local manufacturers of equipment and implements, as well as agricultural re-sellers and the farmer.





3 • Body and drawbar fully galvanized • Movable bolted axle • Very high wheels • Nice wide front wall with grate for good visibility • Drawbar with cross-leaves suspension

• Wide vertical beaters (820 or 900 mm) • Removable teeth in special steel • Retractable blades at the bottom

• Recessed and retractable rear lights, protected by plexiglas when retracted

• Waterproof control box : (1) FC300, (2) FC500, (3) FC4000 • Moving floor operation (start / stop and reversion of the moving floor) • Operation of other functions (guillotine door, limitation boards, canopy)

SIROKO MUCK SPREADER • Sturdy machine, safe and easy to use offering the highest level of working comfort in all circumstances • Personalized and complete parts book downloadable using the chassis number • 3 year warranty • Long term value



November - December 2020 | 27


BMG advises on how to optimise efficiency and extend the service life of solar-powered pumping systems by selecting the correct drives

BMG’s electromechanical specialists, with extensive experience in gearing, have extended their solutions service to include solar inverters and drives, which are designed to enhance efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) systems.


MG’s electromechanical specialists, with extensive experience in gearing, have extended their solutions service to include solar inverters and drives, which are designed to enhance efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) systems. “PV modules – which use daylight to generate electricity - are gaining popularity globally as a form of renewable energy that is clean, emissionfree, sustainable, safe and cost efficient. Through the use of environmentally-friendly PV technology to generate electrical power, companies in South Africa are finding effective solutions to combat the country’s grave electricity crisis,” explains Mick Baugh, electronics manager, BMG’s electromechanical division. “The benefits of using eco-friendly solar powered pumps for irrigation, animal farming and community water supply, include an uninterrupted water supply during the day and independence from the unreliable grid. In addition, advanced PV systems require minimal maintenance, which is an important advantage in remote areas where servicing is difficult.

“Solar pump systems, which are particularly popular in remote areas where electricity is unavailable, require a solar inverter to convert direct current (DC) generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC) for use in industrial, commercial and residential applications. A key differentiator in the selection of the correct inverter, is its ability to run the motor pump at the optimal working voltage and power ratings, to ensure solar panels deliver the highest possible power in various irradiation and ambient temperature conditions. “For optimum performance of the PV pump system, we believe it is critical for users to fully understand the control strategy of the system and to consider factors like where to install the drive, condensation issues, the temperature range and the back-up supply.” Control strategy Simpler solar-powered drives for pumping applications operate as under-voltage regulators, lowering the pump speed (thus reducing the absorbed power) when the DC voltage reaches

a minimum voltage set-point. This simple control mode negatively impacts performance of the PV modules, since they operate at a non-optimal voltage. In advanced controllers, the drive works to obtain the maximum power from solar panels by keeping the DC voltage at the optimum point (MPP = Max Power Point). Drives that operate at a constant DC voltage must be selected depending on the electrical characteristics of the installed PV system and should optimise the hydraulic efficiency of the pump. BMG specialists recommend the use of Vacon solar-powered drives that feature MPPT (Maximum Power Point tracking) control to ensure an optimal operation voltage for PV modules in pump applications. These highly-efficient MPPT controllers provide extended running hours, with an earlier start and later stop. Consequently, more water is pumped per watt peak (Wp) of installed PV modules, leading to reduced investment costs and a quicker payback period. MPPT controllers detect instantaneous irradiance or temperature variations and omit local maximums, which are generated in partial shading conditions or from degraded modules in the PV array. Cabinet or outdoor installations Conventional solar pump inverters are usually IP20 or 21 devices that are installed inside a cabinet along with components, including fuses, a power switch, lightening protection and door-mounted LEDs/bulbs. BMG specialists do not recommend this system because cabinets

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need to be ventilated to avoid overheating of the enclosed elements. Overheating produces derating and reduces lifetime of the drive. Airflow though the cabinet needs to be filtered to avoid dust collection and filters must be periodically cleaned and replaced, which increases risks and adds to maintenance costs. BMG’s Vacon IP66 drive solutions for outdoor installations consist of a small enclosure (replacing conventional big cabinets) which are separated from the drive - to house the mains switch and surge protection device. The Vacon IP66 drive can be installed outdoors without any reliability risk and does not require maintenance, as there are no filters to clean or replace. Drives can be mounted in the same structure of the PV modules, taking advantage of their shading to avoid overheating and thus a derating, due to direct sun on the drive. This ground-level system is fitted with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) which allow external visibility of operating conditions of the drive, including power-on, run, ready and fault. An IP66 display panel provides detailed information of the drive, like running speed and MWh readings. This enclosure, which is separated from the drive, gives the installer flexibility when designing a

considered. An advantage of BMG’s Vacon IP66 IP 66/NEMA 4X drives for outdoor installations is they are well protected against the ingress of water and dust and a specially designed GORE® vent effectively prevents condensation, without the need for a heater.

cabinet that is suitable to run a pump in different layouts. Condensation In conventional solar-powered pumping installations, intermittent operation during the day and internal temperatures changes between night and day, promote cyclical condensationevaporation processes inside of the drive.IP 20/21 drives installed inside a cabinet are sensitive to internal condensation and require temperaturecontrolled heaters. This can be a problem in solar-powered pumping systems because an AC grid is not normally available on remote sites. For this reason, anti-condensation solutions that do not require an energy supply, should be

Temperature range Solar-powered pumping systems are normally installed in areas where high temperatures can be a problem for the PV system. For this reason, it is critical to consider the maximum ambient temperature on site when selecting the appropriate drive model. This maximum temperature should be contained in the operating temperature range for the drive - preferably in the range without derating, to avoid power losses and to extend the service life of the drive. Users should take into account that the temperature inside a cabinet where an IP 20/21 drive is installed is always higher than the ambient temperature. It is important to consider the overheating effect due to direct sunlight if the cabinet is not mounted in the shade. BMG supports its extensive range of electromechanical products with a technical advisory and support service, tailored to meet the precise specifications of contractors, designers and the end-user.





VERKOOP DEUR HARDI.CO.ZA (CAPE TOWN & J’BURG) • E: sales@ledlightsforsale.co.uk • T: +44 (0) 1606 553 109 • W: www. ledlightsforsale.co.uk A5 landscape ad rev2.indd 1

14/06/2019 09:02

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They are what they eat:

Keeping cows fit and healthy longer with the right feeding strategy only takes about 30 minutes. Every animal group is provided with the optimal feed ration: cows at the beginning or the end of lactation, dry cows as well as youngstock and heifers receive exactly the rations they need for their current lactation phase, their calculated calving period or their recommended weight gain. Healthy growth supports productivity for a lifetime Heifers are the cows of the future. The way they are fed improves not only their well-being, but has a direct influence on their lifelong productivity. To support growth in the best possible way, GEA has developed automated feeding systems, where even small batches can easily be mixed and distributed according to plan. The latest research shows that heifers that were fed according to a precise feeding plan grew faster.


hat goes for human beings, also goes for dairy cows: A healthy and individually tailored diet is one of the most important requirements for high performance and wellbeing. With GEA’s automated feeding systems, the perfect recipe can be conveniently delivered to each animal group. Years of experience as well as the latest scientific findings advise systems for precision feeding. The success speaks for itself: Farmers are achieving significantly improved animal health with above average herd performance. In addition, better feed quality and resource-friendly feed conversion go hand in hand with huge time and labor savings, as well as the ability to optimize feeding strategies in a targeted and result-oriented manner. Good feed mix: optimized dosed rations down to the gram Measuring out fodder is surprisingly easy in the feed kitchen. Depending on the size of an operation and the number of animals needing to be fed, space-saving bunkers for basic feed types as well as containers for minerals are

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installed. The recipes, selected feed types and desired quantities can be conveniently entered into the WIC System. Weighing and mixing take place automatically in the stationary mixer or directly in the feed wagon. And while the feed wagon provides the selected animal groups with individual, freshly prepared rations at predetermined times, current milking results can be checked against the feeding strategy. Precisely these valuable conclusions help dairy farmers achieve short- and long-term goals. Because results can be replicated, producers are able to continually optimize the feeding. More animal groups, better feed supply, less work It’s clear that individual feed mixes designed to suit a cow’s nutritional needs will best support its performance. In conventional feeding systems, however, dividing animals into performance groups, means a corresponding increase in work hours. With GEA’s automated feeding systems, it doesn’t matter how many groups are desired, the only work required is filling the bunkers, which

In addition, they calved significantly earlier than in the conventionally fed control group (22.2 compared to 24.6 months). Meanwhile, the costs for rations as well as feed and supplements were nearly identical in both groups. Thanks to the earlier age at first calving and the increased willingness to perform over the animal’s entire life cycle, an investment in the automated feeding system pays off. The additional time required for preparing and distributing smaller rations is taken on by the system. Better feed intake through frequent feeding Feeding that is efficient for the farmer also helps cows absorb nutrients better for their own energy balance. In a cow’s stomach, there are millions of active bacteria that support the digestion of plant fibers. Because microorganisms cannot adapt very well, they need a relatively stable environment to carry out their tasks. The ideal pH level for a good feed conversion is at 5.5 – 6. An efficient method to keep the pH level in the rumen as consistent as possible is to provide feed throughout the day. Another argument for frequent feeding is supplied by the cow herself: her tendency to sort against small particles in her feed contributes to an unbalanced diet, which in turn has a negative impact on the pH level in the rumen. Here, too, frequent feeding is a successful countermeasure, as it verifiably reduces variations in the pH value during the day.

Secure nutrient supply also for subordinate animals The last in line only get the leftovers: this often applies when feed is conventionally distributed on the feeding table. Since the nutritional value of the ingredients begins to deteriorate as soon as feed is distributed, low ranking cows, who are initially denied access to the feeding table, can maintain neither their feed and nutrient intake nor milk production to the full extent.

mixed feed rations are often exposed to the air for long periods, which accelerates the deterioration and decay of nutrients particularly during the summer months. In automated feeding systems, this process is slowed down by the storage in feed bunkers, because feed is only prepared and mixed during each day as needed. Aside from the order of feed components, a feed mixture can be optimized by the type of cut applied as well as single or multiple mixing.

The common practice of pushing the feed forward may provide all cows with access to it, but cannot guarantee the uniform quality of the feed mix. When animals are fed more often, they distribute their feed intake more evenly throughout the day. At the same time, the movement profile of lower ranking cows reveals that when they get equal access to the feeding table, they are better fed with all the necessary nutrients. The otherwise labor-intensive processes of weighing, mixing and distributing can conveniently be carried out by the automated feeding system. All programmed tasks are taken care of on time, precisely according to plan.

Best results are achieved when starting with dry and ending with wet ingredients. That’s why farmers using GEA’s systems recommend beginning with dry fodder and grains, then adding concentrates, minerals and vitamins and finishing with silage, molasses and water. This is how the feed kitchen offers the best conditions, because it’s the quality of the mix that determines whether cows take in the right amount of nutrients for milk production, reproduction and good.

Feed quality - the mix is crucial Back to feed quality and the advantages of a feed kitchen: At conventionally feeding dairy farms,

Reproducible results make it easy to optimize feeding practices A pioneering function in automated feeding consists of updated performance indicators supplied by process control and the software. To this end, daily procedures such as feed quantities distributed per group, mixing times or

feed intake are recorded and referenced. The immediate evaluation and analysis in connection with information on milk performance of individual animal groups or heifers’ weight gain make it particularly easy for the farmers to make changes to feeding plans in real time and to improve feeding efficiency step by step. It makes no difference whether the farm feeds a full, partial or mixed ration in combination with grazing. Latest research findings served fresh to the feeding table. The proof is in the research: for cows’ well-being, health and vitality, freshly prepared feed should be distributed multiple times a day and as individually as possible. Feeding strategy, feeding frequency and feed mix are directly connected to animal stamina, milk yield and milk quality. The fact that efficient feeding and a successful feed strategy is not only good for cows, but is generally the decisive factor for the profitability of dairy farms, can not only be seen in improved herd performance, but is directly connected to sustainable feed implementation, savings in feed costs as well as improved reproduction. With significant labor savings, GEA’s automated feeding systems offer every opportunity to test, analyze and reproduce promising feeding strategies at any time.

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Prevent disease outbreaks with good biosecurity Source : Hendrix Genetics


s leaders in multispecies animal breeding, Hendrix Genetics recognizes that strong biosecurity measures play an important part in keeping animals safe and healthy. Fundamental to livestock production, biosecurity should act as the first line of defence to prevent, control and manage risks to life and health. Preventing as main measurement With biosecurity being the most effective and inexpensive means of disease control available, it’s important to understand that no single disease prevention program would be effective without taking proper biosecurity measures. Preventing disease outbreaks are key to maintaining the health of your animals. Animal disease outbreaks lead to mortality, reduced productivity, required treatment, increased labor and management costs as well as the loss of valuable genetic material from certain animals. Biosecurity procedures should be followed as a precautionary measurement. Animal diseases can have significant economic consequences from restrictions being placed on a specific location, region or even country by its trading partners. , Hendrix Genetics is safeguarding bio secure stock of animals to limit disruptions in the value chain. As an essential part of animal breeding, biosecurity includes management, farm design, decontamination, rodent, bird, insect control and immunization, all of which have a direct impact on productivity and profitability of any animal breeding company. Hendrix Genetics has implemented procedures that help to prevent pathogenic agents from entering farms and minimize their effect on the health status, welfare and technical results of all our animals. When followed correctly, biosecurity measurements prevent incidences from taking place but also aid to control and manage health risk occurrences. High health status As a multi-species primary breeding company, we produce and distribute breeding stock all over the world. To ensure business continuity and prevent transmission of disease agents to customers, we maintain a high health status. Utilizing global standardized biosecurity protocols to implement compliance we ensure clean stock is delivered to all of our customers. Beginning at the start of the protein value chain, we as a company must assure that the health status of  all breeding stock  meets the customers’ requirements. In order to provide customers with the best stock possible, we ensure

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that our animals are maintained in secured, controlled environments and are screened and  tested  accordingly. All Hendrix Genetics animals must meet the following requirements: • Must be free from notifiable diseases, according to the OIE list. • Health status must comply with national animal health standards. • Health status must meet the international veterinary import requirements of the countries where we have customers / where we want to deliver animals. • Health status must meet “agreed to” customers’ requirements. • Entry of organic and non-organic material into Hendrix Genetics units/facilities must be limited to an absolute minimum, so protocols to avoid involuntary entry of these materials must be in place. Superior genetic potential can only be expressed to the maximum in a healthy and biosecure environment. Biosecurity and management practices both play a significant role in achieving and maintaining good health status. If health status requirements are met, the return on time and money invested will be optimized through achievement of the maximum genetic performance of our breeding stock. Security of supply (as backup) Hendrix Genetics ensures the security of supply by preserving our global gene pool. Production of any product (pure lines, GPS, PS, commercial) must be split on at least two different locations at the same time. These two different locations must work independently and the distance between them must prevent the risk for a natural disease spreading from one farm to the other. Distance must also prevent for both sites to be included in the same restriction area. For all animal species with markets on different continents, production must be shared on a minimum of two continents to minimize the consequences of panzootic diseases. For example, if one of our pedigree flocks was contaminated and destroyed due to a very high mortality, regulation (inside a stamping out zone) or contamination reflecting in severe damages to customers without possibility to run a successful eradication plan on a short term, we would still be able to provide high quality genetics to customers across the globe. Securing supply as a backup biosecurity measurement enables Hendrix Genetics to continue to help feed a growing world population. We have set the standard for sustainable breeding through providing safe worldwide supply.Our grandparent

laying hen farms and hatcheries in Brazil are leading by example and have been awarded AI Free compartment status, granted by World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as well as the breeding complexes, grandparent farms, and hatcheries in the Netherlands. This status allows us the ability to ship to customers all over the world which helps ensure that we are doing our part in fighting the global food challenge.

Future – breeding for self-reliant animals

With biosecurity as the best defence to keep all diseases out, this is not always possible, especially on a commercial farm with higher densities of animals in the region. For that reason, Hendrix Genetics is breeding for selfreliant animals. Animals that can handle health challenges or at least recover quicker. Self-reliant animals are easier to manage and deliver return on investment. Layers: Pioneering research conducted by Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Hendrix Genetics revealed a genetic link to natural antibodies (called: NAbs) with huge potential to impact productivity, biosecurity, and sustainability. Turkeys: Hybrid Turkeys walking score with force plate. Swine: Hypor Magnus delivers less than 5% drop in average daily gain growing faster than the competition, with consistent growth and less variation among pigs from birth to market. Aquaculture: Hendrix Genetics utilizes differentiated breeding in aquaculture based on health challenge tests of families. Traditional poultry: With slower growth and natural resilience SASSO birds have key features of sustainable poultry breeding with enhanced disease control and disease-resistance. Practicing good biosecurity is the best method in preventing disease outbreaks and keeping animals on your farm healthy. Through following biosecurity protocols, Hendrix Genetics contributes to better breeding today, for a brighter life tomorrow, strengthening the industry by maintaining strong supply channels with high quality animal genetics.Source : Hendrix Genetics


How Africa can become the breadbasket of the world countries. If I want to buy a tractor in Germany today, it is 30% cheaper than in Africa. Then I can finance this tractor for 0.5-1.5% interest. If I should not have enough securities for a project, a state guarantee bank helps me to secure my financing. Why is this not possible in Africa. Because of mismanagement and corruption and a missing and chaotic support system nobody believes in these countries. The farmers of Africa have to suffer. What is needed: Previous programs have always covered only one aspect of a farmer and therefore could only fail! There are 3 areas that interfere with sustainable development. 1. Is the state framework 2. Professional agricultural frames 3. Financial framework 1.

By: Rainer TĂśgel


f course, it is not possible to make sweeping judgements about Africa, both in terms of its tertiary extension and its cultural differences, this make it difficult to find individual causes for the current situation. Surely someone from East Africa will say that the situation I have described does not apply to him and someone from West Africa will say that it is quite different for him. But one thing most countries in Sub Saharan Africa have in common, they are not self-sufficient in food and up to 95% of the processed food as pasta or canned food that has to be imported. All this despite the fact that Africa has the greatest potential for future agricultural land, with only 3% of it being used for agricultural purposes.

Germany is used for agriculture, the population density is higher than in China. The German agricultural industry has exported agricultural products worth 70 billion â‚Ź last year. African agriculture is often very onesided: If you only have a really marketable product like cocoa or rubber you are extremely dependent on the international market. When you have only one product for the market, the risk of losing everything is extremely high. This not only in agriculture. Competitive disadvantages of African agriculture: There is a competitive disadvantage for my African colleague caused by the African



Agriculture needs clear ownership, secure tax and customs regulations and financial support in the form of an agricultural guarantee bank. It would be important to have a young farmer program that provides each graduate of an agricultural education with a farm with buildings and machines. Not as a gift but as a long-term financing over 40 years. This program has managed to give 100,000 farmers in Germany new farms after the Second World War. Being a farmer has something to do with mentality. That means to pursue a long-term strategy that can be followed over several generations. My family has been farming without interruption for 400 years. This is the main reason for success besides a good education. This can only be achieved through role models. With a state guarantee of â‚Ź100 million

The hard truth is: I learned in my first semester of agricultural economics that an economy can only develop in a stable way if the agricultural sector is functioning and the supply of the population from their own resources is ensured. Only then is a country stable enough for sustained foreign investment and capacity for its own development is released. The leading industrial nations are always in the position to supply themselves and to gain profits from the surplus through export. Germany is a small country; it is the 4 largest industrial nation in the world. Africa is 86 times larger than Germany and if you calculate the actual agricultural area, the ratio is 1 to 100. Only 30% of the area in

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FEATURE of power, it must be considered how it should be here. As the situation in India or Brazil shows, there is a danger here the same mistakes are made in Africa. These points have Africans to decide for themselves. It must be clear to all those involved that any action here will bring change not only in Africa. The bottom line is: Currently, in most African countries there is no consistent and long-term strategy for the development of sustainable agriculture.

provided by a state guarantee bank, investments of up to ₏1 billion can be triggered. Farmers who cannot provide collateral for the purchase of a tractor, for example, can get a guarantee for financing from John Deere, for example. For this additional security Importer has to pay. Training alone does nothing: During the communist era, Russia had the best trained agricultural specialists, but was unable to feed its population. Then the political framework and structure changed and Russia became the world’s wheat exporter. If the conditions for farmers are not to change, nothing will change. Russia has decided to expand the agricultural area by another 17 million hectares, which is as much as Germany’s agricultural area. New agricultural areas are necessary: Official figures say that only about 3% of the possible agricultural land in Africa is really used. This number is hard to follow, but is that if Afrika want to provide food to myself, the agriculture areas must expand. But here there is a lot to consider in order not to create a social and ecologic disaster here.

In order to build new farms, it is important to see if there is already agricultural production there. Even if this is very small, such an area is not suitable for a new farm. In many countries in Africa, the government do not take any account of this and give the land especially to foreign investors. But also, in regions in which there are hardly any agricultural traditions, many points to note. Sufficient distance from villages, respect for wood collecting areas, respect for hunting grounds and absolute respect to religious places. A conversion of natural land into arable land also has ecological consequences. In addition to respecting the breeding grounds of birds and other habitats for animals. It is important to maintain a particularly distance to rivers, as it cannot exclude that pesticides and fertilizers directly go in streams and rivers. That small rivers be used in Africa often as a bathing area as well drinking water place. You could say now, what does he say that is all normal standards, but you can see all these negative examples around the world. The necessary expansion of agricultural land in Africa will have considerable ecological as well as social consequences. Since land ownership always involves a certain amount

In addition, NGOs often start very short-term aid programs with questionable goals that have been largely unsuccessful in the last 50 years. goals are also often wrongly formulated, claiming that organic agriculture could be a way for Africa, but Africa has neither the climatic conditions nor the market for such products. To name just one example of a mistaken development. Nobody needs Africa to feed the world, only the EU together with Russia would be able to feed the African population. But for a sustainable economic development in Africa the key lies in agriculture. Governments that depend on food imports cannot have independent economic policies because these governments are always open to blackmail. Many political programs talk about supporting small farmers. From an economic point of view, this is a waste of resources and money. Small farmers will never be able to compete with highly efficient farms in Europe and the USA. Holland a country 7 times smaller than Germany and world champion in agricultural exports. In Germany only 2% of the population works in the agricultural and food sector. Africa should focus on creating efficient family farms. In the history of Germany, there have been several programmes to create sustainable farms. One was after World War II, when 100,000 farmers needed a new farm after being evicted from their farms in Eastern Europe as a result of the war. Here standard farms were built and handed over to the farmers. These farms had a dwelling house, a stable and a barn and basic equipment of machines. This way whole villages with high efficiency farms were created. After the reunification of Germany, a program of privatization of agriculture was implemented in East Germany with the same goals, namely to create sustainable agriculture. All of these programs were carried out by the Agricultural Pension Bank and the state real estate society.

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NTN-SNR’s expertise in the agricultural market available for all manufacturers


TN-SNR opens up its expertise and experience in agricultural machines for all manufacturers in the sector by structuring a dedicated commercial offering of 80 products including bearings, bearing units, sealing and maintenance solutions. Having worked with the biggest and most demanding manufacturers in the world for several decades, NTN-SNR is an acknowledged expert in tillage and harvesting. It offers extremely robust and reliable products that ensure optimal use of machines in difficult environments. Whether for spreaders, mowers or balers, NTN-SNR has developed a range of specific products that meets the needs of implements manufacturers. NTN-SNR is rolling out this offer for OEM manufacturers throughout Europe, and aims to roll it out on this market with ambitious growth targets.

NTN-SNR products acknowledged by leading manufacturers of agricultural machines

Expertise serving all manufacturers in the sector NTN-SNR has worked for several decades with the leading European and American manufacturers of agricultural machines, supplying them with bearings and bearing units, including technical expertise, specially designed for the entire agricultural cycle. NTN-SNR thus addresses all manufacturers on European markets to enable them to incorporate the most robust and reliable parts into their machines without needing to go through costly development phases. A relationship of trust and confidence has been existing with Kuhn, a world leader in agricultural machinery for 40 years. “The longer service life and the consistent quality of the supplied bearings are for us a valuable asset”, says Bernard Jacob, lead buyer at KUHN. “Similarly, in terms of innovation, the sustained technical and commercial relations between the project teams of our two companies, the reactivity and quality of these relations enable us to progress and finalize our projects”, he adds. NTN-SNR ROULEMENTS - www.ntn-snr.com A comprehensive offering ranging from standard products to the latest innovations .

Performance and sealing NTN-SNR has already demonstrated the extreme reliability and performance of its bearings for mowers. Their ball bearing technology (single or double row) and lifelong lubrication ensure very high rotation speed.

A comprehensive offering ranging from standard products to the latest innovations NTN-SNR offers 80 listed products in its catalogue for towed machines, including its very latest innovations, making it an essential and acknowledged expert in this field. It includes mower bearings, sold for several decades, the latest innovations in seals, integral hubs, insert bearings and lubricating pumps. All the proposed listed products can be delivered within 48 hours throughout the area concerned. Furthermore, specific packaging is used for small orders, thereby enabling new customers to carry out prototyping. Finally, NTN-SNR’s technical teams can adapt products to customize them.

Technologies developed for all requirements

Tillage NTN-SNR has designed the Agrihub (integral hub for disc machines) comprising a highperformance bearing with a double row ball bearing. The side exposed to pollution is fitted with an 8-lip sealing system that protects the bearing throughout its lifetime. This solution also stands out because of its robustness and high impact resistance thanks to its housing in ductile cast iron fitted with a bearing that provides the highest load capacity on the market. For rotary harrow, NTN-SNR also offers tapered roller bearings with improved precision for rapid assembly, and for seeding, 4-point angular contact ball bearings for precise guiding.

For balers and harvesters, NTN-SNR’s range of seals is suitable for all types of environments. The LLU seal delivers optimal performance; L3 seals (3 nitrile lips) and L4 seals (3 nitrile lips and a labyrinth ring seal) are designed for highly polluted and wet land. The latest AGR seal consists of a 3-lip nitrile rubber seal plus a pressed metal shield assembled on the inner ring, which prevents build-up of dirt and which is robust enough to provide optimal protection against stones. Easier maintenance for optimal operation of machines NTN-SNR offers lubrication solutions that simplify maintenance and guarantee optimal equipment service life. In particular, it offers a relubricating pump, programmable by smartphone/ tablet. This versatile pump can be used both for multi-line systems or progressive distributors. Its size allows it to be installed on any on-board machines. *** NTN-SNR ROULEMENTS, having its head office in Annecy (Haute-Savoie, France), belongs to Japanese Group NTN Corporation, a global leader in bearings. NTN-SNR manages and develops all NTN’s activities for the EMEA region and Brazil. NTN-SNR, a major force as a designer, developer and manufacturer of bearings and sub-assemblies for the automotive sector, industry and aeronautics, offers a comprehensive range by also developing maintenance services and solutions. NTN-SNR employs 4,225 people at nine production sites, including six in France, as well as 18 sales offices.

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Sustainable agriculture S according to BKT

ustainable development of the agricultural industry is one of the greatest global challenges. Exponential growth of the world population means a constant increase in the demand for food and fodder. The need to increase productivity on the one hand, but also to guarantee food quality and security on the other, has imposed new standards and requirements for agricultural machinery, which undergo continuous development and improvements in terms of size, power and performance. It is therefore essential that tractors and other agricultural vehicles and equipment can count on equally modern, efficient and hi-tech tires to help optimize sustainable operations in the field. This is the issue addressed in an exclusive episode available only on BKT Network, in which Piero Torassa, Field Engineer Manager at BKT Europe, sets out the viewpoint of the Indian Group: “There are various new technologies on the market which aim to increase productivity and efficiency in agriculture. In BKT we are researching solutions for tires integrated with sensors and software for precision agriculture. For some time we have had a range of products designed to guarantee the least possible damage to the soil and harvests.� An example of this is the BKT radial tire range AGRIMAX, created to satisfy the needs of

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agriculture 4.0, characterized by the use of Flexion (IF) and Very High Flexion (VF) technologies, among which the AGRIMAX FORCE and AGRIMAX V-FLECTO tires stand out. AGRIMAX FORCE is specifically designed for high power tractors (over 250 CV). Thanks to the IF technology which has been revised by BKT, this tire has a higher load capacity at lower pressures compared to standards for the same size tire, all to the benefit of the land which is significantly less compacted. AGRIMAX V-FLECTO, instead, improves the performance of latest generation tractors thanks to reduced soil compaction and higher load capacity (+40%) at the same pressure as a standard tire of the same size. Tractors yes, but more besides. The right tires are needed also for the numerous complementary agricultural machines, such as seeders, balers, plows and combine harvesters. The latter, for example, require high performance tires which do not damage harvests. The products in the special range for harvesters AGRIMAX TERIS have excellent flotation capacity to guarantee the best possible protection of the land and excellent harvesting performance, with the ability to support very high loads. In addition, AGRIMAX TERIS is particularly resistant to cuts and impacts due, for example, to the presence of stubble on the ground, thus guaranteeing a long lifecycle and reducing vehicle downtime. “Flotation is one of the essential characteristics in modern-day tires, – explains Piero Torassa - since it is very important to minimize the impact of the machines - which moreover are getting heavier and heavier - on the soil, thus avoiding damage to harvests. Equally important, however, is the tire’s flexibility: just think of the subcontractors who manage extensive fields and need to move not only over long distances, but also over a wide range of terrains. It is to respond to and anticipate the most diverse and particular needs that BKT products are continuously developed and improved.” An example of the latest products developed by BKT in this regard are tires in the Flotation series FL 630 ULTRA, FL 630 SUPER, RIDEMAX FL 693 M and the latest revolutionary creation V-FLEXA, a tire designed for trailers, equipped with VF technology and steel belts which strengthen the casing. There is still a lot to do to make agriculture even more sustainable. Nonetheless, the road taken is the right one. The future of the industry also depends on more efficient and smarter machinery and on modern and hi-tech tires, such as those from BKT.

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Experts urge Kenyan smallholder farmers to embrace nature-based food production


cientific experts are urging Kenyan smallholder farmers to embrace naturebased food production systems that guarantee food security and climate resilience amid shocks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Mary Nyasimi, the executive director of Nairobi-based Inclusive Climate Change Adaptation for a Sustainable Africa, ecologically friendly agricultural practices have the potential to shield rural farmers from negative impacts of the pandemic and climatic shocks. As such, having agro-ecology embedded in existing agricultural, food, environmental and climate change policies is important so that when implementation and budgetary allocations are made for such policies, agro-ecology can also be part of it. The co-author of “The potential of agroecology to Build Climate-Resilient Livelihoods and Food Systems”, says that greater adoption of naturebased farming practices is key to address rural poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

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Nyasimi said that small-holder farmers should leverage on compost manure, agro-forestry and crop rotation in order to improve crop yield, restore soil fertility and sustain the health of vital ecosystems like wetlands. Policy shift combined with awareness targeting farmers and consumers is key to boost uptake of agroecology at the smallholder level. “Kenya needs strong consumer movements to advocate for agroecology farming practices,” said Nyasimi adding that demand for organically grown food has gained steam in many African countries amid their health benefits. Frank Eyhorn, CEO, Biovision Foundation said that a shift to farming practices that promote conservation of habitats has the potential to lift Kenyan small-holders from abject poverty while shielding them from climatic stresses. “Decision-makers must reset the course towards agro-ecology and agrobiodiversity-based approaches in order to be able to deal with climate change and provide farmers a decent economic and social livelihood,” said Eyhorn.


It’s crunch time for South Africa’s land reform – Industry experts explore land reform perspectives

Prof Mathole Motshekga


n light of the heated and ongoing debate around land reform, one of the most contested issues in the country, and with this week’s anticipated submission of the Parliamentary Review Committee’s report on findings from the public hearings relating to the amendment of section 25, the Vumelana Advisory Fund hosted industry experts for a discussion on current issues impacting land reform, especially within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and a distressed economy. Speaking at the event, Dr Mathole Motshekga, co-chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee, confirmed that the ad hoc committee is set to submit the report from the public hearings on the Land Expropriation Bill. Once all parties have accepted it, the bill will be tabled at the National Assembly for consideration. Dr Motshekga highlighted that “Any discussions around land reform and expropriation must appreciate the historical context of land reform, beginning from 1652, when the Khoi and the San people were dispossessed of their land, some of the first people to be forcibly dispossessed.

Bulelwa Mabasa

Peter Setou

This understanding will enable efforts to support restitution, as these groups, even today, remain the most affected groups of people.”

is the procedural constitutional issue. This is what would have been expected and is a legal issue of the principle of subsidiarity.

Bulelwa Mabasa, Director and Head of the Land Reform Restitution & Tenure Practice at Werksmans Attorneys, argued that “One of South Africa’s biggest challenges with land reform is that the country is still sitting with archaic legislation that was developed to serve the governments and leaders of the past regime. This needs to be resolved through revisions and the introduction in some instances of new legislation.”

She noted that as the country finds itself in its present circumstances, it is worthwhile to identify critical aspects of the Bill, the important role it will play in clarifying how expropriation will be undertaken, instances where there would be zero compensation, and its ability to provide clarity on issues around nationalisation.

She noted that another challenge relating to land reform is the issue of transparency around ownership and availability of land across the country, and this needs to be addressed, through a very intentional administrative process. Mabasa highlighted that, “One fundamental issue relating to the Expropriation Bill is that from a Constitutional basis it would have been appropriate first to have the amendment of section 25 finalised – because that amendment should be what informs the content of the Bill, that

“With some flaws, the Expropriation Bill to an extent gives comfort that the rule of law will govern expropriation,” said Mabasa. She noted that while expropriation is a global phenomenon used for redistribution, restitution and reform across the world, within the context of South Africa, it must not be used as the only tool to address the land issue, because expropriation alone will not achieve the results it seeks to accomplish in reform. “It’s also important that the land reform programme be not limited to expropriation,” cautioned Mabasa.

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Mazwi Mkhulisi, Programmes Manager of nongovernment organisation Vumelana Advisory Fund, supported Mabasa’s argument around the role of expropriation within land reform, and the need to explore different approaches to address the land issues. He said, “To accomplish the broader land reform objectives, strong partnerships between communities and private investors need to be forged, as partnerships present one of the most plausible solutions to addressing land reform.” He noted that “While partners bring capital, access to markets, resources and skills to complement the government resources provided to communities, such partnerships should be facilitated through a closely mediated process to ensure representation of the interests of both parties – the community and investors.” Speaking about the approaches to be taken in driving land reform, Mkhulisi highlighted that, “We equally need to focus on the inventiveness of South Africans around approaches that have been explored to date, as there are a number of initiatives across the country that are driving positive stories around land reform, and there is a lot from those that policymakers can draw lessons for policy development.” With the government making efforts to fast track the pace

of land reform, and with the recent announcement of an additional 700 000 hectares of underutilised land to be redistributed, Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist, Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agribiz), concurred with the panellists that it is critical to explore diverse approaches to addressing the land issue.

Wandile Sihlobo

Mazwi Mkhulisi

“If managed properly, this process has the potential to make a difference in redistribution efforts. What government is doing with the current 700 000 hectares is a good start. However, perhaps what needs to be further explored is ownership of the land after five years,” said Sihlobo. The general consensus among panellists is that diverse approaches must be taken to address the land issue in South Africa. However, they cautioned that it is crucial to engage communities, as they form a crucial part of the process, and closely monitor partnerships to ensure that communities do not become indebted to their so-called partners in the process. They highlighted the need for proper resourcing of land reform, given the current political will around it. They argued that there is a need to elevate the prominence of resourcing, as land reform cannot be driven without the funding and resources needed, even with political will in place.

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