Farmers Review Africa Sept/Oct 2019

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Volume 7. Issue 5. Sept/ October 2019

Poultry Africa geared for its second edition Inside... Digitally transforming Africa’s agriculture sector P07 Pesticide use not sustainable for Kenya P12 Livestock Tracking and Monitoring Solutions P20

Expo for Sub-Saharan Africa



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NEWS Volume 7. Issue 5. Sept/ October 2019


Volume 7. Issue 5. September/October 2019

Editor’s Note

News 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development..................03

Poultry Africa geared for its second edition

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan will help double

Inside... Digitally transforming Africa’s agriculture sector P07

Africa’s rice production by 2030.................................................................................04

Pesticide use not sustainable for Kenya P12 Livestock Tracking and Monitoring Solutions P20

Expo for Sub-Saharan Africa



Agriculture offers best hopes for economic growth in South Africa.....05 CABI: ‘$10bn to feed 10 billion by 2050’...............................................................06

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iewafrica.c .farmersrevi farmersrev





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Morocco’s fertilizer company constitutes partnership

Executive Editor Nita Karume 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 Graphic Design & Layout Faith Omudho Art Director Augustine Ombwa Correspondents - Isabel Banda Sales & Marketing Gladmore. N Mandla M. Kholwani. D Polite Mkhize East African Liaison Arobia Creative Consultancy Tel: +254 772 187334, 790 153505 Published by : Mailing Times Media +27 11 044 8986

to develop agriculture in Africa....................................................................................06 Digitally transforming Africa’s agriculture sector.................................................07

Report Research uncovers gene that improves drought resistance in cereals.............................................................................09 The role of biodiversity in achieving food and nutrition security in Kenya...............................................................10

Opinion Pesticide use not sustainable for Kenya....................................12 Free market more advantageous for the sugar sector....13

Feature Small Businesses Soaring, Driving Growth Across African agriculture................................................................................14 Humic Harvest’s Waterextracted Humic Acid®.................17 Livestock Tracking and Monitoring Solutions........................20 Cotton Processing & Ginning Equipment...............................22 The issue of food waste is more important.........................24

Poultry Africa Poultry Africa geared for its second edition..........................26 DACS ventilation and controls is a solution to Renders’ New Broiler Shed............................................................30 AGCO Grain and Protein...............................................................30 Improving bird performance with clean water....................31 Poultry Farming- Africa’s love for chicken & eggs..............35

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

Unleashing untapped agricultural potentials


n the agricultural community everyone works hard. However, as is the nature of agriculture, you encounter things over which you have no control — weather, prices, labor and lack of capital to name a few. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how high you jump…you can’t seem to clear the “uncertainty” hurdle. We are back again with another edition of Africa’s choicely farming magazine, which shares anything from tips, insights, equipment and technology reviews to expert advice from seasoned agriculturalists. This edition shines spotlight on poultry farming in Africa, one of the biggest business opportunities in Africa. Africa’s love for poultry meat and eggs has grown at a staggering pace. Every year, the continent imports more than two million metric tons of poultry products valued at nearly US$3 billion to meet domestic demand. This therefore makes poultry farming a lucrative business with a lot of untapped potential. We also provide more information on the second edition of Poultry Africa Expo, a boutique-style concept from the organisers of the renowned VIV feed-to-food shows around the world taking place in Kigali, Rwanda on the 2nd to 3rd of October 2019. Its core objective is to present high-quality networking and trade opportunities, hassle-free, at minimum cost for suppliers and buyers. A number of farmers have already turned to robotics to replace hand-hoeing crews in specialty crops, which have a higher per-acre value. But manufacturers of some robotic and self-driving cultivators say it’s only a matter of time before row-crop operators adopt their technology.They also point to herbicide drift and increasing herbicide weed resistance for fuelling interest in robotic cultivation. We therefore look at how Microsoft is digitally transforming Africa. As a market, digital services in Africa’s agriculture sector remains untapped say experts and could be worth over US$2.26-billion. Microsoft, through its 4Afrika Initiative, has announced a new collaboration with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to co- create technology solutions in agriculture. A report published recently reveals that millions of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) source directly from millions more smallholder farmers across Sub- Saharan Africa. These SMEs, often women- led, include food processors, wholesalers, and retailers are therefore driving growth across the African agriculture. Hope you enjoy reading through the magazine, Happy reading!

Nita Karume



Turnkey poultry solutions for your business

NEWS C-Lines South Africa (Pty) Ltd. l 16 Pomona Road, Pomona l Kempton Park, Gauteng, 1619 l Tel. +27 82 609 3435

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Seventh Tokyo

International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) Digital Agriculture next frontier for economic development in Africa During the three- hour event, investors, agriculturists and government representatives covered a wide range of subjects pertinent to Africa’s digital economy such as finance for farmers, bottlenecks, digital literacy, and payment systems and investment opportunities. They also heard several examples of digital technology delivering results such as a Nigerian venture Kobo360 founded by Obi Ozor, which offers an app that connects truckers and companies to delivery services. Ozor said inspiration for his venture stemmed from the lack of data on delivery services. “We found that banks are not lending digitally or with data,” he said.

There’s risk, yes, but there are juicy returns, now is the time for all of us to run in that direction.” – Jennifer Blanke

Prioritizing the digital space will help shift the development focus for Africa’s agribusiness sector and overcome its many hurdles, participants at an official side event, organized Wednesday during the 7th Tokyo International Conference, heard. The seminar headlined “The Digital Africa 2020 and Japanese investment Panel: Creating markets to digitize Africa, was jointly organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the African Development Bank ( In his opening remarks, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina shared an anecdote on how he was accosted by an enthusiastic group of women on arrival at a northern Nigeria airport during his tenure as agriculture minister of the country. To his surprise, they pulled out mobile phones from their pockets and thanked him profusely for the “gift,” which enabled them to access data on their phones. They were referring to free phones distributed to farmers and an electronic wallet

system for the delivery of subsidised inputs to farmers, instituted by Adesina. “I love what technology did for those women,” Adesina told the filled auditorium. Digital technology is a prerequisite to advancing agriculture on the continent, Michael Hailu, Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) said. “Without transforming agriculture you cannot envisage development.” His comments were echoed by Sergio Pimenta, Regional Vice President for Middle East Africa for IFC, who said the digital revolution would help unlock the vast potential of agriculture value chains. “Many people cannot access technology…it is still difficult to move people from A to B,” Pimenta said.

Participants also heard from Rwandan Minister Ingabire who said farmers must be seen as valid stakeholders and not beneficiaries. Rwanda is touted as a proof of concept for reforms in the agriculture sector and is seen as one of Africa’s success stories. But a fast-changing industry requires regulations that respond to the changing environment, she said. In a segment on Japanese investor interest in Africa, Atsuko Toda, Bank Director invited investors to begin with African countries which already offer promising investment opportunities. In closing remarks, Bank VP Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, described the task of harnessing digital technologies for agriculture as exciting and urged participants to see agriculture is a business not “just a way of life.” “There’s a risk, yes, but there are juicy returns, now is the time for all of us to run in that direction…don’t wait too long…we all have our running shoes on,” she said. “Africa is digitizing and offers great opportunities and potential. What an exciting place to be having this conversation in Japan,” Blanke concluded.

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he Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7. “Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates. Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector. “We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation. “We are paying more attention to incomegenerating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producingto-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he added. In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”. “In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger.

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To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged. According to the FAO’s 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people. Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.” Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including – Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique. Harnessing the potential of new technologies Adesina expressed confidence in the ability of technology to deliver substantial benefits in agriculture. To accelerate Africa’s agricultural growth, the African Development Bank has launched the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to deliver new technologies to millions of farmers. ‘TAAT has become a game changer, and is already delivering impressive results, Adesina

said.Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced over 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers. Tackling climate change: a top priority Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Pocket Marche, a platform that connects Japanese farmers and producers with consumers, shared insights and lessons learnt from Japan’s experiences, historic cycles of climate disasters and the country’s rebound. “The power to choose what we eat is the power to stop the climate crisis and bring sustainable happiness to a world with limited resources,” Takahashi said. It is estimated that Africa will heat up 1.5 times faster than the global average and require $7-15 billion a year for adaptation alone. Limiting the impacts of climate change is expected to become a top priority for Africa. “Africa has been short changed by climate change. But, it should not be short changed by climate finance,” Adesina said in his concluding remarks. “Let’s be better asset managers for nature. For while we must eat today, so must future generations coming after us. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not leave empty plates on the table for generations to come,” Adesina concluded.


Agriculture offers best hopes for economic growth in South Africa


he Southern Africa Agri Initiative (Saai) welcomes the national treasury’s discussion document on economic policy that was released on 27 August 2019. This 62page document focuses on five themes that will put a stop to weak economic growth and rising unemployment in the long run. A large part of the document focuses on the agricultural and services industries because these sectors are in the best position to bring about labour-intensive growth. Improved access to financing, affordable agricultural insurance, agricultural technical advisory services for developing farmers and access to markets are some of the priorities cited to create a more friendly environment where agriculture can thrive.Theo de Jager, Saai’s

Chairperson of the Board of Directors, says the direction and content of the discussion document represent a fresh breeze from government circles, and he hopes it will meet with approval in wider circles than treasury only. The elephant in the room, that is not taken into account by the document, is the damper on investment appetite caused by BEE requirements and large-scale fraud. In this regard, the discussion document is in sharp contrast to the threats expressed by Thulas Nxesi, minister of labour, to force more draconic race quotas on companies. Saai is especially excited about the proposals made by Tito Mboweni, minister of finance, on a possible subsidised insurance scheme for agriculture, because it will promote access to

financing, broaden risk management and create a unique opportunity to collect production data. “It also is striking that the report underlines the important role of right of ownership and the possession of assets. Following the recent Graham judgment on the extension of the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act, we would like to see that beneficiaries of land reform and the LRAD programme receive title deeds for their land,” says Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai. Saai believes if the proposals put forward in the discussion document are implemented, competitiveness of South African agriculture will increase rapidly. At the invitation of Mboweni, Saai has undertaken to comment on the agricultural strategy proposed in the document not later than 15 September 2019.

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CABI: ‘$10bn to feed 10 billion by 2050’


ABI has told African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2019 that investment in agritech needs to double to at least $10bn a year if the world’s smallholder farmers are to help feed a global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Dr Dennis Rangi, CABI’s Director General, Development, spoke as part of a panel discussion on the subject of digital innovations to strengthen the resilience for smallholders in African food systems, said the financial burden must be met by the private sector if global food security is to be ensured and world poverty and hunger eradicated. According to AgFunder, global investment in agritech – including technology such as farm robots to feed and weed, GPS and drones to map and monitor soil and satellite data to predict the spread of crop pests – was around $4.6bn in 2015. However, Dr Rangi believes the public sector needs to more than double its annual investment in digital infrastructure and research – particularly in respect of making data open – to enable the delivery of digital innovations which not only help

feed Africa but the world. Dr Rangi said, “The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have set us ambitious targets to achieve ‘Zero Hunger’ and ‘No Poverty’ set against a challenging period in history in which the perils of climate change are very real and threatening in its impact on global food security. “Technological innovations in agriculture, in all its forms, presents us with genuine answers to extremely difficult problems. However, unless we can encourage more investment from the public sector and innovation from the private sector to deliver these solutions at scale, no amount of digital agriculture will help solve the world’s food crisis. “The message is simple: we need to more than double annual investment in agritech to $10bn if we are to feed the world’s growing population projected to reach 10 billion by 2050.” Dr Rangi told the delegates at the meeting held this week (3 to 6 September 2019) in Accra, Ghana, that CABI’s Plantwise programme is just one example that is delivering impact at scale – having so far reached over 31 million farmers in 34 countries with plant health information which,

in respect of fighting crop pests and diseases, promotes adaptation and resilience. He added that Plantwise’s open access Knowledge Bank, Factsheet App, e-plant clinics with data collection – which allows for real-time tracking of pests (plus linkage with the Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) project) – are already putting data and knowledge in the hands of extension workers and farmers keen on growing more and losing less to crop pests and diseases. Other projects CABI is also working in partnership to deliver to help improve the resilience of smallholder farmers elsewhere in the world include drone sensing of parthenium weed in Pakistan, the remote sensing of locusts in China and coffee borer in Colombia. Dr Rangi added, “The public sector needs to invest in digital infrastructure and research, so that the private sector will be empowered to deliver digital innovations which promote adaptation and resilience across not only Africa’s but the world’s food systems.”

Morocco’s fertilizer company constitutes partnership to develop agriculture in Africa


orocco’s OCP Group, the African Union (AU) Commission, and the AU Development Agency has formed a tripartite partnership to support the development of the African agricultural sector, said the OCP group in a statement.

customized fertilizers meeting the needs of soils and crops of African region, the statement added. The agreement was signed on the side-lines of the ongoing African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Accra, Ghana.

The OCP, one of the world leaders in the fertilizer industry, will help promote the use of agricultural inputs, including access to

The main purpose is to facilitate effective coordination of the implementation and delivery of a set of goals as outlined in the African

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Union Malabo Business Plan on Agriculture Transformation, adopted in the AU summit in 2014 in Equatorial Guinea, said the statement. This partnership demonstrates a shared commitment to jointly reduce hunger and poverty through the sustainable transformation of the African agricultural sector, it added.

NEWS solutions to farmers and policy makers alike to deliver meaningful impact,” added Abdella. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that its Africa Development Centre would help to advance AI innovation in agriculture, including the expansion of FarmBeats. In addition, Microsoft has supported a number of African agritech startups and companies, including SunCulture, Virtual City, N-Frnds and Twiga Foods. Data positions agriculture The potential to increase Africa’s agricultural yields through the strategic use of data could place the continents’ farmers at the heart of tomorrow’s global economy, according to John Deere Financial. “New technologies readily available to Africa’s farmers mean that the continent is finally at the moment where Africa’s vast, as-yet-unrealised, agricultural opportunity can be made relevant to capital, mechanisation and new global markets,” said Antois van der Westhuizen, Managing Director: Sub Saharan Africa, John Deere Financial.

Digitally transforming Africa’s agriculture sector


s a market, digital services in Africa’s agriculture sector remains untapped say experts and could be worth over US$2.26billion. Microsoft, through its 4Afrika Initiative, has announced a new collaboration with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to cocreate technology solutions in agriculture. The collaboration was announced at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) and will support AGRA’s digital transformation as it works to improve food security for 30 million farming households across 11 countries by 2021. Microsoft and AGRA will explore uses of big data and artificial intelligence “in enabling data-driven, precision farming that increases farm productivity and profitability.” The partnership will also support farmers in adopting new technologies through digital training content, develop digital skills in agriculture through an internship programme, and support policy advocacy and government engagement around the design of national agriculture digitisation strategies. Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of Microsoft 4Afrika, said, “Agriculture is a priority sector of

investment for us, not only because it sustains some 70 percent of livelihoods, but because we believe technology can significantly contribute to the transformation of the sector. Africa has a large number of farmers with varying farming practices. We believe technology can augment this knowledge to improve crop yields. Using Microsoft-enabled IOT technology, organisations like SunCulture have helped farmers increase crop yields by 300 percent, and increase income for farmers.” According to AGRA, the biggest hurdle to increasing farmer productivity in Africa today is the continued use of outdated production technologies and practices. Farmers are only likely to adopt new technologies when they are useful, affordable and available locally. As a result, the Digitilisation of African Agriculture Report found that 90% of the market for digital services that support African smallholders remains untapped, and could be worth more than US$2.26-billion. “We’re excited to work with AGRA in building locally-relevant technology solutions that are mindful of challenges local farmers face, offering

For example, John Deere has worked with ACDI/ Voca, ADVANCE and USAID as well as other input providers in Ghana, to mechanise and provide fertiliser and seeds to demonstration farms aimed at improving the yield of traditional famers in the country. “The results have been astounding,” said van der Westhuizen. In some cases, “yields have increased seven-fold.” What has changed is that today farmers in Kenya and Tanzania, for example, now transacting on M-Pesa can access the formal economy by selling and buying goods online. Since these previously economically excluded farmers now have a digital footprint, “we can start getting a picture of their inputs, suppliers and costs, as well as their yields, off-takers, incomes and payments histories,” added van der Westhuizen. This data holds the key to revolutionising agriculture in Africa. Without even having a bank account, “we now have a detailed view of the input, production and earning numbers of previously financially invisible farmers,” said van der Westhuizen. With GPS technology able to provide accurate hectarage, “We can now quickly work out how certain inputs, and their cost, might be affordable to specific farmers given the increase in yield that we know these inputs will drive in that location.” Data points In short, with just a handful of data points, the ability to provide credit to a much broader segment of Africa’s farmers increases dramatically. For the first time in

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history all of Africa’s famers are now potentially able to present the credit, expenditure, production and income records to make them bankable. The next step will be to, “use the data from multiple farmers collectively, to develop new supply chains and markets,” said van der Westhuizen. For example, if a grain mill in Kenya requires 2000 tons of a certain crop each month and John Deere has the data on 100 farmers in that district each with the potential to produce 20 tons a month, the data can be used to build a supply chain for the mill that also provides the farmers guaranteed off-take. This data-driven view of the broader supply chain also gives John Deere Financial and other financiers the confidence to extend credit, longlease machinery or fertilizer to these farmers, secure in the knowledge that the farmers will receive an income from the mill and be able to pay. Moreover, “if we know that the 100 farmers have secure off-take agreements with a local mill, we

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can provide tractors or harvesters to start-up agricultural service companies to plough these farmer’s fields and harvest their crops, only collecting payment once the farmers have been paid by the mill,” van der Westhuizen continued. Using data in this way could justify further investment in irrigation systems, beneficiation plants, canneries or other industrial investment relevant to expanding the agricultural value chain. Taken to scale across Africa, this kind of data has the potential to make most African countries food secure, freeing up the billions in hard currency that African governments currently spend importing food. This would, “ease Africa’s endemic hard currency crunches and reduce sovereign debt - releasing resources for development, infrastructure or education,” said van der Westhuizen. Given agriculture’s much lower barriers to entry, farming also offers Africa far greater potential to broaden economic inclusion compared with, say, “hard currency-intensive mines which only employ a small percentage of the population, for a short time.”

Since agriculture, properly managed and scientifically conducted, is more sustainable, the sector has the potential to produce food indefinitely. This offers Africa’s mineral export-dependent economies the opportunity to diversify into much more sustainable exports, “with a far higher potential for beneficiation, industrialisation and economic inclusion,” van der Westhuizen added. This is all taking place in a global context in which, over time, the value of agricultural goods, especially food, is likely to increase relative to industrial products. “African policy makers struggling to replicate the industrially-driven growth successes of many post-World War II developing economies, would do well to re-consider the vast export and development potential presented by agriculture in a food-scare and largely already industrialised world,” says van der Westhuizen. Fortunately, the technology is finally here, “for Africa’s policy makers to use the new data available on Africa’s farmers to place agriculture - and Africa - at the heart of tomorrow’s global economy.”


Research uncovers gene that improves drought resistance in cereals


s climate change is having a devastating impact on cereal crops, scientists at Heriot-Watt University have identified a gene responsible for drought resistance in barley which is thought to help future-proof the cereals industry Publishing the results of nearly five years of work in the Journal of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, the team demonstrated that gene HvMYB1 controls stress tolerance in cereals such as barley. This is the first time HvMYB1 has been associated with drought resistance. Dr Peter Morris from the Institute of Earth and Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University said, “This is a significant finding that will allow more drought resistance crops to be bred in the future. Drought is already impacting yields with the European cereals harvest hit particularly hard in 2018. A prolonged, dry and hot summer significantly impacted yields and quality.” “As climate change gathers pace and we experience more extreme seasons, it is essential we can maintain continuity of supply. This is significant for major industries like Scotch whisky, one of the UK’s leading export items. Our project focused specifically on barley, one of the three ingredients

used in the production of Scotch whisky.” “Barley has over 39,000 genes, almost double the number for humans, so characterising one particular gene which promotes drought resistance has been a considerable challenge. By increasing the expression of this particular gene in test plants and simulating drought conditions, we’ve been able to prove that plants in which HvMYB1 is more prominently expressed are able to survive prolonged periods of drought.” “Genetic variation is essential in plant breeding for resilience so we expect this research will now be used by plant breeders as a marker for drought resistance. It will help focus attention on different barley varieties in which this gene is naturally expressed more prominently. This may lead to greater variation in the gene pool of crop plants and more drought-resistant crops in future years.” Dr Morris added, “This has important implications for the wider cereals industry including the production of wheat, maize and rice.” Dagmar Droogsma, director of industry at the Scotch Whisky Association, commented, “The SWA works closely with specialists at Heriot-Watt University, and others in the sector, to ensure that the industry is equipped to adapt to any changes

that may arise from a changing climate. We, therefore, welcome this research which helps to provide resilience against the effects of climate change and to sustain the diversity of barley varieties used for Scotch whisky.” “Agriculture in Scotland supplies some of the best grain anywhere in the world, and these recent findings contribute to an industry-wide programme of research and development which helps to maintain Scotch whisky’s competitive edge as an iconic Scottish product. The Scotch whisky industry supports 10,000 jobs across Scotland, and we are proud to have funded this research into a fundamental element of its supply chain.” The value of cereals to the UK economy is significant. In 2018, the value of wheat rose by US$113.95mn to US$2499.73mn while the overall value of barley rose by US$101.96mn to US$1147.91mn as a result of higher prices (up 10 per cent). The research was funded by the Scotch Whisky Association, which aims to secure the sustainability of the Scotch whisky industry, and Interface, which matches businesses with Scotland’s world-leading academic expertise.

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The role of biodiversity in achieving food and nutrition security in Kenya By Emmanuel Atamba


he Human Right to Food is yet to be fully realised in Kenya. More than 10 million Kenyans suffer from chronic food insecurity. One-quarter of children under 5 years old are stunted. Millions of Kenyans depend on emergency food aid and 1 in 5 families would not meet the minimum food requirement even if they spent all their income on food. Additionally, obesity and diet related diseases are on the rise in Kenya raising questions on the diversity, safety and quality of the food. Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for food and agriculture is a viable approach in addressing the food and nutrition security problems in Kenya. This position is informed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture Report released in February 2019, amongst other resources. The report, formed through compilation of 91 country reports – Kenya included – concludes that Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (BFA) is declining worldwide, and calls for concerted efforts to prevent further decline. In the report, FAO Secretary General, José Graziano da Silva, highlights the importance of BFA in achieving zero hunger, food and nutrition security for all and urges efforts to conserve BFA for realisation of the aspirations of a food secure world and sustainable food systems. State of biodiversity for food and agriculture in Kenya The report identifies pollution, use of external inputs, trade and market forces among key drivers of biodiversity loss. Further, it points out significant negative impacts of the two drivers on animal and plant genetic resources, associated biodiversity, ecosystem services and wild foods against different production systems. Plant genetic resources in both irrigated and rain fed systems face strong negative effects from environmental pollution, use of external inputs, market trends and trade. Plant and animal genetic resources and associated biodiversity in mixed farming systems also face decline with strong negative effects coming from all drivers of biodiversity loss studied in the report.

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Pollination, among other ecosystem services was also reported to be negatively affected by pollution and use of external inputs. Pollination, pest and disease regulation, nutrient and water cycling which are important in sustaining agricultural productivity and healthy agro-ecosystems were reported to be declining. Relevance to the Human Right to Food Kenya’s farming system has for the past four decades moved towards a more industrial model of production. This model, in many ways, downplays the role of biodiversity and it is functioning in enhancing agricultural productivity, food quality, dietary diversity and the resilience of farms and food systems to shocks. The approach has led to a significant loss of agricultural and associated biodiversity. The continued disregard of BFA components and their resultant exposure to risks of further loss poses a substantial risk to agro-ecosystems and resilience of communities to climate change and in turn, affect food production and access. This deepens the vulnerability of Kenyans to chronic hunger and malnutrition and undermines the realisation of the Right to Food in Kenya, which is provided for in Article 43 of the Constitution. Relationship between biodiversity and food security Kenya’s varied geography and agro-ecological conditions, as well as its diversity of people, communities and cultures, lays the foundation for a country with a rich diversity of crops, livestock and associated biodiversity. The knowledge and traditions regarding food and farming practices are however slowly fading to pave way for the production and consumption of staples under monocultures, encouraging overreliance on external inputs with promised better returns for farmers and food for all. At a political level, agricultural development policy is pushing for an industrial model of farming and livestock breeding, which threatens the sustainable use and conservation of BFA by instilling farming practices that are not friendly to the agro-ecosystems in which they are applied.

The approach bypasses knowledge on local biodiversity and its functioning, held by farmers and rural communities. As a result of prohibitive costs and unfair standards, many government and private sector-led initiatives exclude the majority of small-scale farmers and households from profitably participating in commercial farming, using their eco-friendly practices. Dietary diversity in Kenya is on the decline. Based on three studies conducted in Meru, Kitui and Northern Kenya, more than 30 per cent of Kenyans living in rural areas have a dietary diversity score of less than four from a possible 12 food groups identified by FAO and the World Food Programme. Studies have confirmed that there is a strong correlation between low dietary diversity and malnutrition, obesity and other nutrition deficiency related conditions. The decline in dietary diversity in Kenya is fuelled by the continued focus on mainstream foods and staples, such as maize, rice or potatoes. The lack of budgetary and policy support towards the production of non-mainstream, indigenous foods such as wild foods, pulses, root crops and oil crops means they are less readily available in local markets. Solutions orientation To enhance conservation and sustainable use of BFA in Kenya, the following approaches should be adopted. At the highest political levels, Kenya needs to mainstream environmentally friendly farming practices, conscious trade and consumer behaviour through policy, government investment and financing – both private and public. Secondly, government-led initiatives and civil society actors should create awareness on the importance and means of BFA conservation. Lastly, investment in research and documentation on farming practices and approaches that can sustainably use, hence improve the role of biodiversity in food production, enhancing resilience of farms, households and communities to effects of climate change, natural disasters and calamities.


MANAGEMEMENT IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENT For several years now, Fertilux and FCA Fertilisants have been working in Africa with their various local partners, promoting the use of its complete solutions integrated into the local practices of fertilisation and organic matter management.


he African Union on fertilizers in Africa, which met in Abuja (Nigeria) in 2006, resolved to increase the average level of fertilizer use from 8 kg/ha to at least 50 kg/ha by 2015 and to improve farmers’ access to fertilizers in terms of price and distribution networks.

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 three principles: Enriching soil fertility Increasing the effectiveness of inputs Decreasing the environmental impact

SUMMARY : Eco-friendly fertilisation has several advantages : > An increase in yield > Sustainable strengthening of soil and plant health > Perpetuation of the biological, physical and chemical fertility of the soil

Ten years later, the level of fertilizer use remains low and far below the Abuja targets. At the same time, several reports on the long term by regional technical experts show that the soil can be depleted of certain nutrients when the use of mineral fertilizers is unbalanced, for example, when large quantities of nitrogen fertilizers are used without a reasonable use of P and K inputs and a good soil organic matter management

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.

Integrated Soil Fertility Management allows, in its principles, a return to equilibrium, an increase in the self-regenerative fertility of soil and a “natural” increase of soil. It can be defined as a set of soil fertility management practices that involve the reasonable use of mineral fertilizers, organic inputs and suitable seeds. This management of all inputs must be combined with a good knowledge of local practices and conditions, as well as sound agronomic and economic practices.

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

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

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. Sébastien DAVID + Mr. Christophe MONNOT +


Pesticide use not sustainable for Kenya By Emmanuel Atamba


here are two routes for Kenya’s food and farming system. One, the industrial model of farming which commodifies food systems and which has been fronted as the only way to produce plenty of cheap and easily accessible food. The implication of this approach is damage to the same environment that feeds us and negative impacts on our health, particularly from the toxic agro-chemicals that industrial agriculture thrives on. The other route is a more sustainable form of agriculture and people-centered food systems that guarantee food production in harmony with nature. This approach however, seems less attractive to private sector players. So, which way for Kenya’s food system? The debate on the use of pesticides in Kenya is one that clearly illustrates the dilemma. Under the government’s watch, the industry has been pushing for increased pesticide use, despite rising user and consumer safety concerns. International companies generate less than 6 percent of global pesticides sales in Africa, making the continent a key market for profitable trade. Consequently, access to safe, nutritious food is increasingly becoming doubtful. The recent revelations in Kenya about the food we eat, depicts a broken food system that requires urgent interventions to repair and restore it. Industrial agriculture proponents argue that pesticide use is not a problem as long as farmers follow the instructions on the label. This argument is defective, particularly in our context. Labels are written in technical language that many farmers often cannot understand. An audit carried out by the EU Commission Food and Veterinary Office in 2013, found that growers have not always followed the label instructions of plant protection products. Label deficiencies were also identified. This tells us that companies and local dealers selling pesticide products don’t sufficiently educate farmers on ‘safe’ pesticides use. It would

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also appear that county government agricultural officers and regulatory bodies such as the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), are not reaching a wide enough audience with training. Insufficient knowledge among farmers about the dangers associated with pesticide use worsens their exposure to harmful effects. The use of pesticides comes with responsibilities for the manufacturer, the user and the regulator. The manufacturer is required to provide sufficient, accurate information about their products, including its potential effects and information on “safe use”. The user must be in a position to understand the manufacturer’s instructions and apply them accordingly, including adhering to all required safety precautions. The regulator (i.e. the government) is in turn, supposed to develop and implement regulations and policies that ensure that both the user and the manufacturer fulfil their responsibilities in ensuring safety. Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) reported in its 2018 annual report, that there were pesticide residues in vegetable samples collected from various outlets and markets across the country. Some of the most affected vegetables included kales (94% of 1139 samples), peas (76%) and capsicum (59%). Ten percent of the sampled produce had residue levels above the EU maximum allowable residue levels. The many instances of pesticide residue detections could be caused by excessive use, failure to observe the withholding period by farmers and high toxicity levels of the products. The Kenyan farming context is not compatible with pesticide use. The average land size is about two acres, which leaves no room for buffer zones which are important precautionary measures – mandatory for all pesticides – starting from 5m around the farm. This is clearly not practical in our situation. Many farms for horticulture production slope towards rivers, dams and other water bodies, making it easy for run-off water to wash chemicals into water that is often used for

domestic purposes. The damage we bring to the environment through the use of chemical pesticides is not explicitly known. This is because there is no regular monitoring done by the responsible government bodies on the effect of these chemicals on the environment. The justification that pesticides are developed for specific target organisms is overplayed to make us turn a blind eye on the damage we are causing to other important species. In terms of the Pesticides Property Database (FOOTPRINT) endorsed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 49 percent of the products registered in Kenya are toxic or very toxic to fish species and 31 percent of all registered products are toxic or very toxic to bees. If pesticides can harm us, there is definitely impact on other species too, thus affecting biodiversity. Despite all these factors, our government and private sector players continue to promote chemical pesticides before sustainable and safe ways to produce food. It’s surprising that chemicals that have since been withdrawn from the European market are readily available to our farmers at local agro-vets. False promises that these pesticides and other equally disastrous fertilizers will increase production, should stop. Globally, there are examples of countries taking steps to move away from chemical agriculture to more environmentally conscious and peoplefocused methods of food production. Kenya should borrow a leaf and turn to food systems that are sustainable and people-centered. Our situation is different and we need to think about solutions that work for us. In a country like ours, where farms are homes, there can never be a safe way to use toxic pesticides.


Free market far more advantageous for the sugar sector than the current heavily regulated regime


he sugar sector employs over 250,000 Kenyans and supports six million livelihoods. Yet it has become one of the country’s loss-making ventures. Not because the industry is not viable and that farmers don’t have the experience and skills to farm the crop, but because government policies are overriding a free and fair market system, breaching the Competition Act, 2010. The Act advocates market forces, promoting effective competition and preventing unfair and misleading market conduct, and specifically prohibiting dominant undertakings and restrictive trade. While the government is supposed to develop laws as tools to implement these policies, the proposed Crops (Sugar) Regulations, 2019, have no element that upholds these requirements, instead creating a buyers’ market – known as a monopsony - that will lead to the final death of Kenya’s sugar sector. At the heart of this ‘fix’ of the sugar industry is zoning, renamed cane catchment areas during the national sugar taskforce draft report validation forum. This force sugar farmers to register and then be assigned one mill they are allowed to sell to. The results are set to be irreparably damaging to Kenya and to western Kenya. By giving all the sugarcane buying power in a region to a single miller, the government is indirectly granting them absolute control over prices and farmers’ income too. Indeed, millers can treat their supplying farmers however they like, pay slowly, pay late, shift prices, demand off-sets, they can do anything, because there will be nowhere else any farmer can go that won’t be illegal. All competition has been ended. It’s a policy-based redistribution of power that raises questions about why the Kenyan government passed the Competition Act in the first place. If the ideal way to rescue an ailing and high cost, uncompetitive industry, such as sugar, was to override all market forces, why was a policy commitment to competition ever put onto the nation’s statute? Yet, the anti-competitive combination of power being relocated to buyers and intense and highly-

staffed government control mirrors many similar approaches by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, of late, in policies that seem to be employing large numbers of staff to proscribe the minutiae of agro-industry mechanics. In the current climate of avowed determination to end corruption, its new regulations, furthermore, appear filled with opportunities for rent seeking, across requirements for letters of comfort as confirmation of commitment by investors to install a factory, special approvals, permission-based registrations, and extra licenses. All of these are put in without reason or justification, but all of them grant government employees power over industry players - which is an unusual way to stop requests for ‘appreciation’ payments. Numerous extra barriers to market entry have been added too. No farmer or Kenyan can produce sugar seeds, grown sugar, process sugar, transport it, distribute or wholesale it with any normal business license, but must now go through complex bureaucratic registration processes that include exorbitant licensing fees in a now fully controlled market and industry. In the end, for sugarcane farmers and their dependents, the sum is set to be grave for it will be very expensive or near impossible to transition into alternative crop. This will open up a bigger trade deficit as Kenya imports even more sugar. Additionally, centralising and allocating sugar processing operations and all distribution trade to millers will lead to further operational inefficiencies by millers; arbitrary deductions during ploughing and in provision of seed cane, delayed services such as provision of seed cane to farmers, harvesting and cane transportation as well as defective weighbridges. If the country were to allow the forces of demand and supply to prevail – as the Competition Act does specify – with everyone free to participate with minimal government control, we would achieve far better results. Sugarcane farmers would be at liberty to sell their cane to mills of their choice, which would drive millers to set their buying prices at the right market

Michael Arum, SUCAM coordinator value or jeopardise their raw material supplies. Competition would force all of the industry’s participants to strive for greater efficiency or risk going out of business; seed producers would ensure they sell the highest quality of seeds to farmers to avoid losing market share to competitors, farmers would strive for higher sugar content, and everyone would earn more. As a result, the existing cane factories and infrastructure would be utilised at a far higher rate than the current 58 per cent. Ultimately, if we were able to achieve 90 per cent utilisation of the existing capacity, the country would end up saving Sh16.6bn a year in import costs, significantly reducing our trade deficit. Over time, the volumes of sugar produced would not only be sufficient to meet consumer demand, but also to provide a sustained surplus for exports, thus improving the country’s balance of payments. In 10 years, the net revenues would amount to Sh172bn based on industry spending of Sh20bn. But instead, we are stuck with spending at least Sh23.8bn a year on sugar imports to supplement the mounting production deficit, and a huge civil service bill to override the market and devise ‘letters of comfort’.

September - October 2019 | 13


Small Businesses Soaring, Driving Growth Across African Agriculture New report finds 64% of food consumed in Africa is handled by millions of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), creating vast opportunities for family and women farmers.


report published recently reveals that millions of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) source directly from millions more smallholder farmers across SubSaharan Africa. These SMEs, often womenled, include food processors, wholesalers, and retailers. SMEs provide a range of services, from transport and logistics to the sale of inputs such as fertilizer and seed to farmers. Their activity is driving a “Quiet Revolution” across African agriculture, connecting smallholder farmers to commercial markets at an unprecedented rate. The report finds that, overall, only about 20 percent of the volume of food consumed in Africa fits the conventional notion of subsistence agriculture—food consumed directly by the farming households that grow it. The majority of what Africans eat flows through what are known as privates sector “value chains” managed by SME businesses that purchase commodities

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directly from smallholder farmers and then process, package, transport and sell food products to the urban and rural consumer. SMEs also play a large, growing and vital role in markets for inputs like fertilizer and seed, as well as farm machines and pesticides. “All this represents a profound turnaround from mere decades ago, ” said Dr. Thomas Reardon of Michigan State University, a lead author of the report. “There has been a ‘Quiet Revolution’ in agrifood private sector value chains linking small farmers to burgeoning urban markets and growing towns in Africa. This has spurred farmers’ participation in food and farm input markets.” The 2019 Africa Agricultural Status Report (AASR) from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) highlights how the private sector-led “hidden middle” of the agri-food supply chains has undergone a Quiet Revolution. Its rise

has been largely unrecognized by policymakers (hence “hidden middle”), even as it has bridged gaps that previously separated most small-scale farmers from commercial markets. “SMEs are the biggest investors in building markets for farmers in Africa today, and will likely remain so for the next 10-to-20 years,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA. “They are not a ‘missing middle,’ as is thought, but the ‘hidden middle,’ ready for support and investment to thrive further. Today, we bring them out into the light.” In terms of the actual value, AASR finds that traders, truckers and processors constitute about 40 percent of the total gross value of the agrifood system in the region – this is the same as the share coming from farms. Retailers constitute the remaining 20 percent. Changing conditions have set the stage for the growth of these SMEs. Among these changes are: increases in

farm productivity that make more raw material available; initial government investments in infrastructure such as roads; rapid and massive urbanization; diet change with rising demand for processed food; and rising investments by the entrepreneurs themselves. (See below for examples of the impact of SMEs, especially when supported by government infrastructure investments and policy.) Compared to SMEs, and counter to common belief, the report shows that large enterprises play a relatively minor role in directly supporting small-scale farmers. For example, only about five percent of rural farmers are directly linked to large firms through contract farming. Nonetheless, with proper support, large African businesses, including supermarkets and large processors (which now comprise 10-to-20 percent of the agri-food economy), present a huge opportunity as they are likely to play an expanding role in how farmers access credit, markets and will ultimately impact employment and rural incomes. The report identifies other pivotal changes in African rural economies. It notes that although 70-80 percent of people in rural Africa work on their own farms, this work is often part-time, and comprises only 40 percent of total labor time in rural areas.

support to family farms; and to be competitive so that they can survive and thrive in an increasingly interconnected and global market. Their success will determine the future of agriculture and food security in Africa.” The policy recommendations laid out in the report stress that governments and donors should not “reinvent the wheel” by duplicating the work of the private sector. Setting up state-supported or subsidized businesses, even in remote areas, would crowd out grassroots entrepreneurs. Instead, the key is to create conditions that make it easy for businesses to establish, develop and grow. Given this, the AASR calls for several key policy actions:

Public investment in infrastructure focused on priority needs: building wholesale markets and roads, improving ports and extending electrification and broadband coverage. Infrastructure investments that benefit the spontaneous clustering of SMEs have the most impact, greatly supporting the ease of doing business.

Policies and regulations that reduce transaction costs and policy risks. SMEs

most frequently invest in growth when favorable policies and infrastructure are in place. Such policies include crossborder trade liberalization, reduction of double taxation and regulations to reduce corruption. It is also essential to reduce bureaucracy, especially in areas such as registering new fertilizer products, approving new improved seeds or levying taxes on primary inputs that make the cost of access so much higher.

Governments have a responsibility to protect SMEs and consumers from substandard products be it farm inputs like seeds, fertilizers and pest and disease control products or food products going to the market. Advancing and enforcement of appropriate policies and regulatory instruments to guide the SME landscape in Agriculture is the critical role that governments must play. This will protect farmers’ investments, expand the use of quality seed and fertilizer, increase output, protect consumers and will increase the ability of SMEs to compete for regional and global markets.

Meanwhile, 60 percent of rural labor time is spent off the farm, and about 40 percent of this non-farm labor time is in agri-food system work such as wholesale, logistics, processing and retail (through both self-employment and wage labor). SMEs are the key employers in this sector, intertwined with rural family farmers. This interdependence makes their survival and growth even more crucial, with women and youth particularly benefiting. Policy recommendations Although the growth of SMEs in the “hidden middle” of agrifood supply chains has been profound, the report notes that progress has often taken place despite large barriers, and that much more can be done to foster the growth of SMEs. Processors, wholesalers and logistics firms, in particular, face major constraints that drive up the cost of doing business. Excessive costs for equipment and energy, inadequate infrastructure, especially of roads and wholesale markets and mobile phone connectivity, and some financial and credit restraints, make it difficult for SMEs to compete with imported goods that cost less to produce. Outdated laws and regulations also inhibit business growth. “We live in a global market,” Kalibata said. “Our job today has to be to ensure that these SMEs are grounded enough to provide the right kind of

September - October 2019 | 15




Learn how technology is driving safety, profitability and sustainability in a demanding market.


FEATURE how it has been sucked from the earth and what can be done to reverse this process. They are hoping to find a way that can slow the increasingly rapid rise of carbon dioxide ending up in the atmosphere. The Organic Water Extracted Humic Acid® could be the cure for global warming! Due to its ability to fix carbon in the soil, it could prove to be a very crucial tool in repairing our soils and ecology to a point where global warming could become a thing of the past. Researchers are expanding their knowledge about carbon sequestration in soils, by using Humic Acid in land restoration programs, trying to find safe and environmentally friendly ways of fighting against Global warming. Working with products such as Organic Water Extracted Humic Acid®, can help us to stop the loss of carbon and critical microbes from the soil, that without these soil turns to mere dirt, a process that unfortunately is rampant around the globe. Humic Acid can heal soil, while improving crop quality and increasing yields.



umic/Fulvic acid and other humic substances, collectively referred to as humates, are the final stage of organic matter as it degrades to its smallest possible size. They are extremely complex molecules, formed naturally over time by soil microorganisms as they recycle the nutrients and organic matter present in decaying plant material. In healthy, pristine soils, humates are constantly formed by the life and death cycles of plant roots, microorganisms, and fungi in the soil. Modern agricultural practices have disrupted this cycle – in order to maintain good soil health, it is now necessary to add this critical component back into the soil, so that we can reap the benefits of working with instead of against nature. Decreases water requirements Humic and fulvic acid improves soil health, which in turn means crops require less water. Healthy soil with abundant biological activity and organic matter sequesters water and prevents runoff of this and other valuable resources. Unlocks bound nutrients in the soil for plant uptake While chemical fertilizers are often too unstable to stick around long enough for plants to use,

minerals in the soil, both inherent and imported through fertilizers and water, often become bound and immobilized in the soil. This is a common fate of phosphorous and other critical nutrients, which “scale” in the soil in the same way they build up in water pipes, damaging the structure of the soil. Humic acid dissolves this mineral scale, which both softens the soil for plant roots and breaks the minerals back down to a plant available size. Sustainable Agriculture Combats Climate Change It has come to light through new research that land restoration could be very effective in playing a major part in the process of sequestering CO2, resulting in slowing down climate change. The product Organic Water Extracted Humic Acid® produced by the company Humic Harvest, could be a vital tool, in helping to turn around the effects caused by the degradation of soils from unsustainable agriculture along with other development projects. The negative impact of these issues (combined), have caused billions of tons of carbon to be released into the atmosphere. Resulting in having a negative effect on the overall climate. The scientific community is conducting intense investigations on the importance of soil carbon—

With the use of this amazing product by Humic Harvest, it will help you to gain better results while using less fertilizer. With the Humic Harvest system, it will help you to prevent precious nutrient and fertilizer loss, which 80% can be lost due to runoff, nutrient lockup and volatilization. Humic Harvest creates conditions that offer protection to your investment and the environment simultaneously! The world’s cultivated soils have lost a devastating 50% to 70% of their carbon stock, much of this oxidized when it was exposed to air becoming CO2, according to the renown director—Rattan Lal, of Ohio State University’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. Using regenerative agricultural practices such as those offered by Humic Harvest, can help essentially turn back the carbon clock, working at reducing the atmospheric CO2 while at the same time boosting soil productivity and increasing resilience to floods and drought. By bringing carbon back to the soils it will not only offset fossil fuels, but it will also help to feed the growing global population. If our soil is degraded we will not be able to feed the world’s population. Simply, we need healthy soil to grow our food supplies, without it we will not survive. It has been stated by Scientists that more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined; soil contains 2,500 billion tons of carbon, compared with 800 billion tons in the atmosphere and 560 billion tons in plant and animal life. We need to return carbon to where it belongs—the soil. Change the Dynamics by Treating Soil Carbon as a Renewable Resource A plant draws carbon out of the air to form carbon

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FEATURE product. It is surprising that this organic substance has remained so unstated and poorly utilized. Making use of such a product will help to effectively prevent the loss of nutrients and protect the environment at the same time.

compounds through the process known as photosynthesis. Anything the plant does not need is exuded through its root system to feed soil organisms, whereby the carbon becomes humified, or rendered stable. The main component of soil organic matter is carbon, it helps to give the soil its structure, waterretention capacity, along with its fertility.

Greater fertilizer and chemical efficiency Humic acid prevents soil conditions that lead to runoff and volatilization – the molecules work to quickly increase organic matter and bind nutrients to soil particles until they are needed by plants. The humic and fulvic acid molecules stabilize the chemical fertilizers in the soil, decreasing the typical 50-80% loss that occurs in most situations. This is an obvious plus for your pocketbook and the environment!

It has been stated that there are some pools of carbon housed in soil aggregates that are so stable that they can last thousands of years. This contrasts with “active” soil carbon, located within topsoil which is in a continual flux between microbial hosts and the atmosphere. Using a product such as Organic Water Extracted Humic Acid®, can help us in the process of treating the soil as a renewable resource. It can help fight against such things as soil erosion, which carries with it organic carbon, into waterways. The soil carbon becomes burned when the soil is exposed, it oxidizes causing the soil carbon to burn. With the aide of Humic Harvest, they can guide us to an alternate trajectory with the use of their products. Scientists are still trying to learn how they can make the most of the soils CO2 sequestration capacity. Using an organic approach by adding beneficial microbes to stimulate the soil cycles that have been interrupted by the overuse of insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Programs that offer agroforestry, offer more diversity in species, and can maximize the storage of carbon than monocultures. Biochar is produced when plant matter, manure, or other organic material is heated in a zero-or low oxygen environment—for its ability to turn problem lands into productive sites while building soil carbon at the same time. Lands such as those that have been abandoned after soil degradation are excellent candidates for reforestation and replanting with the use of the biochar from the weeds now growing there.

When it comes to our croplands the how we grow them may be just as important as what we grow. Most wild plants are perennials, they have strong, deep root structures that help in the nourishing and stabilizing of the soil they grow on. However, most agricultural crops such as corn, wheat, soybean and rice are shallow-rooted annuals, that do not offer the same soil support as the perennials. The result is often poor-quality soil with low carbon content, even in well-managed cropland. Learning to develop food crops that have perennial traits could help to address this problem. You could also give Organic Water Extracted Humic Acid® a try and watch your garden grow while reducing the carbons in the atmosphere. An important way of transporting carbon into soil is through root, or mycorrhizal, fungi, this helps to govern the give-andtake between plants and soil. It has been discovered through research that plants with mycorrhizal connections

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can transfer up to 15 percent more carbon to the soil than their nonmycorrhizal counterparts. Mycorrhizal fungi are often marked by thread-like filaments called hyphae, that extend the reach of the plant, thus increasing access to nutrients and water. The hyphae have a sticky substance coating them called glomalin, which was discovered in 1996, which was found to be instrumental in soil structure as well as carbon storage. It has been advised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that land managers should protect glomalin by minimizing chemical inputs and tillage, and making use of cover crops to keep living roots in the soil. Using agricultural Humic acid such as Organic Water Extracted Humic Acid® is the best input for organic farming and sustainable agriculture. Many producers around the world have yet to experience this wonder, and utilize this innovative

Humic acid’s chemical efficiency boost doesn’t just apply to fertilizers, however. Due to its effect of increasing the permeability of plant cells, it can be mixed with similarly reduced rates of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc for better results by using less. There is also the beneficial component that humic acid acts to bind with and break down chemical residues in the soil, decreasing their long term negative impact. Increases Cation Exchange capacity Cation exchange capacity is crucial for nutrient mobility and biological function in the soil. Stimulates beneficial biological activity Humic and fulvic acid contains oxygen in its molecular structure, and provides this oxygen to beneficial soil biology, even if the soil itself is very low in oxygen. Healthier, stronger plants are naturally more resistant to pests and disease It has long been observed that the healthier a plant is, the more naturally resistant to pests and disease it is. Chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc serve to kill off the invader, but do nothing to support the long term health of the plant or the soil it depends on. Humic acid helps to boost the entire system as a whole, enhancing the plants native defenses against any type of invader.


Livestock Tracking and Monitoring Solutions


odern, intensive farms make the farmer totally responsible for all livestock under his control. Farming practices have move away from self-sustaining mixed livestock enterprises with relatively small numbers of several species, towards large species units. Animals now are produced intensively, and maintained under near ideal conditions for growth and production within current technological limits. The majority of animals are constrained within a building or stockyard for most or all of their lives. As they are prevented from foraging for their own food, the farmer takes complete responsibility for all aspects of their husbandry. Monitoring of feeding, environment, reproduction, health, growth, marketing, transport and quality becomes the responsibility of the stock- man. This responsibility is not only moral; it is also in the farmer’s commercial interest to satisfy these

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basic needs of his livestock. For a given group of animals, product quality depends almost entirely on the skill, experience and subjective assessments of the producer in monitoring and controlling the production process. Very little technological assistance is currently available. This means that the producer is frequently unable to monitor and control the variables which will determine the value: of the product. Many producers have great expertise, but there is considerable evidence that customers’ requirements are frequently not met. For example the beef trade considers animals with particular conformations and fat levels to be more desirable than others, but only about 40% of animals meet this specification (h4eat and Livestock Commission, 1994). It seems to be highly likely that this is due, at least in part, to the inability of the producer accurately to assess and control the

variables that affect conformation and fat levels. Sensors are being developed which can gather an increasingly wide range of information. However with the development of these sensors it becomes more important to develop systems which can collect, process and utilise the information. Raw data, on its own, is of limited value. The stockman can maximise the efficiency of a production system only by monitoring all its critical stages and targets and ensuring that they are kept close to the optimum. For example, it may be necessary to assimilate data on the climate within and without a building, the breed, number, age, feed level and weight of animals, their growth rate, activity and health records and market requirements. Wouldn’t it be great to have a deep understanding of your livestock activity? Tracking the location of livestock within pastures or large areas can

help you understand when they are feeding and drinking. Also monitor temperatures to help fend off disease or infections.

Finally, an all-in-one mobile livestock management and tracking

The Farm4Trade application Suite offers an integrated affordable system for all tracking stages from; breeding, health, transporting, selling, productivity analytics and more.

Farm4Trade is a compelling new player entering the livestock management tracking systems market with a collection of integrated cloud based mobile applications. The industry is lacking a full supply chain management solution for livestock productivity and the Farm4Trade Suite promises to deliver a long awaited solution, while being affordable and accessible from anywhere with its cloud based structure, including a “synch later” offline mode. Co-founder and Veterinarian, Andrea Capobianco Dondona has bold intentions for the project: “Our goal is to empower farmers with the data and tools so they can better predict and optimize their productivity, and as a side effect perhaps help reverse rural abandonment trend and boost local livestock economies”. He adds “...another long term dream is to leverage collective community contribution of georeferenced data for research purposes to identify patterns to improve animal health”. The flagship Farm4Trade application, Farm Management allows you and your staff to record and retrieve data about your animals at one or

mild production, feeding etc. A first version will be released by year’s end. Smart Feeding: Auto-formulate nutrition on a budget. Create and assign custom rations to your animals based on your criteria such as species and feed database, which includes common Southern African bushbased feeds Marketplace and Amove, online animal markets to offer alternative opportunities and cost savings for animal selling/purchasing and transport pooling. The animals records can be accessed or transferred.

To find out when new applications are released, Sign up to the newsletter at With Capobianco Dondona’s field experience in Southern Africa and relationship with the University of Namibia’s Agriculture faculty, Farm4Trade has chosen to invest here first.

more farms, along with a host of other features. Farm Management, is currently available on IOS, Android and as a web app. Here are some exciting highlights for upcoming Suite apps in development, to be released over the next year. • Business Intelligence: Make your Farm Management data come to life with productivity analytics reports for pregnancy,

Late September 2019 will mark the opening of the first Farm4Trade Café in Windhoek, Namibia, a resource centre offering free services to breeders and livestock farmers, while promoting the advantages Farm4Trade applications. Another way to meet the friendly team is at “Windhoek Industrial and Agricultural Show” from September 30 to October 4, 2019. Stop by the Farm4Trade WIAS booth for a demo. Download the Farm Management app at the Google Play and Apple App stores, or by web browser at

Take control of your farm Keep track of each animal’s unique information such as health status, feeding, productive situation and genealogy. Easily plan, monitor activities with just a few clicks, with our Farm Management App.

Get the Farm4Trade Farm Management App for FREE now:

Web App (via browser)

Visit our booth Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 at:

September - October 2019 | 21


Cotton Processing and Ginning Equipment Background The word cotton has been derived from the Arabic word “qutun�. Cotton can be dated back at least 7000 years in samples found in caves in Mexico. 3000BC cotton was grown and used in Egypt and Pakistan area. First cotton seed was brought to the Cape in 1690, although Natives in the area used wild varieties of cotton already as early as 1516. Since 1846 cotton was produced in several areas in South Africa, and the first Cotton Gin was installed in Barberton in 1922. Since then several Gins have been installed throughout South Africa, and currently we have 7 operational modern Gins in South Africa.

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Although South Africa do have Spinning Facilities to process cotton fibre, most of the production is exported. Cotton is produced in several areas in South Africa, and also throughout our neighbouring countries, up the east coast of Africa, Western Africa, and worldwide. Processing After harvesting the cotton from the cotton fields, it used to be cleaned by hand, and the fibres have also been separated from the seed by hand, but this was time consuming and one worker could only remove about 1lb of fibre per day. This process of picking the fibres from the seed is known as ginning. The Churka gin have been developed and used two wooden pinch rollers and hand turned, but it was also very slow.

In 1794 Eli Whitney revolutionised this process by patenting the first machine to gin cotton in the South in America. In 1796 Henry Ogden Holmes, a blacksmith patented an improved version using metal gin saws. With this the cotton gin was born. As the need for cotton increased worldwide, and specially in America, throughout the 1800’s and up to now refinements in the ginning machines and cleaning equipment, conveying and packaging, was driven to allow the cotton and textile industry to expand. Although the processing of cotton has been mechanised, the output capacity of cotton gins seldom exceeded 10 bales of 500lb/hour per gin. But since the mid 1960’s we saw big developments and now gins could produce 20 -30bales/h. This steadily grown to the new modern gins that can produce up to 120bales/hr. However, most cotton gins found in Africa dates back to the 1940 -1960’s, but they are still operational. And most of them were old model gins that had been relocated, but we do start see upgrades and new modern gins get installed in many areas.

KEK The KEK Company was formed close to 70 years ago by two German brothers, Karl and Egon Keller, just after WW2, when they saw the need to produce high quality Gin Saws and also wear parts for the oil mill industry. Since the late 1950’s Egon Keller travelled throughout Africa extensively visiting Cotton Gins marketing their

products. Up to date we still visit our client’s word wide, monitoring the performance of the wear parts for all types of cotton gins even dating back to the 1940’s, also assisting with technical issues and assisting in supply and maintenance of all types of ginning equipment as a leader in this field.


Cotton Ginning

For cold pressed vegetable oil High quality for a continuous 24-hour operation

Pure quality, hard to beat


Gin Saws / Gin Ribs

Anton-Küppers-Weg 17 | Germany - 42855 Remscheid | +49 2191 84100 | September - October 2019 | 23


The issue of food waste is more important than ever There are a number of issues at play here. One of the most-often cited is that wealthier societies have been guilty of creating a throwaway consumer culture that sees more than 50 million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables being discarded across Europe every year, often because the produce is thought too ugly. Supermarkets are often blamed for enabling food waste, with mountains of unsold food that could be redistributed instead of being thrown away, based on estimated ‘best before’ dates applied to food that is often still safe to eat. This again comes down to a consumer mindset – if the supermarket has determined that a piece of fruit or vegetable has passed its sell-by date, it will more than likely end up being wasted, despite the probability that it would still be fine to consume.


he world is currently wasting 1.3 billion tonnes of the food produced for human consumption every year, which amounts to a third of all food produced for that purpose. From farm to fork, the issue of food waste is rife across all aspects of the supply chain and all corners of the globe. There isn’t just one solution to help reduce the impacts of food waste, however actionable steps can be taken to lessen the amount of food wasted. We are in the midst of a food waste crisis, and the world must respond now to reverse its impact before it is too late.

The impact of consumer behaviour on waste One of the biggest factors in the battle against food waste is changing consumer behaviour to adopt a more efficient mindset and move from a ‘throw away’ mentality. In North America and Europe, the annual waste per consumers is between 95115 kg a year, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia each throw away only 6-11 kg a year. In terms of monetary value, food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$680 billion in industrialized countries and US$310 billion in developing ones.

There are also inadequate processes for redistributing wasted produce to food banks and those in need. In a bold but welcome step in 2016, France became the first country to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food, forcing them instead to donate it to charities and food banks. Italy has since introduced a similar law, where it’s made easier for companies to donate unsold food, and Australia has set targets to reduce its food waste by 50 per cent by 2030. Denmark, South Korea and Dubai are also taking steps to combat the amount of food waste created. A requirement or desire for freshness plays a big part in driving supermarket and consumer throwaway cultures, but the Internet of Things (IoT) could offer a potential solution for this problem in the form of sensor technology at any given time based on real-time measurements of food quality parameters. The lack of facilities in developing countries There has been a widespread failure to prevent food loss and waste much earlier in the supply chain, including on the farm and in fields after harvest. While richer, industrialized countries are guilty of food waste whereby they discard the produce that reaches them, poorer developing countries have a problem with ‘food loss’.

24 | September - October 2019

By way of distinction, food losses occur in the production chain and hit small farmers in developing countries the hardest. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 3040 percent of total production can be lost before it reaches the market, due to problems ranging from spillage to lack of proper post-harvest storage, processing or transportation facilities. These losses can be as high as 45 per cent for root crops, fruits and vegetables, 30 per cent for cereals, 35 per cent for fish, and 20 per cent for meat. Not applying the right seeds, irrigation, pruning and crop protection leads to immense losses. A significant proportion of agricultural products are not harvested or are harvested too early or too late. Strengthening the supply chain through the direct support of farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation, as well as in an expansion of the food and packaging industry could help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste. Annual food losses for fruits and vegetables in sub-Saharan Africa are estimated at 40 to 50 per cent. Around half are lost between agricultural production, post-harvest handling, processing, distribution, and consumption. Shockingly, over 80 per cent of fruit and vegetable waste comes after the farmer has grown the fruit or vegetable and before the consumer purchases it. In addition to poor market access and other related factors, a major cause of this loss is the lack of refrigeration available to food farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Off-grid, solar powered cool storage is an area of particular interest for those looking at how to reduce food loss in developing countries, as this solution can help preserve perishable foods. Cool storage addresses the problem of postharvest losses in fruits and vegetables and gives farmers the storage and means for preservation of graded, sorted and packaged produce. Upcycling agricultural waste Vast amounts of agricultural waste never make it out of the field or off the farm. When assessing the level of agricultural globally, a 2018 Brazilian study found that crop residues, or plant waste left in the field after harvest, total 5.5 billion tons. Potential uses for this supposed waste include organic fertilizer, soil enrichment, biofuel and animal food, but innovators have begun upcycling surplus agricultural matter. For example, farmers of cacao, the plant that forms the basis of chocolate bars, are generally

left with as much as 12 times too much biomass from the process. Innovative farmers, researchers and businesses have recognized the opportunity in this supposed waste, and are transforming it into products like beer, desserts, juice and pharmaceutical nutrients. Using innovation to improve yields A lack of precise sorting can lead to unnecessary food losses. To the human eye, a batch of produce which has come out of the field may be deemed as being of a poor quality – something which may purely be based on the aesthetics. But through adopting and implementing technology, it can be determined that the crop is actually of a good enough quality to be used either for its intended purpose or for an alternative source. This innovation can have a profound impact. Taking the humble French fry as an example – globally, French fry production is 21 million tons, using 41 million potatoes in the process. Through implementing efficient sorting technology, there can be an increase in both yields and food quality and bring the number of tons of potatoes used closer to the number of tons of French fries produced, thus reducing waste. The improvement in yield enhancing technology is not simply about ensuring that food can be used for its initial purpose, but also identifying alternative uses for produce that might otherwise have been discarded and lessening waste. Developments in technologies, such as a 360-degree surround view of the produce for optimal inspection, combined with innovative

detection and rejection technology, result in more valid decisions about the quality of the product. This technological progress not only improves the quantity of available food, but it also maintains the high levels of quality expected by consumers who are increasingly interested in what they are purchasing. Technology can be a catalyst for change With the United Nations aiming to reduce waste per capita by 50 per cent by 2030, action needs to be taken to help make reaching this target achievable. There is a great opportunity for businesses and society as a whole to make a great contribution towards the reduction of food waste and loss through technology. As a leading manufacturer of sensor-based food sorting systems, TOMRA Sorting Food is acutely aware of the food waste issue and works closely with farmers, processors and retailers to reduce food waste, optimize yields and maximise profits. Our experience around the world highlights the need to increase the emphasis on preventing ‘good’ products being removed from the food supply chain and unnecessarily wasted, caused at large by inefficient systems. TOMRA is committed to continuously developing sorting and grading systems to sustainably keep food in our supply chains and out of the waste heap.

September - October 2019 | 25


Poultry Africa geared for its second edition

The second edition of Poultry Africa will be taking place from 2 to 3 October 2019 in Kigali Rwanda.


oultry Africa is a boutique-style concept from the organisers of the renowned VIV feed-to-food shows around the world. Its core objective is to present high-quality networking and trade opportunities, hassle-free, at minimum cost for suppliers and buyers. According to Poultry Africa manager, Diána Tóth, the version lined up for October 2019 looks likely to be bigger than before. It is on course to achieve a 30% growth in exhibitor numbers compared with 2017. A preliminary list of exhibitors prepared at the start of the year, reads like a directory of major international suppliers of products and services for poultry enterprises. They include companies from Africa as well as Asia, Europe and North America.

26 | July - August 2019

“I am delighted to report that we are continuing to add African exhibitors to that early list,” Diána comments. “One of the most recent additions is a supplier from Mauritius. “However, I think one of the main points about the expo at Poultry Africa 2019 is that it will contain not only new exhibitors, but also a wider variety of products and services. As two examples of this, the stands this time will include more manufacturers and distributors of systems for slaughtering and processing poultry, and more companies offering animal health products.” Ideal location “Our first edition demonstrated beyond any doubt that Rwanda was the right choice for location,” says

Diána. “It is politically stable and a safe, neutral place to visit, as well as being at the geographic centre of our primary focus countries in Eastern, Western and Southern Africa and having direct flights from and to all parts of the region.” The relatively small size of the poultry business in Rwanda itself is therefore outweighed by the country’s position in a part of the world that has enormous potential for further increasing its production of chicken and eggs. On latest estimates, the countries of West and East Africa together produce almost 2 million metric tons of poultry meat and 27 billion eggs per year, with some forecasters expecting up to a 10% increase in output by 2025.

A distinct conference One of the successes of Poultry Africa 2017 was its inclusion of a Leadership Conference – in effect, a regional summit that looked specifically at important issues affecting the poultry markets of sub-Saharan Africa with a panel of speakers drawn from within the region and global authorities.

protein in nutrition and of investing in poultry protein in Africa. Practical insights will close the one-day programme. The Leadership Conference will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre, in room AD12, and will host key international speakers from the world and from Africa. The price includes all sessions, coffee breaks, lunch, and a networking cocktail.

So a second Leadership Conference along similar lines is most definitely a core part of programming for Poultry Africa 2019, with the important change this time that it is being held on the day before the expo opens. The 2017 schedule had the conference coinciding with the trade show, Diána Tóth notes. Staging the conference before the show in 2019 means that visitors can make the most of the knowledge sessions on offer while also having the maximum opportunity to network with the exhibitors during the expo.

Details of the 2019 Leadership Conference will appear soon on the event’s website, www. Expo and technical seminars According to the organisers, 100% of the exhibitors’ line-up for Poultry Africa 2019 has already been confirmed. More than 100 companies are exhibiting at the 2019 edition. With an increase of 30% in number of exhibiting companies, the event aims at presenting an even wider selection of feed to food suppliers in poultry and eggs covering feed, crop-tech and feed-tech, feed ingredients and additives, animal health, breeding and hatching, farm production and equipment, poultry and eggs processing and handling.

Profitable poultry production The Leadership Conference on 1 October will consist of four sessions on profitable poultry production in Africa. After an economic overview on the Sub-Saharan region, the retail and digital aspects of the poultry business will be covered by the second session of the conference, followed by a presentation on the importance of animal

Expo & Seminars 2 DAYS Meet at once 100 African and international poultry suppliers and learn from them how to bring your poultry farm business to the next level.

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While the expo takes place in the Kigali Convention Centre, rooms MH 1-2-3-4, the Technical Best Practice Seminars will be hosted in AD rooms, adjacent to the expo’s MH rooms. Both the expo and seminars are held from 2 to 3 October 2019 and entrance is FREE OF CHARGE upon registration: a unique opportunity and 360-degree experience for African professionals to expend the network internationally and learn about practical solutions tailor-made for the African poultry industry.

Among the African exhibitors that already signed for the event, Poultry Africa will showcase Abusol Ltd, AGCO South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Agrotech Ltd, Avipro East Africa Ltd, Urban Farmer, Essential Drugs Ltd, ME VAC and Vetcare Africa. Approximately 50% of the exhibitors are from Europe, including key suppliers especially in the animal health, farm production and feed ingredients and additives sectors.

India, Turkey, China and Southeast Asia will also be exhibiting at Poultry Africa 2019. Visitors will not only be able to meet professionals at their booths, but also attend the experts’ Technical Best Practice Seminars. Some of the interesting topics addressed by these sessions are heat stress, sustainability, AGP-free food, poultry health and women in poultry business.

Growing attendance “The arguments in favour of coming to the event are clear,” Diána comments. “We look forward to welcoming you to Kigali with a compact package, offering a great opportunity to network with other poultry leaders from Africa and with distinguished international suppliers. This concept is a very cost-effective investment in meeting subSaharan Africa’s top poultry professionals.” Poultry Africa is a B2B event, reserved to industry professionals. Free registration is now available on the official website

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DACS ventilation and controls is a solution to Renders’ New Broiler Shed


he brothers Jack and Mark Renders in The Netherlands produce 185,000 regular broilers in five houses. They chose DACS ventilation and controls for their new house, commissioned in September 2018. Easier to operate “The new system is much easier to operate so we always have a dry and well-ventilated house – no matter the season. The constant breeze of preheated air over the chicks from day one is a major advantage of the DACS ventilation system compared to our houses with negative pressure ventilation systems. In addition, we actually save 70% on the heating costs” Mark says.

constant flow of air “We know all too well that increased CO2 levels reduce the animal’s growth potential. Because CO2 is heavier than oxygen, it usually accumulates at floor level. But with the DACS system, thanks to the Corona inlet fans, the constant flow of air in the bird zone lifts the CO2 off the floor and out of the house via the roof mounted exhausts. This contributes to a much better air quality in our new house and we can see that the birds pay back on this,” Jack explains. Improved technical performance “We clearly improved the technical performance in our new house. The slaughter quality is better and where the other houses have 1% rejection, in the

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ore people. More food. More farm productivity. It’s a simple but compelling growth opportunity. We’re leveraging our global presence to turn this potential into reality, especially in growing markets.

unsurpassed value. Our portfolio of brands, Tecno Poultry Equipment, Cumberland, and C-lines, offer proven and comprehensive lines of equipment to help your enterprise achieve maximum efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Here, professional farm machinery is key to boosting productivity and reducing waste. Our approach to long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability, aligns with our vision to provide high-tech solutions for farmers feeding the world. To achieve that vision, we seek innovative solutions to address many of the world’s most significant challenges, including farmer livelihood and resource efficiency.

Together with our local dealers, we design and produce forward- thinking, expertly engineered products and solutions, backed by an exceptional support team. Poultry producers need more than equipment; they need full-scale solutions which boost overall performance and productivity. Every day. All year long. Agco Corp and its family of brands, has you covered.

Though specific needs vary from market to market, our common approach is to partner fully with every customer, through every phase of the farming process. That’s why we offer fullrange solutions for the poultry market that deliver

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Our turnkey solutions for the poultry market are designed to be flexible, with the possibility to customise systems specifically for each client’s requirements. This is made possible thanks to our experts, a team of engineers and designers who have great experience in the world of agriculture

new house it is 0.3 to 0.5%. The growth is slightly better and the feed conversion a few points lower in the new house. This does not seem like much, but everything adds up and we earn more money from the new house,” says Mark. Stronger birds “On a previous flock our farm was infected with IB. In the new DACS house the chicks simply recovered faster and did better than in the other houses and that can only be related to the stronger birds which the much better climate in our DACS house brings about,” Jack adds

and industrial production, as well as in the design of the most advanced buildings. Here are each brand’s core competences: Tecno Poultry Equipment produces automatic units for layers, pullets and Aviary Systems. The systems are equipped with automatic egg collection, feed/water distribution, and manure removal/handling. Our ventilation systems are designed for different climate conditions, and various methods of rearing. Solutions are available in a wide range of designs, to suit all types of production and different size structures. Cumberland offers a complete solution for broilers, breeders, and turkeys, with everything from feeding and watering systems, heating and ventilation, nesting and next-generation environment control systems. C-Lines, a French company, known as a leader in prefabricated housings, offers an innovative concept, flexible and adaptable, with a complete service from design stage to fully completed, supplying customized turnkey building solutions for your business. Agco Corp. Your agriculture company.

POULTRY AFRICA using an open water drinking system. An open water source is a big risk on diseases due to direct contact between the water and birds. Manure, walking through with dirty feet, dust, feathers, feed etc. All these factors can contaminate the water and are the reason Impex developed closed drinking systems. Using a closed drinking system reduces the risks significantly and thereby improves the water hygiene and bird performance even more.

Improving bird performance with clean and fresh drinking water Hygiene is very important in poultry houses. And while poultry professionals take many factors in consideration (especially the quality, density and processing of feed), the quality of the water is often underestimated or simply forgotten. We at Impex strongly believe that a clean, safe and fresh water supply is a necessity for optimal bird performances.


everal of the most common poultry diseases are transmitted through the drinking water and because most of the birds drink from the same water supply, the performance of the entire flock will be affected. Regular cleaning and keeping an eye on the water quality will have a positive effect on the performance of the animals and thus increase profit. Having a hygienic water supply starts with a clean and fresh water source. Most sources nowadays have been contaminated by agricultural and industrial activities, but also natural influences

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like floods, droughts and rock formations the water runs through, can influence the quality of the water source. Therefore, it is very important to check the quality of the water supply on a regular basis to prevent any diseases from affecting your flock and to keep the mortality rate as low as possible. But having a clean and fresh water supply makes no difference when

But even a closed drinking system still demands regular cleaning and controlling. Something poultry farmers often seem to forget. Although the water remains much cleaner than in an open source, it is still possible for bacteria to build up inside the system. Especially if you don’t check the quality of the original water source on a regular basis. Cleaning the system and nipples regularly helps maintaining an optimal water quality and prevents diseases from reaching your birds. Improving bird performance and results, starts with the right drinking system and keeping an eye on the water quality. Closed drinking systems contribute to a better water hygiene, are easy to clean and demand little maintenance. They are the ideal solution to achieve the best possible results. For almost fifty years now, Impex is contributing to improve and optimise water hygiene on poultry farms all around the world. Providing people with healthy and high-quality food is our biggest motivator. This starts with supplying the right amount of clean, fresh and hygienic drinking water.

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July - August 2019 | 31


Total Solution for Poultry

Plasson is a public company, founded in 1963 and is engaged in the international manufacturing industry and a leader in equipment and projects for poultry. equipment package to integrations and growers around the globe. Breeders, Turkeys & Poults, Ducks and others, and integrates these packages own dedicated factory. Plasson designs high quality long lasting equipment ensuring excellent results. Having the expertize and understanding of both the growers and birds requirements, Plasson takes a unique stand among equipment suppliers, by designing a World-Leading Equipment Package tailored to each customer’s requirements and climatic conditions, thus providing high yields and optimal economic results. Plasson Watering Systems are a complete watering solution from the water Nipple with Tray and the famous Bell Drinker. Plasson nipples can supply

Plasson has a full variety of Climate Packages that provide comfortable conditions for the birds, with worldwide experience in hot, cold and humid climates. The package includes: Controllers High quality Exhauster and Circulation fans Tunnel Doors or Curtains Cooling Pads Heaters – Cannon, Space, Brooders, Radiant tubes Sprinklers / Foggers Inlet systems Additional components - Electric Cabinets, LED Lighting Plasson Breeder package includes all the above equipment and in addition the Plasson Breeder nest system – Plassnest, that supports growing with or without slats and a suspension system for training at the beginning of the

house structures and panels. The special structures are designed for a span of up to 18m. without support in the house center. The structures are lightweight come with predesigned elements for the

of water for the birds, especially when coupled with Plasson's unique and patented Water on Demand Pro system that ensures that the water pressure is adjusted according to the actual consumption.

Plasson Partners, providing construction and assembly together with the Plasson support center.

Plasson's No-Grill Automatic Feed pan is part of the full Plasson Feeding System and enables easy access to the feed while preventing feed spillage.

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Poultry Diagnostics Market is expected to reach US$ 674.2 Mn by 2026


lobal poultry diagnostics market was valued US$ 312.1 Mn in 2017 and is expected to reach US$ 674.2 Mn by 2026, at a CAGR of 10.11 % during a forecast period. Poultry diagnostics are used to identify the various diseases present in poultry. Increase in demand for poultry-derived food products is propelling the poultry diagnostics market growth. Growing disease outbreaks in poultry, increasing prevalence of zoonotic diseases, and increasing demand for poultry-derived food products are boosting the market growth. Moreover, a rise in animal welfare expenses and an increase in the number of poultry industries are expected to drive the poultry diagnostics market. However, high poultry production costs and a dearth of awareness about poultry diseases in underdeveloped counties are limiting the market growth. Bacteria is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to the regular bacterial testing on poultry assumed by regions like Europe and Asia-Pacific to identify & prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases such as salmonellosis, pasteurellosis, and mycoplasmosis. The ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Sorbent Assay) tests are projected to the highest share owing to the high sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and costefficiency. PCR tests are mainly used for various types of influenza, Newcastle and Mycoplasma infections and it also allows fast detection of pathogens and provides great accuracy. Avian influenza (AI) is also called “bird flu.” Avian influenza viruses generally don’t infect humans and cannot spread easily from personto-person. AI occurs naturally in wild waterfowl and can spread into domestic poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. The huge livestock population in Asia-Pacific region, rising demand of poultry-derived food products, growing alertness about animal health, and increasing per capita animal health expenditure, especially in India and China are estimated to witness the highest growth rate in Asia-Pacific region during the forecast period. North America poultry diagnostics market is showing lucrative growth owing to growth in the demand for healthy meat & innovation of newer tests. The Middle East & Africa is growing rapidly owing to increase in the

34 | July - August 2019

occurrence of infectious diseases, growth in per capita income, and awareness about poultry diseases among key stakeholders are driving the market growth in this region. Key player operating in the global poultry diagnostics market are IDEXX Laboratories, Inc, Zoetis, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, QIAGEN, Ubio Biotechnology Systems Pvt Ltd, Nisseiken Co., Ltd, Gd Animal Health, DRG Instruments Gmbh, Bioingentech Biotechnologies, Inc, AffiniTech Ltd, BioNote, Inc., Idevt, and Biochekk smart veterinary diagnostics. The report covers a comprehensive study of major market drivers, restrains, opportunities, challenges, PESTEL, Porters, SWOT, and technological forecasting in the market. The Scope of Global Poultry Diagnostics Market: Global Poultry Diagnostics Market, By Test Type • PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Test • LISA (Enzyme Linked Sorbent Assay) Test

Others Global Poultry Diagnostics Market, by Product Type: Instruments • Test Kits • Reagents and Consumables Global Poultry Diagnostics Market, by Disease Type: • Avian Influenza • Avian Mycoplasma • Marek’s Disease • Newcastle Disease • Infectious Bursal Disease

• • •

Infectious Bronchitis Chicken Anemia Other Disease type

Global Poultry Diagnostics Market, By Microorganism: • Bacteria • Virus • Parasites Global Poultry Diagnostics Market, By Service: • Virology • Bacteriology • Parasitology Global Poultry Diagnostics Market, By Region: • North America • Europe • Asia Pacific • Middle East & Africa • South America Key Players Operating In Global Poultry Diagnostics Market: • Idexx Laboratories, Inc. • Zoetis, Inc. • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. • Qiagen N.V. • GD Animal Health • IDVet • Affinitech, Ltd. • Agrobiotek Internacional • Biochek • Bionote, Inc. • Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH • Bioingentech Biotechnologies, Inc. • Megacor Diagnostik GmbH.


Poultry Farming - Africa’s love for chicken and eggs


oultry farming in Africa is one the biggest business opportunities on the continent. Africa’s love for poultry meat and eggs has grown at a staggering pace. Every year, the continent imports more than two million metric tons of poultry products valued at nearly US$3 billion to meet domestic demand. In 2012 alone, more than five million tons of poultry meat and two million tons of eggs were consumed in Africa. Africa’s love for chicken and eggs is increasing with the size of its rapidly growing population. Chicken and eggs are a rich source of animal protein for millions of Africans. The young population, who make up more than 70 percent of the continent’s people are the highest consumers of poultry products. Although it is home to 13 percent of the global population, Africa provides just 4 percent of the world’s poultry products. The average African eats one egg every five or six weeks, while the average Japanese person eats eggs almost daily. The same holds true for poultry meat consumption. In one year, the average African consumes only 3.3 kilograms of poultry meat, compared to 28 kilograms for the average French person, and 14 kilograms worldwide. Poultry products remain a luxury in many sub-Saharan African countries,

despite substantial animal protein needs. Africa’s poultry market is experiencing a boom as a result of its rapid population and economic growth. Brazil and China have become the largest exporters of frozen chicken to our markets and have made it nearly impossible for local poultry farms to thrive. African poultry production is dominated by South African companies, as four of the top six broiler producers are headquartered in South Africa. RCL Foods and Astral Foods are by far the continent’s largest two poultry companies, having slaughtered 260 million and 228.3 million broilers annually in 2017, according to the Poultry International Top Poultry Companies Survey both are South African companies. Coming in at a distant third is Cairo Poultry, headquartered in Egypt, which slaughtered 75 million broiler chickens in 2017. Africa, which imports nearly 83% of the food it consumes, has a real chicken and egg problem. The continent is caught between pressure from imports in some countries and an inability to meet demand in others. Africa’s chicken crisis is an expression of overall weaknesses in its agricultural system. If Africa

cannot raise its grain production it cannot expect do well in increasing its chicken output. It is a complex problem. Producing chickens requires low-cost feed such as corn. Yet producing grain to meet human needs remains one of the continent’s most pressing challenges. Africa’s urban populations, for example, are growing faster than the continent can produce grain. This has contributed to Africa’s shift from being a net food exporter to being a net food importer. The inability to ramp up grain production has affected Africa’s ability to feed its people as well as its chicken. Its imports for grain as well as chicken have been rising as a result. Its import of poultry products is estimated at $3 billion a year. Inability to meet demand Population growth, urbanisation and changing diets have over the last 20 years shifted African meat consumption away from beef to pork and poultry. According to some estimates, chicken now accounts for nearly half of the meat consumed in Africa. The supply of poultry has not kept up with the demand, which is in turn pushing up prices. The demand for chicken in countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania is projected to rise significantly over the next decade. Chicken prices

July - August 2019 | 35

POULTRY AFRICA in those countries are already prohibitive given the fact that large sections of the population live on less than $2 a day. Chicken prices range from $5 to $8 a kilo. The challenge now is finding ways to increase production while competing with imports. Poultry production challenges At face value the situation looks like an opportunity for entrepreneurs to align production with the rising demand. The challenge, however, is more deep-rooted. The factors (such as poor infrastructure, low investment in research, limited technical training and a lack of farm incentives) limiting poultry production are similar to those affecting the rest of the agricultural system. In fact, countries with more advanced agricultural sectors such as South Africa, Egypt and Morocco are the ones that lead the continent in poultry production.

The lack of starter stock (chicks and broilers bred specifically for meat production). Improvements in this area will require better breeding and extension programs akin to those needed for crops. Nearly 84% of chicken in Kenya is based on local breeds that have low levels of efficiency in converting feed into meat. Disease control. The most common threat to chickens is Newcastle disease. But the frightening spectrum of new infectious diseases calls for more investment in

The solution to Africa’s chicken crisis lies in upgrading agricultural systems overall. Here are the major limitations: • Low-cost, high-quality feed. Expanding feed production involves investing in grain production, especially corn and soya. Research to increase efficiency and expand the range of feed sources will go a long way in helping to upgrade overall system.

livestock diseases in general and chicken diseases in particular. Disease control is a problem for both crop and livestock producers. Poor infrastructure (especially energy, transportation and water supply systems) is a major barrier to the expansion of chicken production, especially in rural areas. A lack of cold storage facilities forces farmers to keep feeding their chickens instead of slaughtering and refrigerating them. They generally transport live chickens to markets, which raises logistical costs and increases concerns over disease transmission. The lack of credit for producers. Countries that provide credit for crop producers to purchase seed and farm input have the opportunity to extend their incentives to chicken production. Most African countries lack such systems and it is unlikely that they will introduce them for poultry farming if they do not have them for crop production. So far Africa can hardly feed its people. But even worse, it cannot feed its chickens so that it can feed its people. The chicken crisis is yet another reason why Africa must focus on getting its agricultural act together. The crisis is a warning to African leaders: they need to wake up with the chickens and act in time.

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Plasson Poulty ......................................................................................32 Poultry Africa 2019................................................................................27 RJ Obrien................................................................................................28


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July - August 2019 36 | September - October 2019


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Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.