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NEWS

September - October 2018 | 1


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CONTENTS

Volume 4. Issue 5. Sept/October 2018

News

Editor’s Note

FAO Launch Framework Document for Agricultural Mechanization......................2 Grocapital Holdings Limited Acquires Bank Of Athens.....................................................3 Cover: Africa has a major role to play as a determining factor in the future of food in the world.

Executive Editor Lee Daniels editor@farmersreviewafrica.com Writers - Silimina Derick, Bertha M. Contributing Writers Nqobile Bhebhe Zimbabwe Oscar Nkala Botswana Bertha M South Africa Nita Karume Kenya Advertising Executive Russou Billiard, Cleopas M., Mkhululi K., East Africa Advertising Executives Mercy Cherono, Tobby Ken, Tony Kiganda Project Manager Victor Ndlovu sales@farmersreviewafrica.com Graphic Design & Layout Faith Omudho Art Director Augustine Ombwa austin@arobia.co.ke Correspondents - Isabel Banda zambia@farmersreviewafrica.com Sales & Marketing Cleopas Moyo cleopasm@farmersreviewafrica.com Mandla M. mandlam@farmersreviewafrica.com Mthokozisi M mthokozisim@farmersreviewafrica.com East African Liaison Arobia Creative Consultancy P. O. Box 2922-00200, Nairobi Kenya Tel: +254 772 187334, 790 153505 arobia@farmersreviewafrica.com eastafrica@farmersreviewafrica.com Published by Mailing Times Media +27 11 044 8986 sales@farmersreviewafrica.com

NCPB facing difficulties in selling imported maize................................................................5 New IFAD, the Lab Partnership to Fund African Climate Change Initiatives........6 It’s Time for Africa to tell a New Story........................................................................................7 Seed Visionary has Big Plans for Growth....................................................................................9

Features Case IH Launches Multipurpose Tractor And Self-propelled Sprayer At Farm-tech Expo Kenya..............................................................................................13 Fire-suppression for Sunflower and Soya-seed Processing Facilities........................18 Importance of Grain Cleaning and Storage...........................................................................21 Monsanto - A modern agricultural company ......................................................................26 Mineral nutrition for fruit trees......................................................................................................28 Offshore Investments for Farmers ............................................................................................29 Corn Cob Dryer Houses.................................................................................................................31 Publication on precision farming for modern farming.....................................................35 Africa’s role in the future of food in the world....................................................................42 Adverse effects of global warming ............................................................................................45 Tractor Counterweights ..................................................................................................................51 Dry season farm irrigation .............................................................................................................54

T

he global agricultural population, which is defined as individuals dependent on agriculture, hunting, fishing, and forestry for their livelihood—accounted for over 37% of the world’s population. This was back in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available. Well over half of these were reportedly from Africa. It has also been proven that inasmuch as other continents such as Europe remain an important supplier of agricultural goods in the future, the greatest untapped potential lies in Africa, which could become the “bread basket” for the rest of the world. Furthermore, according to a recent research, Africa reportedly has the potential to become a food exporter through a combination of modern technology, improved infrastructure and better technical education. We’re living in an era where the importance of agriculture cannot possible be overstated. It thus goes without saying that Africa, by virtue of being the pioneer agriculture hub determines the future of food in the world. The September- October issue of Farmers Review Africa has seen it fit to highlight- among other equally important issues, the role of Africa in future of food in the world.

Fertilizers Demystified: .....................................................................................................................55 Advertiser’s Index..................................................................................................................................56

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

Nita Karume editor@farmersreviewafrica.com

FARMERS

REVIEW AFRICA


NEWS

FAO, AU Launch Framework Document that Supports Agricultural Mechanization By Oscar Nkala

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he United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African Union have launched a new framework document that seeks to increase agricultural efficiency and reduce drudgery by helping African countries plan for sustainable farm mechanization. In a statement, the FAO said the The Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization: A Framework for Africa document was launched in Rome on October 5. The document was produced by policy makers from AU member states, the AU Commission, the FAO and other partners. According to the FAO, the document offers a detailed look at the history of farm machinery and suggests ways of addressing present challenges of the lack thereof, while creating 2 |September - October 2018

new opportunities to drive the mechanization of African agriculture. “Doubling agricultural productivity and eliminating hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025 will be no more than a mirage unless (farm) mechanization is accorded utmost importance,” said Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture. FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said Africa should start using modern digital and mechanical machinery to boost productivity in all agricultural sectors. The strategic framework identifies 10 priorities for AU member states to include in their national agricultural development plans. These include the need to guarantee a stable supply of machine spare parts, innovative financing mechanisms and encourages regional collaboration to enable cross-border machinery hiring services.

“The framework notes that successful national mechanization strategies will address key sustainability issues including gender, youth, environmental protection and the overarching principle that farming must be profitable. “It also emphasizes that these strategies should cover the entire agrifood value chain, including harvesting, handling, processing and food safety aspects, with an eye to reducing food losses, boosting rural employment and bolstering the links between farmers and consumers,” the FAO said. Presently, more than three-quarters of small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa prepare their farms using hand tools, leading to poor productivity. Only 5% of farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa use tractors for ploughing. They also use low-yielding farming techniques.


NEWS

GROCAPITAL HOLDINGS LIMITED ACQUIRES BANK OF ATHENS

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roCapital Holdings Limited is pleased to announce that it has obtained all regulatory approvals for the acquisition of the South African Bank of Athens Limited (SABA). This follows an announcement made in March 2017 that GroCapital Holdings had acquired the National Bank of Greece Group’s stake in the South African Bank of Athens, corresponding to 99.81% of the issued share capital of the bank. The Minister of Finance and the Registrar of Banks have approved the acquisition and GroCapital Holdings as a bank controlling company. The Competition Tribunal has also approved the acquisition. GroCapital Holdings shareholders will include AFGRI Group Holdings, Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation (Fairfax Africa) and the Government Employee Pension Fund, represented by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). In AGH, Fairfax Africa and the PIC, [SABA / the Bank] will benefit from a committed and stable shareholder base with proven track records in the financial sector. Chris Venter, CEO AGH said that the

move marks a substantial milestone for the AFGRI Group, providing the company with the opportunity to expand their financial services product offering, including the acceptance of deposits and cross-border financial settlements and flows, while simultaneously gaining access to SABA’s expertise in alliance, business and international banking. He added that the banking license will deepen the Group’s reach in the financial services, agribusiness and foods sectors in South Africa. “Financial services are a key enabler for these sectors and will help businesses grow and so drive food security,” said Venter. Venter went on to say that by leveraging services across the combined customer base of both entities, synergies could easily be extracted, and an entire banking bouquet would be on offer. SABA would benefit equally from opportunities to grow forex and commodity trade and finance activities in the agricultural sector. “The Group brings decades of experience in agriculture and foods, coupled with a deep understanding of

agricultural cycles. Our bad debts are negligible, and this is testament to our appreciation of these cycles,” he went on to add. In Fairfax Africa and the PIC, SABA will benefit from a substantial and stable shareholder base with a proven track records in the financial services sector. GroCapital Financial Services (“GroCapital”) focuses on corporates involved in agriculture and food production, offering debt origination, forex and commodity trading, specialized finance and broking services, while UNIGRO focuses an array of financial and insurance products and services to the farmer. “The PIC is pleased with this transaction. It is a transaction that is in line with our investment mandate given by our client, the GEPF. This transaction fits well with our financial services strategy, which seeks to drive transformation in the agricultural finance sector. SABA’s extensive experience in the financial sector is a perfect vehicle to assist us in realizing this strategy. We believe that provision of funding in September - October 2018 | 3


NEWS the agricultural sector is an important component in the agriculture value chain and can greatly contribute to food security,” said Dr Daniel Matjila, CEO of PIC. GroCapital and UNIGRO will benefit from an expanded product suite including savings, transaction and electronic banking and commercial loans. UNIGRO will be able to assess the feasibility of innovative offerings to service under-banked rural farmers, as an example. This is in addition to including deposits and debit and credit cards. Experience and existing customer relationships will be leveraged to the advantage of growth in SABA’s balance sheet and contribute to profitability by leveraging GroCapital’s experience in commodity, stock and debtor finance, bridging facilities, invoice discounting, trade finance and broking. SABA was established and has been operational in South Africa since 1947. The bank offers comprehensive

4 |September - October 2018

traditional business banking such as lending, transactional banking and treasury functions, as well as alliance, business and international banking. It is known for its focus on the development of market-leading, niche alliance transactional banking offerings in partnership with businesses. “The alliance banking offering is extremely attractive and will benefit our customers in the longer term,” said Venter, going on to elaborate that the alliance banking capabilities provide an extended platform for financial services innovation and partnerships. “Key for SABA are the growth opportunities that are presented by the transaction, as well as the ability to broaden our offering to our current loyal customers. Furthermore, the transaction contributes towards stabilization of the banking sector in South Africa and the shareholding is being acquired by investors that support South Africa as an investment destination,” said

Spiro Georgopoulos, CEO of SABA. “We aim to assist in growing the current SABA business. Between the two entities there are sufficient skills, like-mindedness and financial services offerings to achieve this,” added Venter. He went on to say that current SABA customers can be assured that the current high levels of service and products offered by SABA will continue. AGH has given assurances to protect existing depositors and borrowers of SABA. As lead-arranger of this transaction, AGH will assume operational oversight over the bank with the appointment and secondment of an Integration Officer responsible for the successful implementation of the acquisition. “The award of the license highlights the growth potential of the banking sector and offers employment opportunities,” Venter said. “It also presents possible investment opportunities and the potential for future fundraising.”


NEWS

NCPB facing difficulties in selling imported maize By Nita Karume

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he National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is currently struggling to sell imported maize. The maize in question was imported under the subsidy program meant to cushion consumers from high flour prices. Now the millers are reportedly reluctant to buy the maize being sold at US $22.85 (Sh 2,300) per 90kg bag despite having been imported at US $39.74 (Sh 4,000). According to media reports, the NCPB is holding 350,000 out of the 630,000 bags it released to millers last year at Sh 2,300 before the end of the subsidy program on December 31, 2017.

Pending distributions The board’s corporate affairs manager Mr. Titus Maiyo said that they are yet to distribute well over 350,000 bags of maize imported by firms from Mexico. He also added that millers are invited to buy said maize. Mr Maiyo further dispelled fears that they were unfit for human consumption, seeing how they have been in their stores for about two years now. He went on to insist that there is proper storage of the grains in their silos, making them suitable for human consumption. The government pumped in approximately US $60Bn to import maize to lower flour prices. This is

following the inflated price that had hit Sh153 for a 2kg bag at the time., However, this soon came down to Sh90 following the intervention. Nonetheless, millers are reluctant to purchase maize from NCPB. They are instead opting for cheap produce from Uganda which is going for as low as US $11.92 (Sh 1,200) per 90kg bag. Meanwhile, some of them have been forced to scale down operations to milling twice a week. This is due to the plummet in the demand for sifted maize flour. But low maize prices are an advantage to consumers most of whom have opted for posho maize flour, which is more affordable. September - October 2018 | 5


NEWS

New IFAD, the Lab Partnership to Fund African Smallholder Farmers’ Climate Change Initiatives

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he International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance (the Lab) have formed a new partnership that is set to finance initiatives from smallholder farmers combating climate change. The funds will go towards helping to build climate resilience for smallholder farmers in Central and West Africa by developing and scaling up innovative financial instruments. This partnership follows the realization that there is an urgent need to spur greater investment into climate action. This is more so in the agriculture sector in p0articular and especially smallholder farmers who are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Effects of climate change According to a 2015 FAO report, the frequency and magnitude of natural hazards triggered by climate change has been increasing globally, leading to US $1.5t in economic damages from 2003 to 2013. This in addition to irreversible negative impacts on human 6 |September - October 2018

and ecosystem health and threats to local and global food security. Unfortunately, current investments in adaptation constitute only a fraction of what is needed. According to Climate Policy Initiative’s Global Landscape of Climate Finance report, only 16% (US $23Bn) of total public climate finance in 2016 can be attributed to adaptation activities.

$1.15Bn for renewable energy, energy efficiency, adaptation, and climatesmart agriculture projects in developing countries.

Associate Vice President IFAD Charlotte Salford explains that food, farming, and climate are inextricably linked together. She went on to add that on the other hand, the world is yet to match up to the reality of climate change with reference to the finances allocated to agriculture. This, she adds, has an adverse effect on the world’s poor who have the most to lose.

Earlier this year IFAD launched a second phase of its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Program (ASAP) through generous contributions by the governments of Norway and Sweden. Through this program, IFAD will be sponsoring the development of two instruments within a new thematic stream for smallholder agriculture financing in the Lab’s 2018-2019 cycle, starting in October 2018.

The Lab initiatives The Lab is a network of public and private investors that identifies, develops, and launches transformative climate finance instruments. Since its start in 2014, instruments developed by the Lab have mobilized over US

IFAD will be joining the Lab, bringing its expertise on agriculture financing to complement the Lab’s membership of private investors, governments, development finance institutions, philanthropies, and financial experts.

Following an international call for proposals, Lab members will select the top two ideas for this stream, which will then go on to receive rigorous analytical support.


OPINION

IT’S TIME FOR AFRICA TO TELL A NEW STORY T

contributes to putting the brakes on the continent’s development. How do the stories we disseminate shape how the rest of the world views Africa?

hroughout time, storytelling has largely influenced how people behave and perceive each other across the world. It is this single factor instilled in individuals since childhood that has contributed to stereotyping and prejudice across societies and cultures.

How does it affect foreign investment? How does it influence markets and economic output? These are some of the questions we should be asking, along with how to change our onesided approach. Even research indicates that attitudes and views have been shaped in a specific manner.

Stories have instigated wars and political mudslinging, racial segregation and gender discrimination, generational and cross-country hostility, and bitterness between low and highincome communities. Even Africa is perceived in a certain way because of the stories being told about it. The role of traditional and social media are key players in the way the world views Africa, and possibly

Mimi Kalinda, CEO Africommunications Group.

The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), for example, explored the neurobiology of listening to stories and how attitudes and behaviours can change. It found that storytelling changes views about

September - October 2018 | 7


OPINION

people for the better or worse and significantly influences societies. “Narrative exerts a powerful influence on human thoughts and behaviour. They consolidate memory, shape emotions, cue heuristics and biases in judgment, influence in-group/outgroup distinctions, and may affect the fundamental content of personal identity,” it states. Meanwhile Octavia Utley’s curriculum at the Yale-New Haven Teacher’s Institute explored this tradition in Africa. She found that storytelling throughout history made it possible for African cultures to pass on knowledge, history and experiences from one generation to the next, manifesting itself in different ways and serving many purposes. “It was used to interpret the universe, resolve natural and physical phenomena, teach morals, maintain

culture values, pass on methods of survival and praise God,” said Utley in her paper titled “Keeping the tradition of African storytelling alive”. This data tells us that a story is not just a story. Narratives have shaped societies, and the world has been significantly affected by the stories we have told about each other. Collectively we have all in some way contributed to bias stories without due consideration of its consequences. So how do we change our views from what was instilled in us as children, and how do we ensure the next generation do not stereotype others? There are many layers to unravel and now is the time to review our attitudes and perceptions of others. We need to challenge our internal and exported narrative because this is where behaviour change begins. Parents, in particular, need to be mindful

about the type of stories they tell their children, and be aware of books they are reading. Now is the time for the people of Africa to tell a new story. Tell the world about our unique heritage, majestic views, vibrant fashion and tasty foods. Tell them about our talented youth, our humanitarians, our innovations, and our uniquely African projects. Tell them about our beautiful conservation, our marine research and deep-sea exploration. Tell them about our braais and distinct kwaito music, about our doeks and our love for everything Afro. Because we are 54 strong, hardworking nations trying to build a better Africa for our children. We will ensure that we empower them through our new stories and help them grow into good people without prejudice.

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NEWS

Seed Visionary has Big Plans for Growth S

eedVision, a joint venture between AGT Foods Africa and S&W, has announced the appointment of Willa Rossouw as Commercial Manager, SeedVision, to head the production and sale of sunflower, grain sorghum and forage sorghum into Africa, Middle East and Europe. “I am excited at the opportunity to turn SeedVision into one of the leading seed companies in the world,” said Willa. Willa’s love for agriculture began at an early age growing up on a wine farm in the Western Cape. His career had humble beginnings,

starting off as an assistant at a wholesale plant nursery.

management and most recently as marketing development manager for a leading seed company.

I am excited at the opportunity to turn SeedVision into one of the leading seed companies in the world,” said Willa

His travels to various countries gave him the unique opportunity to obtain valuable knowledge, experience and insight into the business and farming activities of different cultures and environmental conditions.

Over the years his experience in the seed industry has included research and development, sales, project

“With the backing of two powerhouses in AGT Foods Africa and S&W, I am confident we will take production of these very important crops to a new level. It is fantastic to be able to grow our farming and production in Southern Africa. AGT will utilise its seed cleaning and warehousing facilities in Krugersdorp and production facilities in South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania, which are to be expanded throughout the continent in the near future. AGT Foods Africa is a subsidiary of AGT Food and Ingredients, a Canadian-based supplier of valueadded pulses, staple foods and food ingredients.

For further enquiries contact Willa Rossouw at HYPERLINK “http:// www.seedvision.co.za” www. seedvision.co.za.

Storytelling oped -Willa Rossouw SeedVision

September - October 2018 | 9


NEWS

ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES US $200,000 PROJECT FOR REHABILITATION OF 2 MAJOR IRRIGATION SCHEMES

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he Zimbabwe government, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), recently unveiled plans of a US $200 000 project to rehabilitate two major irrigation schemes. This is with a view to enhance food security in the usually dry district of Zaka in Zimbabwe. The two irrigation schemes; Nyatare and Mabvute irrigation scheme have a combined 120 hectares. The former draws its water from Nyatare Dam, while Mabvute draws its water from the nearby Mabvute dam. Upon completion of the rehabilitation exercise, the villagers in Zaka East are projected to have food security as well as a boost in disposable income. Zaka District Agritex officer Mr Kennedy Pedzisai said the rehabilitation of the two schemes was in line with Government’s Command Agriculture program. He further added that FAO provided equipment for the project, with Government providing labor. According to Mr. Pedzisai, the two irrigation schemes will benefit smallholder farmers across the district. Moreover, equipment such as center

10 |September - October 2018

pivots, water pumps and fence will soon be delivered at their different locations. This, he says, will pave the way for the start of the rehabilitation exercise. Mr. Pedzisai also explained that the main objective of the schemes’ rehabilitation is to help the communities living around them as well as the plot holders achieve food self-sufficiency. This, he says, will ultimately improve their living standards. For instance plot holders at Nyatare have since started production of maize and sugar beans. Meanwhile, Mr. Prdzisai hinted that the government would soon start setting up two new irrigation schemes in Nhema communal lands. The scheme are to use water from a nearby Siya Dam that bisects Zaka and Bikita districts. Presently, the water from Siya Dam is being used for irrigation at FuvePanganai Irrigation Scheme. Here the plot holders have transformed their lives through hybrid maize seed production for both the local and export market.


NEWS

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FEATURE

12 |September - October 2018


CASE IH LAUNCHES MULTIPURPOSE TRACTOR AND SELF-PROPELLED SPRAYER AT FARM-TECH EXPO KENYA

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ase IH, the global agricultural equipment leader, and its distributor for Kenya and Uganda, Toyota Tsusho East Africa, played a major role at Farm-Tech Expo Kenya on 12th and 13th September by launching two new products, giving live equipment demonstrations, and supporting the event as a Gold Sponsor. Case IH chose the two-day event, held in the grounds of the Dairy Research Institute in Naivasha, to give the first Kenyan showing of its new Patriot 250 Extreme self-propelled sprayer and new Puma 185 ROPS tractor. During the show, the team hosted several high-profile representatives of Kenyan agriculture, including Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, the country’s Cabinet Secretary, and Ministry of Agriculture. This year’s Farm-Tech Expo featured more than 90 exhibitors’ stands, machinery and equipment demonstrations, a livestock zone, live crop trials, and workshops

focusing on regional plans for agricultural development. The annual event is strategically important to agricultural businesses at an international level because Kenya is a regional hub for East Africa, and assumed greater importance this year at a domestic level because food security is one of the pillars of President Kenyatta’s new ‘Big Four’ agenda. Making African farm-work easier and more productive The Patriot 250 Extreme sprayer is the new entry-level option in the four-model Patriot range, giving farmers an easier step-up from tractor-pulled sprayers to selfpropelled sprayers. All Patriots have the most advanced spray technology on the market, to help farmers maximize yield potential by keeping fields clean and plants healthy. The Patriot’s design makes spraying fast, accurate and easy to apply. The Patriot’s distinctive cab-forward and rear-engine layout contributes

September - October 2018 | 13


FEATURE

to best-in-class performance by placing the static weight of the cab and engine over the front and rear axles, with the dynamic weight of the chemical tank located in the center of the machine. This means there is more equal weight distribution between the axles when the tank is full and the booms are out, benefiting stability and comfort and reducing rutting and soil compaction. The long reach of the booms, with a total span of 27 meters, allows for fewer passes and a greater sprayed area, resulting in higher crop yield, reduced component wear, and lower fuel consumption. The Puma 185 ROPS tractor, which produces 197 hp and 760 Nm of torque, was introduced in response to demand for more powerful multipurpose tractors with an open deck, a canopy, and a rollover protective structure (ROPS). Capable of performing light and heavy tasks in a wide range of applications, the new Puma is expected to go into service across Africa and the Middle East in haulage, cultivation, seeding, crop protection, and heavy draft operations. The Puma 185 ROPS is powered

by a 6.75-litre six-cylinder FPT Industrial engine, with turbocharging and intercooling, and drives through a 15x12 synchronized mechanical transmission designed for minimal power losses. Through the PTO (power take off) system, the Puma can efficiently operate large implements. It has a real lift capacity of 6,475 kg. Ian Allen, General Manager of Toyota Tsusho East Africa – Agri Mechanization Dept commented: “Farm-Tech Expo is a great platform for

Case IH to showcase the equipment that can help Kenyan farmers increase productivity and gain a great return on investment. The Patriot 250 Extreme is a new way into self-propelled sprayers which is easy to use and easy to maintain, with the low running costs that many Kenyan farmers are looking for. The Puma 185 ROPS tractor is ideal for farmers who need multipurpose tractors in the medium horsepower range with a perfect balance between power and weight.” Case IH gave live demonstrations of both the Puma 185 ROPS and the Patriot 250 Extreme at Farm-Tech Expo. Visitors could also see in action a Puma 185 tractor with the AFS AccuGuide™ Auto-guidance system. This enables year-to-year repeatable accuracy to reduce skips and overlaps, minimizing waste of fuel, seed, fertilizers and chemicals. Another tractor, a Farmall 90 JXM, was demonstrated with a reversible plough, and Case IH’s static displays featured four more tractors: a Farmall 80 JXM; 55 hp and 75 hp JXT utility tractors, which are available in both two and four-wheel-drive and are perfect for small farms; and the midrange Maximum 125, a model with just the right level of technology to meet modern-day demands.

14 |September - October 2018


FEATURES

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FEATURE

CASE IH FIELD DAY DEMONSTRATES THE POWER OF MECHANIZATION FOR A PRODUCTIVE AND EFFICIENT AGRICULTURE

A

griculture is a strategic sector in the Tunisian economy. It occupies approximately 16% of the country’s workforce and contributes around 12% of GDP. Land fragmentation, with 75% of farms of less than 10 ha, and a weak irrigation infrastructure are today some of the main challenges. Agriculture is a priority for the government, which has been introducing a series of measures to attract private investment and modernize the sector. The Ministry of Agriculture’s fiveyear plan for the development of the agriculture and fisheries sector for 2016-2020 aims to raise the cover ratio (ratio of exports compared to imports) to 96%, up from 74% in the previous five-year period. To achieve this objective the plan foresees a 3.3% annual increase in agricultural production. Mechanization and efficient farming practices are key to achieving improvements in productivity, making the most of available resources. Case IH distributor Agrodis – part of the Hortimag Horticulture group – held a Field Day event in Boussalem, in the Jendouba governorate, to demonstrate how its equipment can help the region’s farmers work their land more efficiently. Mr. Azaiez Ghariani, General Manager of Agrodis, said: “We are very pleased with the interest that our Field Day attracted: more than 100 farmers from across the country travelled to Boussalem to see the Case IH equipment in action and learn how we can work with them to improve their productivity. The choice of the right equipment is key to get the most out of mechanisation, and our sales team

16 |September - October 2018

is able to provide professional advice on the machine that best matches the requirements of their operation – and their budget – as well as efficient farming practices.” Mr. Adel Ghariani, CEO of Hortimag Horticulture, added: “The government’s objectives, which foresee a steady increase in production levels, will require an effort to modernise Tunisia’s agriculture. This includes mechanisation that matches the local conditions and farming businesses, as well as professional advice on efficient agricultural practices: Hortimag Horticulture and Agrodis are perfectly placed to help farmers develop their operations and improve their productivity.” The event, which was held at the Sedan (Société d’Exploitation et de Déveleppement Agricole Du Nord)

farm, included rolling workshops throughout the day covering soil preparation, seeding and application of fertilizers. The demonstrations where conducted with the most popular Case IH tractors in the market: the JX40T and JX75T high performance utility tractors in 4-wheel drive configuration. They showed soil treatment and ploughing applications, while the rugged, powerful and economic Farmall 80 JXM and 90 JXM 4-wheel drive models worked with a no-tillage planter and an offset plough. Participants to the workshops were able to appreciate the outstanding power, speed, lift capacity and pulling strength of the JXT tractors. With models ranging from 35 to 75 hp, these tractors deliver a big performance with exceptionally low operating costs. As demonstrated in


the workshop, their hydraulic system can handle with ease a variety of implements. The two Farmall JXM models, with 80 and 90 hp respectively, showed their ability to provide all the power needed in tough jobs as well as excellent fuel economy. With their rugged design and tough components, they deliver outstanding maneuverability and stability in the toughest operations. They are suitable for many types of farming businesses, and are equally at home as a flagship in a small farm or a utility tractor in a larger operation. Also on show at the Field Day were Case IH JX Straddle tractors (80 and 95 hp models). These versatile tractors stand out for their minimal fuel consumption, and feature an independent direct-drive PTO able to operate a wide range of equipment with ease and economically. They are engineered and built to work in tough conditions, reliably delivering the traction needed in any terrain. Case IH also showed at the event an SB541 small square baler, which can be relied on to deliver season after season of heavy-duty baling. Hassib Thabet, Business Manager MENA Case IH, commented: “Case IH has the equipment to help Tunisian farmers increase their efficiency and productivity. We have the right solution for every type of operation, from small farms just beginning to approach mechanization to the large agricultural businesses looking for high capacity equipment and advanced technologies. We work in close collaboration with our distributor Agrodis and its team to provide sales and service support across the territory.�

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FIRE-SUPPRESSION FOR SUNFLOWER AND SOYA-SEED PROCESSING FACILITIES (Press release) Leading fire detection and suppression solutions provider ASP Fire has completed rational designs for two solvent extraction plant clients operating sunflower and soya-seed processing facilities in the North West Province and Mpumalanga respectively, as well as meeting the challenge of installation in existing and functioning structures. ASP Fire not only installs best-of-breed systems, but ensures compliance with national and international fire safety standards, as well as signoff from insurance companies and local authorities to safeguard people and property. “In creating a bespoke system for any new or operational businesses, we look at each risk area, and ask what it is we need to do to mitigate this particular risk,” CEO Michael van Niekerk explains. In some cases, ASP Fire will deploy

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sprinkler systems, while in others it will opt for foam or gas systems that deploy precisely what is needed to combat the fire most likely to occur in that particular area. In the case of these two clients, a number of different types of fires could occur, given the presence of both flammable and combustible products on-site. Both clients extract oil from seeds by creating an initial mash, and then extracting the oil using hexane, a highly-flammable solvent that separates the oil content from the meal. From there, the hexane has to be removed from the oil by means of a drying process. “During these processes we have heat, pressure and flammable liquid – not a combination anyone can take lightly,” van Niekerk cautions, adding that even while the heating is indirect, the vapours that arise from the mix can ignite again.

The two major risk areas are the preparation and solvent plant buildings, each around six storeys high, which makes escape for any occupants in the event of a fire a massive challenge. When the product starts to burn, it does so rapidly, which calls for fast-acting fire suppression. “In the solvent plant where hexane is used, you have a volatile product that loves to burn, as well as flammable vapour that can explode, so this area requires extremely careful management,” van Niekerk highlights. The last part of the process is the storage of the dried meal, where there is a significant quantity of dust. The risk with airborne dust is that it creates an explosive atmosphere that can be ignited by a single spark, implying a far greater fire risk than the hexane plant itself. There’s also crude oil storage to take into consideration, which is not flammable but combustible, so this


requires a different set of solutions to mitigate fire risk and potential damage. Having completed the rational design and installation for these clients, ASP Fire also had to meet the challenge of installation in existing, functioning structures. “This raises issues of timing and cost,” Van Niekerk stresses. “We can’t always work safely in an operational facility, so certain areas need to be shut down for one month a year, when we can physically undertake the installation. This is usually in March or April, after the harvest and processing of around 50 t to 100 t of seed a day.” Working with clients to determine the safest and most cost-effective timing means finding that unique window of opportunity where the plant can be easily and cost-effectively shut down for maintenance and the installation of fire-suppression systems. Fires in solvent-extraction plants can be managed by means of ventilation, where the concentration of flammable vapours is never allowed to reach the point of combustibility. This requires forcing air into the environment to prevent build-up of flammable vapours below hexane’s lower explosive limit (LEL), as concentrations under the LEL are too lean to burn. In an open structure, there is no vapour build-up, as this is vented to atmosphere. In an enclosed structure, however, solvent vapours are heavier than air, and can accumulate on the ground, building up to the LEL. All that is required for a potential catastrophe is an ignition source. To reduce this risk, ASP Fire uses flammable-vapour detection systems, flame-detection systems and sprinklers, noting that entry is difficult in solvent plants, and also that these are largely automated, which means

the risk to human lives is greatly reduced. “The key risk is a hexane leak and resultant miscella, which is the volatile mix of the oil and solvent,” van Niekerk points out. To protect equipment, high-velocity foam-spray systems are installed. The steel structure itself is protected by a foam-sprinkler system. If there is a spill from a ruptured vessel that starts to burn a layer of the spillage on the floor, this can then be enveloped in foam. All of these risk-mitigation systems from ASP Fire comply with the strict NFPA 36 standard for solvent extraction plants, which provides stringent guidelines for fire suppression and aversion. Compliance is vital for saving lives, reducing the costs of fire damage and protecting equipment and buildings from major damage. Van Niekerk points out that one of

To protect equipment, high-velocity foam-spray systems are installed.The steel structure itself is protected by a foam-sprinkler system.

the biggest risks in industries that use solvents such as hexane is the so-called BLEVE phenomenon, an acronym for Boiling Expanding Liquid Vapour Explosion. A hexane tanker could be up to 42 m3 in size, so an incident such as brake failure can quickly turn into a tanker fire. “These travelling tankers usually carry dry chemical powder extinguishers, but these are ineffective in putting out tyre fires. Here the biggest concern is the vessel itself starting to heat up. The danger is that the liquid reaches the point where it’s below the level of the fire, effectively creating super-heated gas,” van Niekerk elaborates. The vent on the tanker doesn’t allow for sufficiently fast ventilation, which means it heats up quicker than it is able to evaporate. The tanker then experiences a mechanical rupture, and a resultant expanding vapour cloud that ignites. The ensuing fireball is calculated to be 450 times the size of the liquid, which means that a 45 m3 tanker equates to a 250 m fireball, and massive heat radiation as a result. “One of the models we created shows that the lethal radius is 360 m from the tanker.Anything closer, and fatalities result. Even further out,

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second- or third-degree burns may still be incurred, as well as pressure-shock injuries,” van Niekerk reveals. To mitigate the overall fire associated with tankers and refinery structures in particular, fire-protection facilities include a high-velocity deluge system over the solvent tankers at the refueling point. This is critical because the solvent is flammable, the fire has to be put out before a BLEVE can result. “It’s all about identifying and then mitigating the associated fire risks,” van Niekerk stresses. Another fire risk associated with hexane plants is an Unconfined Vapour Cloud Explosion (UVCE). A hexane tank that ruptures results in a pool of alcohol that evaporates rapidly. A litre of hexane can result in a 300 m3 building explosion. Hexane forms an odorless, invisible vapour cloud, and the prevailing wind causes it to drift off the premises. This can cause a deflagration, an explosion in which the speed of burning is lower than the speed of sound in the surroundings. This can have devastating effects. The deflagration can impinge on the pool of hexane, which can cause the vessel itself to explode, resulting in a catastrophic chain reaction. ASP Fire experts take each of these risk areas into account in terms of mitigation. “The factors are many and varied,” van Niekerk acknowledges, as these need to encompass the building, equipment, and personnel. “We design the most comprehensive set of solutions, using the most advanced methods and equipment available. From there, insurers and local authorities certify that we’ve addressed all necessary regulations, and that all of our work complies with the strict standards governing this particular industry. Thereafter, it’s about constant vigilance and inspections, caution on the part of by all personnel, and knowing how to avoid the unimaginable,” van Niekerk concludes.

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IMPORTANCE OF GRAIN CLEANING AND STORAGE By Facet Engineering CEO, Colin Fairweather

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he quality of harvested grain and seed is dependent important factors such as the settings and capacity of the harvester, the moisture level of the grain or seed at the time of harvest, the level of heat damage and kernel breakage that may occur during the harvesting process. Most of these factors are extremely difficult, if not impossible to control. Furthermore, the quality of the grain or seed starts to deteriorate as soon as it has been harvested. It is therefore vital that dirt and impurities are removed as soon as possible. This will not only delay the deterioration process, but will also ensure that the product being stored is of a high quality for end users. Based on the aforementioned factors, it is highly recommended that harvested grain and seed are passed through a grain cleaner and/or precleaner in order to optimize the quality of the grain before it goes into storage. Pre-cleaning grain before storage adds value to the grain through the removal of dirt, impurities and damaged particles. It also ensures a longer life of the grain whilst it is in storage. Importance of cleaning before storage Any dirt or particles smaller than the grain can collect in areas inside the storage silo. These foreign particles can cause hot spots inside the silo, which adversely affects the aeration of the grain or seed. This can also result in moisture collecting in these areas, which can cause rot, mould and other damage to the grain. The additional impurities take up valuable storage space inside the silo – an unnecessary cost that can be avoided if the grain has been cleaned before being taken into storage. The impurities can also contain harmful or

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These impurities include anything larger than the grain such as sticks and anything smaller than the grain like broken kernels or sand, as well as anything lighter than the grain such as husks and dirt. All the models can be supplied with an optional air extraction fan, galvanized ducting and receiving cyclone for the collection and recovery of all of the light impurities. Facet Engineering also offers other machines for the cleaning, separating and sizing of grain, seed and cereals.

poisonous particles which can cause further damage, negatively affecting the quality of the grain and seed. Cleaned grain and seed is of a higher quality and will therefore fetch a better price than ‘dirty’ grain that is full of impurities. Even if a producer does not have their own storage facilities, clean grain and seed will bring a higher return on investment for the producer. Grain that is rejected by a buyer usually results in the costs of cleaning and re-submitting to be carried by the seller, costs which can ultimately be avoided. Grain cleaners are the first and most important piece of equipment used to clean any type of grain, seed or beans. When analyzing all of the elements that can have an impact on grain quality, it makes good business sense for a seed or grain producer to seriously consider procuring their own grain cleaner. It is also estimated that the cost of a grain cleaner can generally be recovered over two to three seasons, making it a viable purchase, even for smaller producers. Innovation in the field of grain and seed cleaning Facet Engineering has been an innovator in the field of grain and seed handling and cleaning for the last 30 years. As such, they have since

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developed their own range of grain and seed cleaning and handling equipment that can process at capacities of as high as 120 tonnes per hour. Their range of grain cleaners includes four models, all locally manufactured in South Africa in their state-of-the-art workshop facility. All these models can be used to clean a variety of different grains, either for pre-cleaning or fine cleaning. This is achieved by virtue of the ability to change the settings on

When analyzing all of the elements that can have an impact on grain quality, it makes good business sense for a seed or grain producer to seriously consider procuring their own grain cleaner the machines as well as fitting different screen sizes on the removable screens. These easily-operated machines work on the tried and tested principle of vibrating screens and air extraction to separate the grain from impurities.

These include: Destoner – used to separate and remove stones which are of a similar size to the seed or grain kernel. This machine works on the principle of separating by specific density or weight of the particles. Gravity table – another machine in the range which separates grain into different fractions based on specific densities. This machine is ideal for the removal of kernels which are rotten inside or eaten away. Electronic color sorters – highly specialized machines designed to separate or grade products such as seed, grain, beans and nuts, by virtue of their color differences which can be configured/calibrated using preprogrammed colr parameters. Facet Engineering’s process division works extensively in the Agrifood sector and offers solutions for: storage, conveying, cleaning, separating, grading, mixing, sorting and bagging of grain, seed and cereal products. Facet Engineering’s experience within the Agri-food processing industry spans more than 30 years. They have a wealth of knowledge in developing solutions for the handling and processing of grain, seed and cereal products.


FEATURE

Use of Indigenous Knowledge System in the Rearing of Indigenous Chicken By Innocent Mhangarai

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ost small-scale farmers who tie together traditional knowledge in a bid to ensure maximum output as well as sustenance of their livelihoods have a competitive advantage. This is because traditional facts comprehend the intelligence, data and philosophy of societies that is passed from one generation to another. Indigenous Knowledge Systems refers to cultural practices and traditional remedies used by a certain community. The surviving Indigenous Knowledge Systems inherited from the past has persistently driven the indigenous chicken production. IKS is a means that can not only help to crack indigenous difficulties as well as a reserve to help produce more and improved nourishment, but also serves to stop conflict, manage homegrown undertakings and thus contributes to universal answers. Indigenous knowledge plays a vital role when it comes to the rearing of

indigenous chicken in SubSaharan African countries. This is because IKS makes up the social assets of the underprivileged as well as their chief ability to capitalize in the fight for continued existence to produce food and to accomplish control of their lives. As such, their living becomes completely dependent on explicit abilities and such intelligence. As such, it is safe to assume that IKS is interwoven with the culture of these societies. Indigenous Chicken Indigenous chickens play an integral role in the lives of rural women in terms of food security and deficiency mitigation. These chicken have the ability to fight diseases and utilize low quality feeds. Moreover, since this particular breed is flexible in modern day changes in consumer preferences, their products tend to be highly favored by households. However, ethnic understanding, practices and expertise are necessary for early cautioning, uncovering and

communal defense means against infections. The indigenous ecotypes of birds differ in physique, feathers color and routines. These chickens are resilient and grow well under severe conditions with negligible inputs. They get most of their feed from hunting and irregularly benefit from kitchen and other household litters. Eggs and chicken meat contributes a lot to the protein nourishment of the rural societies. At night, chickens find shelter in undeveloped enclosures, frequently elevated from the ground, which provide security from adverse weather conditions and night predators. Traditional significance of indigenous chicken Indigenous chicken play a dynamic role through their influence to ethnic and societal life of smallholder farmers. They are given as contributions when there are events in the community and in most cases they belong to women. Chicken are also reserved for special

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visitors in the community as they are viewed as a special dish. Small-scale farmers should never underestimate the potential of these chicken as they are easy to manage. Most importantly when it comes to integrated farming, chicken perform a valued hygienic role by eating waste food and controlling pests in gardens. The role and significance of indigenous knowledge in rearing indigenous chicken Indigenous knowledge is essential in rearing of indigenous chicken as it helps households treat and avert various ailments such as coccidiosis, gastro-intestinal diseases, eye infections, cough and flu and some other diseases that distress indigenous chicken. Moreover, modern day vaccines are costly while the traditional remedies are free and easily accessible. As such, traditional treatment retains its significance to local farmers. The most commonly used traditional medicines for indigenous chickens are Sisal (Sanseviera spp) whose leaves are crushed and put in warm water and then given to the chicken.

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This is used to treat endo parasites and intestinal diseases, Aloe is also processed the same way as Sisal. However, this is used to treat diseases that affect the ability to move and bile infection. Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is a multipurpose treatment which is used to treat various diseases, additionally, Marula (Sclerocarya birrea) is used to treat gastro intestinal diseases, garlic is used to repel snakes to mention but a few. The above cited medicinal remedies are found within the environment where farmers live. This makes it easy for them to treat their birds and maximize numbers.

are slight citations of the use of Ethno Veterinary Medicine (EVM), as many investigators, societies and health experts view these practices as backward. Ethno Veterinary Medicine (EVM) is less methodical, formal and not comprehensively known as an effective technique of infection control in indigenous chicken rearing. Therefore, it is recommended that records of herbal plants are essential because they are likely to be more important in the forthcoming specifically given the mounting cost of modern medicines. Therefore, traditional herbs are the route to take since they are easy to be found.

Indigenous knowledge is important for small-holder farmers because it gives to the local empowerment, progress and cumulative self-sufficiency. As such, farmers are encouraged to make use of indigenous herbs as they are freely obtainable.

Such a data system is vital for improvement and must be assembled and recognized for small-scale farmers in different communities. In addition, more inquiries on IKS in indigenous chicken rearing remains necessary especially when it comes to developing countries. This is as far as assessment and endorsement of the traditional cures commonly used by indigenous chicken farmers to regulate infections of poultry for their usefulness is concerned.

Furthermore, herbal treatment has always been a prescription for indigenous chickens among the resource poor smallholder farmers for many generations. Nevertheless, there


FEATURE

Kubota U15-3 punches above its weight for CSA Landscaping

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aarl-based CSA Landscaping & Contractors recently purchased one of the first Kubota U15-3 mini-excavators to be deployed in the Western Cape, and apart from the versatility of the machine, the owner is ‘surprised by the power that this small machine can deliver’.

knew that with its compact size and power, it would be a perfect fit for CSA Landscaping’s needs. “Because of the machine’s versatility, great power and functions like adjustable tracks, I knew that the U15-3 would be the ideal tool for CSA,” says Joubert.

CSA Landscaping & Contractors recently became one of the first companies to take delivery of one of the two Kubota U-15 mini-excavators sold by Wynland Agri Services, Smith Power Equipment’s authorised distributor in the Western Cape territory of Paarl, Wemmershoek, Pniel, Stellenbosch, Klipheuwel, Malmesburry, Hermon and Wellington.

CSA Landscaping went on to purchase one U15-3, and owner, Carl Arnold, says the machine is performing beyond expectations. It is used across a range of applications, but largely for soil preparation, digging tree holes and irrigation trenches. “The U153’s ability to work with a range of attachments makes it a versatile proposition for us. Its size also makes it very easy to transport between sites, given the nomadic nature of our business,” explains Arnold. “I am surprised by the power that this small machine can deliver.”

Established in 2008, CSA Landscaping is a well-known contractor for landscape architects, developers and individual property owners in the Paarl area. The company specializes in the maintenance of corporate gardens and estates; custom designed drainage systems for sports fields and building sites; building of natural working routes, wooden paths and decks; as well as construction of gabion walls. Traditionally, landscaping is renowned for being manual labour intensive, but the recent arrival of compact equipment has changed the status quo. For this reason, when the Kubota U15-3 was launched locally this year, Jean Joubert of Wynland Agri Services

For most landscaping contractors, machine size is critically important. Given the nature of their applications, contractors are aware that they are likely to encounter worksite limitations, often restricted working width. With an operating weight of 1.5-tonne, the U15-provides enough power to tackle some of the toughest jobs in spaceconstrained environments. However, a key feature that speaks directly to the common problem of width restrictions on landscaping sites is the U15-3’s hydraulic track that

can adjust the track width from 1 240 to 990 mm. At the touch of a lever, operators can reduce the width to allow for navigation through narrow spaces, or increase the width, for better stability. “The adjustable track width function allows the operator to retract the undercarriage, pass through single opening doors or gates, and then expand the undercarriage when working, for better machine stability,” explains Joubert. Powered by the Kubota D782-E2-BH7 engine delivering 9,9 kW (13,3 hp) of power at 2 300 rpm, the machine comes with a range of advanced functions and cutting-edge technology synonymous with Kubota, the world’s leading supplier of compact excavators. For example, the three-pump system, which uses three independent pumps for boom, arm and swivel to make the cooperation between the three components smooth and efficient. Apart from the array of innovative features, Arnold is also impressed by the aftermarket support from Wynland Agri Services.

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Monsanto M A modern agricultural company 26 |September - October 2018

onsanto is an agriculture company with more than 20,000 dedicated employees with a focus on making a balanced meal accessible to everyone. Monsanto prides themselves in their working to help farmers produce food in a sustainable way. The company considers holistic growth of their food. As such, farmers are able to acquire the tools they need to have better harvests - to make

a plate of meats, grains, fruits and vegetables within reach for every family. Monsanto uses plant breeding and biotechnology to create seeds that grow into stronger, more resilient crops that require fewer resources. At any stage, plants are threatened by pests, weather, weeds and disease. Monsanto looks at the issues that might affect future crop growth and works with others to help create


The company also prides itself in research and education. With hundreds of facilities around the globe dedicated to supporting their work most of these include fields, labs, research centers and offices. Moreover, most of the company’s sales employees take to the road to help bring local farmers a custom mix of products and services to support them and help their fields thrive. Monsanto is a sustainable agriculture company that delivers agricultural products that support farmers all around the world. The company is focused of farmer empowerment, both large and small scale with a view to producing more from their land while conserving the world’s natural resources such as water and energy.

This is achieved through their leading seed brands in crops like corn, cotton, oilseeds and fruits and vegetables. The company is also known to produce leading in-the-seed trait technologies for farmers, which are aimed at protecting their yield, supporting their on-farm efficiency and reducing their on-farm costs. Monsanto strives to make their products available to farmers throughout the world by broadly licensing their seed and trait technologies to other companies. In addition to these they also manufacture Roundup® and other herbicides used by farmers, consumers and lawn-and-garden professionals. At the heart of Monsanto are the farmers, who the company considers as their lifeline.

solutions to protect plant health and minimize environmental impact. This is achieved through the combination of traditional plant breeding with modern techniques to produce vegetable seeds that help farmers better withstand nature’s challenges. Monsanto shares real-time weather and specific field data with farmers to provide them with the information they need to make the best decisions for their farm throughout the growing season.

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Mineral nutrition for fruit trees

rops require adequate nutrition for the production of food, fibre and fuel. However, soil conditions often limit the ability of crops to acquire mineral nutrients. To address this, mineral nutrients can be applied as inorganic or organic fertilizers to the soil or as liquid fertilizers to foliage. However, production and use of fertilizers can have negative environmental impacts. Tree-fruit crops vary greatly in size from year to year. In some years trees and shrubs are laden with seeds and fruits of various kinds, but in other years bear almost none. Fruiting depends partly on the natural rhythm of the trees themselves and partly on the weather. Trees of most species require over a year to accumulate the nutrient reserves necessary to produce a fruit crop. In addition, for a good crop, the weather must also be fine and warm in the preceding autumn when the fruit buds form, and again in the spring when the flowers set. Plant nutrients Other than water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide from the air, plants require 13 mineral nutrients that are found in the soil. The macronutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) are needed by plants in relatively large amounts and often have to be added to the soil. Intermediate amounts of secondary nutrients magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and sulfur (S) are needed by plants. Trace or micronutrients [boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn)] are needed in small amounts These nutrients perform a variety of functions in plants ranging from being structural components of cell walls and membranes to activating enzyme systems. About 95% of the dry weight of a typical plant is made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The soil-supplied minerals make up only 5% of a plants total dry weight.

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Fruit growers have three main tools to use in evaluating the mineral nutrition status of their plantings; examine visual symptoms exhibited by leaves, stems, and fruit; analyzing leaf tissue and testing the soil. When used together properly, these are powerful tools that can be used to prevent nutrient deficiencies or toxicities as well as to assess current fertility management practices. In the soil all mineral elements move by a combination of mass flow and diffusion. As such, all strategies designed to improve mineral acquisition by crops affect one or both of these processes Diffusion of mineral elements is determined by the concentration gradients between the root surface and the soil solution which are often dictated by interactions with soil mineral surfaces. It operates over short distances, and is especially important for the macronutrients P and K that often limit crop production. If essential mineral elements are not present in the soil, then they must be supplied as fertilizers to enable crop production and ensure produce quality. Many agronomic strategies can be adopted to increase the efficiency with which inorganic and organic fertilizers are used to provide the essential

mineral elements required by crops in principle, these optimize the chemistry, quantity, placement, and timing of fertilizer applications. The chemical form and quantity of a mineral element required for crop production in a particular location depends critically on soil characteristics. Many fertilizer recommendations are based on estimating the phytoavailability of mineral elements in the soil Improvement of crop quality In order to improve the ability of crops to acquire mineral elements, a number of strategies are available. These include better monitoring of nutrient status, improved formulations of fertilizers, access to alternative sources of nutrients, better agronomy and improved genotypes for nutrient use and better understanding of the physiology of uptake of nutrients through both roots and shoots. However, the success of any one intervention is dependent on how these strategies interact with the environment in which they are deployed and the suitability of the management system for the specific intervention.


FEATURE

OFFSHORE INVESTMENTS FOR FARMERS Farmers Review Africa speakes to Investec around current offshore market sentiments?

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s far as agriculture is concerned, policy uncertainty in a number of critical areas seriously hampers real positive development. As the new season in the summer rainfall approaches and a new cycle of production finance, it is opportune to take stock of the past season, as well as to consider the coming season. From a macroeconomic perspective, pending investment downgrades by the international rating agencies and depressed consumer spending will further weigh on the agro-food market. While agriculture is often a leap of faith, good solid planning together with the financier and/or agribusiness is of paramount importance for the farmer to achieve success. The decision by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to push to amend South Africa’s Constitution and allow land expropriation without compensation highlights the need for investors to have a diversified, global investment portfolio.

If you take a step back as an investor and look at South Africa globally, it represents a tiny fraction of the investable opportunities out there. Up to July 1997, South Africans were largely confined to saving locally. In March 1997, the Minister of finance announced that up-to-date tax-paying individuals over the age of 18 were allowed to invest up to R200 000 offshore. Many South African investors agonize over whether they should invest offshore and, if so, when the right time would be to do so. Japie Lubbe, Structured Products at Investec assures that there is no harm in broadening your horizons by asking your financial adviser or portfolio manager what options are available to you in terms of offshore investments outside the South African boarders, especially since it has now become so easy. SA makes up a small part of the global economy (less than 1% by

gross domestic product and consumer size). Furthermore, the local economy is growing at a much slower pace than the rest of the world; restricting ourselves to local investments means that we will miss out on the opportunity to invest in some of the world’s biggest and most successful businesses and markets. Add to that the volatile currency and uncertain political climate, and the need for diversification is clear. Benefits of offshore investments According to Japie, the principal reason for investing a portion of your

A global portfolio comes with the added benefits of being able to invest in a far broader opportunity set, and having unrestricted access to your funds from anywhere in the world”, concludes Japie. September - October 2018 | 29


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investments offshore is to achieve the benefits of diversification. If you spread your capital across more than one type of investment, you reduce the overall risk to your portfolio, often resulting in a greater overall return. If one component of your portfolio performs poorly over a certain period, it is often the case that another part may perform appreciably over that same period, thereby counterbalancing the losses to your total portfolio. Another reason to invest offshore is to gain exposure to different industries and regions that either aren’t available on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, or are only available to a limited degree. Examples of industries are biotechnology, internet and robotics, while regional examples are Asia, Europe and North America.

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A further benefit of having an offshore component to your portfolio of investments is the hedging benefit that you achieve in the event of the rand weakening against hard currencies such as the US dollar. If the rand continues to weaken, as has been the case over the past years, the offshore component of your portfolio would be worth more in rand terms.

Successful investing is often about discipline and patience, and having the control to not panic or change your investment strategy based on market volatility. Goal-based investing is about aligning your investments with your life. Performance is measured by the progress you have made towards achieving your stated goal. And risk is viewed as failure to reach your goals.

Caveats to keep in mind Bearing this in mind, it is important to consider offshore investments as a core part of your long-term investment portfolio. It is also important to invest offshore consistently rather than in reaction to dips in the rand or in response to news headlines. Decide how much of your portfolio should be invested offshore, with the help of an independent financial adviser, and work towards achieving your goal.

“A global portfolio comes with the added benefits of being able to invest in a far broader opportunity set, and having unrestricted access to your funds from anywhere in the world”, concludes Japie. “Consider also, with the help of your financial adviser, the appropriate way to build your offshore portfolio, such as direct investment, unit trusts or structured products, or a combination of investment vehicles.”


FEATURE

Corn Cob Dryer Houses By Nita Karume

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aize seed production is a growing market in some African countries. However, seed production requires special technologies which ensure the quality of the produced seed, thus warranting investments and guarantying return on investments. For maize seeds, corn cob dryer houses are essential. In order to prevent seed damage on the field and later on during processing, seeds have to be harvested earlier or before they dry up (30 – 40% MOI) than commodities (13 - 15% MOI), making cob drying necessary. It is of paramount importance, that stress cracks are avoided, energy is saved and the drying processed is optimized in terms of capacity and workload. Sun dried seeds cannot be managed accurately on the point and often lack in germination ability. The susceptibility for breakage due to stress cracks and tiny fissures shows a linear correlation with temperature,

and the proportion of cracked/ popped kernels often reach more than 50%. Only in corn cob dryer houses, specific drying for individual genotypes can be controlled in terms of time, tempering phases, air temperature, relative humidity, air flow rate and air distribution. PETKUS Corn Cob Dryer Houses have proven their versatility and drying quality in many different environments from South-East Asia to Europe and Russia. Since decades, the company and its highly qualified engineers have planned, designed, built, delivered, installed and commissioned single as well as double pass dryer houses. The entire product and service range, from design engineering to construction and consulting is done strictly in-house and within the PETKUS Group members to make sure, that clients only deal with experienced professionals. Features PETKUS Corn Cob Dryer Houses

consists of several independent drying chambers based on capacity demands and customer’s requirements. The chambers walls consist of trapezoidal steel profile walls and are equipped with filling hatches, emptying flaps and air flaps as well as fans and burners with combustion chambers. Working principle The material to be dried is softly fed into the drying chamber via the filling hatches. The material is dried on an inclined and perforated steel plate (ventilation floor) through which the air enters and exits. The drying process with upper or lower air ventilation is well controlled via the ventilation door and the supply air flaps. The installed limit switches are connected to the plant control system. The alternating drying process with top and bottom air results in an even drying of the entire filling layer. This guarantees optimum drying results while at the same time treating the material in a gentle way. The drying September - October 2018 | 31


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process is monitored by temperature measurement with several sensors above and below the material in the drying chambers. The sensors are connected to the plant control system.

EH&S criteria as cob filling hatches are separated from air outlet hatches and therefore, the operating personnel on the dryer house filling level is not at all exposed to contaminated air.

After the drying process has been completed, the material falls through the discharge flap onto the emptying conveyor and is transported away for further processing.

Access and costs of fuel for the burner can be crucial for some areas. Hence, PETKUS Corn Cob Dryer Houses can be operated with gas, oil, diesel, petrol, LPG or bio fuels, e.g. from wood chips, rice or maize straw and husks, corn cobs or palm husks. PETKUS installed in Asia dryer houses with corn cob burner with hot water heat exchanger as well as air heat pumps with dehumidifier pumps. Latter showed considerably reduced drying costs of app. 3 cent per kilogram.

PETKUS offers a wide range of dryer house capacities for both systems, the single as well as the double-pass reverse. Due to its special design, the PETKUS dryer houses are lightweight and easier/faster to build and install on site. In addition, they fulfil very high

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Give your Corn Cob the best Pass PETKUS Single & double pass dryer houses

Strong Seed. Healthy Grain. HANDLING CONDITIONING ENHANCEMENT PROCESSING TURN-KEY MOBILES AUTOMATION SERVICE

Brand members of the PETKUS Group

www.petkus.com


FEATURE

Polish Pavilion at Farm-Tech Expo Kenya

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housands of farmers were in attendance in Naivasha for this year’s inaugural Farm-Tech Expo Kenya outdoor farming expo that took place at the host partner KALRO’s facilities from 12 to 14 September. This year’s expo sought to provide a unique outdoor and interactive buying platform for agriculture professionals of all scales, from live crop trials and machinery demonstrations to practical free-to-attend training workshops. The expo also had free-to-attend AgriTEACH training workshops which were presented by industry experts and focused on modernizing smallscale farmers. These workshops

provided access to market information and innovations from the latest financial loan models to new agro solutions. Some of the local and regional industry organizations present included the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA), Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), Farm Concern International, Kenya National Farmers’ Federation (KENAFF), Kenya Flower Council and Town and County Planners Association of Kenya. Also present for the first time was the Polish Pavilion, who were present how Poland’s agricultural sector has evolved and transformed. Head of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) office in Nairobi Michael Mazurewicz, speaking at the conference, said that Poland and Kenya share a similar story, whereby Poland underwent a major agricultural transition period of mechanization, optimization and adapting new technologies to farming sector comprising of can be categorized as typical medium-scale farming. He also added that Poland as a country was once at a fairly similar level where Kenya is now in terms of agriculture. Taking into account Poland’s agricultural innovativeness, competence and experience we would

34 |September - October 2018

Michael Mazurewicz

like to share with Kenya our knowledge and practices in order to achieve progressive goals such as agricultural mechanization, providing quality farm inputs and implementing new technologies. Build a platform for investment Michael explained that the PAIH trade office was recently opened in Nairobi to build a platform for investment and trade relations between Kenya and Poland. He explained that they would work to link Polish entrepreneurs and investors with the right partners in Kenya. Through the State Development Bank of Poland we may also facilitate trade finance support if requested.


FEATURE

Publication on precision farming for modern farming

E

nvironmental Manager and licensed drone pilot, Louise Jupp has released her debut book, titled ‘Precision Farming from Above: How Commercial UAV/Drone Surveys are Helping Farmers to Improve Crop Management, Increase Crop Yields and Create More Profitable Farms’. It debuted as a #1 new release in Surveying and Photogrammetry and

went to #2 best seller behind fellow South African, Elon Musk! In her book, Louise explains the major benefits of commercial drone systems and drone surveying to farmers. In plain language, she unpacks drone technology, aerial surveys, advances in specialist cameras, multispectral/

thermal imaging, high-end software and analysis, applications and commercial aviation law in a way that makes sense to any agri-business. ‘Precision Farming from Above’ is specifically aimed at progressive farmers anywhere in the world who are looking to improve land management, increase crop yields

September - October 2018 | 35


FEATURE

and operate a more profitable and environmentally sustainable business.

rising global demand for food production at a significantly lower environmental cost.

The book is available in paperback and in Kindle format across Amazon’s global retail websites. A copy of the 3D book cover and book trailers are available on www.amazon.com/author/ louisejupp

Visit www.amazon.com/author/ louisejupp for more information. About Terreco Aviation: Terreco Aviation is currently finalizing its drone operating licenses with the South African Civil Aviation Authority. It is our intention to be the premier provider of commercial drone surveys in South Africa with a specific emphasis on delivering solutions to our clients that are innately more environmentally sustainable.

Comments received about the book: ‘You have written a really good technical book. I like how it reads like a sleeves rolled up chat over a cup of tea on the bonnet of a Jeep in the field without dumbing down the science, agribusiness or civil aviation laws.’ Andrew Priestley About the Author: Louise Jupp is co-founder and Director of Terreco Aviation (Pty) Ltd (2016) and a licensed drone pilot. She was one of the first women to obtain her license from the South African Civil Aviation Authority in 2016. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental /Science and over 26

36 |September - October 2018

We will commence providing a full range of drone services for the agricultural sector and civil engineering sector once we have completed the licensing process in 2019. years’ experience in environmental management in the UK, Europe and Africa. Her goal is to help farmers and growers world-wide achieve more productivity and to help nations meet

In the meantime, we provide guidance on the licensing processes in South Africa, the regulations and the value of commercial drone services in agriculture and civil engineering.


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FEATURE

Solar Powered Water Pumping Systems M

ost people when they think of agriculture will picture a tractor. The humble water pump, however, chugging or humming away in a shed, uses as much or more energy and is likely to be just as essential to production. Pumps are used extensively in agriculture to move water from the water source, which could be a river, dam or bore, through pipes to either a point of usage or a storage facility, such as a water tank or an irrigation system. Increased food production Millions of people around the world live with limited access to water. In many communities, ground water is extracted through electric water pumps, which use diesel to fuel their

38 |September - October 2018

systems. However, these systems not only require costly, regular servicing and the purchasing of fuel, they emit carbon dioxide polluting the atmosphere. There is an increasing demand for irrigation due to the need for higher food production for a rising world population and decreasing supplies of freshwater in the context of a changing climate. High diesel and electricity costs and often-unreliable energy services affect the pumping requirements for irrigation for small and large farmers. In many rural areas, grid electricity is not, or is only sporadically, available. Using solar energy for irrigation water pumping is a promising alternative to conventional

electricity and diesel-based pumping systems. Solar water pumping is based on photovoltaic (PV) technology, which converts solar energy into electrical energy to run a direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) motor-based water pump. Solar water pumps Solar Water Pumping, or photovoltaic water pumping (PVP), provides an alternative. After years of research and technological advances, it has proven

Renewable energy sources have gained a lot of attention as a replacement for fossil fuels or as a supplement in hybrid systems


to be operationally, financially, and environmentally sustainable. In recent years, the cost of solar technology has dropped tremendously. Prices for the solar panels used in these systems have dropped up to 80%. In addition, these panels last around 25 years, requiring little maintenance throughout this time. Renewable energy sources have gained a lot of attention as a replacement for fossil fuels or as a supplement in hybrid systems. Solarpowered (photovoltaic) systems are one of the viable alternatives that have attracted considerable attention in this regard. Although photovoltaic (PV) systems generally have a high investment cost, it has many features, which make it attractive as an alternative source of power for water pumping. It is clean, as it produces no carbon emission, it generates no noise, and it has low operational and maintenance cost. The first solar pumps were installed in the late 1970s. Since then, PV water pumping systems have shown significant advancements. The first-generation PV pumping systems used centrifugal pumps, usually driven by DC motors or variable frequency AC motors, with proven long-term reliability and hydraulic efficiency varying from 25 percent to 35 percent. The second generation PV pumping systems introduced positive displacement pumps, progressive cavity pumps and diaphragm pumps for smaller water quantities, generally characterized by lower PV input power requirements, lower capital costs and higher hydraulic efficiencies. Technological advancements Current solar pumping technology uses electronic systems and intelligent software, which have further increased the output power, performance and overall efficiency of SPIS. The key device is now the electronic controller, which adapts the available power from the solar generator to the solar pump. Besides its controlling function, it

provides inputs for real-time monitoring of various parameters, such as borehole water levels and storage tank levels, as well as pump speed. When appropriately sized, solar pumps can support drip, sprinkler, pivot or flood irrigation methods. Depending on the local conditions, a system can also include filtration equipment. Solar pumps are often combined with lowpressure drip. The required pressure is typically achieved by pumping water into an elevated water tank and then releasing it through gravity. However, the tank presents an additional expense and is often more expensive than the pump itself. Factors to consider Determining the right choice of solar generator, pump type and size, as well as irrigation technology, is complex. The system has to be well adapted to the specific site conditions. Suppliers endeavor to supply the whole system, comprising the solar generator, pump, controller and accessories, plus the irrigation system. Solar pumping systems are continuously evolving and improving, including configurations with drip irrigation, floating solar panels or purely solar-driven center-

pivot irrigation machines. Suppliers are increasingly optimizing the whole system, including solar generator, pump, controller and accessories, plus the irrigation system. Additionally, suppliers now often provide technical support services to satisfy the needs of end users. Another trend goes in the opposite direction: individual components – PV panels, standard irrigation pumps and available controllers – are offered on the market and integrators provide services to connect these components into one irrigation system. Moreover, online technologies will further improve solar pumping systems and make it more versatile. Monitoring (e.g. groundwater), remote control and extended communication platforms can be expected to be part of even small-scale applications at minimal extra cost.

The key device is now the electronic controller, which adapts the available power from the solar generator to the solar pump.

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M

the importance of Agriculture

ost countries have an economy that is dependent on agriculture – either in a small or big way. From employment generation to contribution to National Income, agriculture is important.

It’s common to associate agriculture only with crop farming. However, the agriculture industry extends beyond that to include all farm-related industries, like food manufacturing and food service. This makes agriculture one of the largest sectors in a nation For decades, agriculture has been associated with the production of essential food crops. At present, agriculture above and beyond farming includes forestry, dairy, fruit cultivation, poultry, bee keeping, mushroom, arbitrary, etc. Today, processing, marketing, and distribution of crops and livestock products etc. are all acknowledged as part of current agriculture. Thus, agriculture could be referred to as the production, processing, promotion and distribution agricultural products. Agriculture plays a critical role in the entire life of a given economy. Agriculture is the backbone of the economic system of a given country. In addition to providing food and raw material, agriculture also provides employment opportunities to very large percentage of the population. Benefits of agriculture • Source of Livelihood The main source livelihood of many people is agriculture. Approximately 70 % of the people directly rely on agriculture as a mean of living. This 40 |September - October 2018


high percentage in agriculture is as a result of none development of nonagricultural activities to absorb the fastgrowing population. However, most people in developed countries do not engage in agriculture. • Contribution to National revenue Agriculture is the main source of national income for most developing countries. However, for the developed countries, agriculture contributes a smaller

per cent age to their national income. • Supply of Food as well as Fodder Agricultural sector provides fodder for domestic animals. Cow provides people with milk which is a form of protective food. Moreover, livestock also meets people’s food requirements. • Significance to the International Trade Agricultural products like sugar, tea, rice, spices, tobacco, coffee etc. constitute the major items of exports of countries that rely on agriculture. If there is smooth development practice of agriculture, imports are reduced while export increases considerably. This helps to reduce countries unfavorable balance of payments as well as saving foreign exchange. This amount may be well used to import other essential inputs, machinery, rawmaterial, and other infrastructure that is helpful for the support of country’s economic development. •Marketable Surplus The growth of agricultural sector contributes to marketable surplus. Many people engage in manufacturing, mining as well as other nonagricultural sector as the nation develops. All these individuals rely on food production that they might meet from the nation’s marketable surplus. As agricultural sector development takes place, production increases and this leads to expansion of marketable surplus. This may be exported to other nations. •Source of Raw Material The main source of raw materials to major industries such as cotton and jute fabric, sugar, tobacco, edible as well as non-edible oils is agriculture. Moreover, many other industries such as processing of fruits as well as vegetables and rice husking get their raw material mainly from agriculture. •Significance in Transport Bulks of agricultural products are transported by railways and roadways from farm to factories. Mostly, internal trade is in agricultural products. Moreover, the revenue of the government, to a larger extent, relies on the success of agricultural sector. •Foreign Exchange Resources

The nation’s export trade depends largely on agricultural sector. For example, agricultural commodities such as jute, tobacco, spices, oilseeds, raw cotton, tea as well as coffee accounts for approximately 18 % of the entire value of exports of a country. This demonstrates that agriculture products also continue to be important source of earning a country foreign exchange. • Employment Opportunities Construction of irrigation schemes, drainage system as well as other such activities in the agricultural sector is important as it provides larger employment opportunities. Agriculture sector provides more employment opportunities to the labor force that reduce the high rate of unemployment in developing countries caused by the fast growing population. • Economic Development Since agriculture employs many people it contributes to economic development. As a result, the national income level as well as people’s standard of living is improved. The fast rate of development in agriculture sector offers progressive outlook as well as increased motivation for development. Hence, it aids to create good atmosphere for overall economic development of a country. Therefore, economic development relies on the agricultural growth rate. • Source of Saving Development in agriculture may also increase savings. The rich farmers we see today started saving particularly after green revolution. This surplus quantity may be invested further in the agriculture sector to develop the sector. • Food Security A stable agricultural sector ensures a nation of food security. The main requirement of any country is food security. Food security prevents malnourishment that has traditionally been believed to be one of the major problems faced by the developing countries. Most countries rely on agricultural products as well as associated industries for their main source of income September - October 2018 | 41


FEATURE

role in the future of food in the world By Nita Karume

W

orld Food Prize Laureate and President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina, was speaking last year at the FAO headquarters when he asserted that Africa has a major role to play as a determining factor in the future of food in the world. According to Mr. Adesina, Africa is in need of disciplined investments as opposed to aid. The Laureate, who happens to be from a smallholder farming family says that the time has come to view investment and development opportunities in Africa through a totally different lens. This is because with over 800 million

42 |September - October 2018

According to Mr. Adesina, Africa is in need of disciplined investments as opposed to aid. The time has come to view investment and development opportunities in Africa through a totally different lens.

people worldwide suffering from hunger and well over 2Bn affected by malnutrition, food insecurity remains a real threat to global development. Adesina was making a global pitch for renewed visionary leadership and strategic alliances, “the future of food in the world will depend on what Africa does with Agriculture.” The African Development Bank, which he leads, envisions a food secure continent which uses advanced technologies. It has also managed to creatively adapt to climate change all the while developing a whole new generation of what he describes as ‘agripreneurs’ – empowered youth and women who


FEATURE

he expects to take agriculture to the next level.

$110Bn in 2025 should the current status quo be maintained.

According to research reports, an additional 38m Africans will be hungry by 2050. On the other hand, the paradox of lack in the midst of plenty, and Africa’s growing youth bulge are some of the reasons that compel Adesina’s sense of urgency.

Mr. Adesina points out that Africa receives only 2% of the US $100Bn annual revenues from chocolates globally. He is of the opinion that adding value to what nations produce is the secret to their wealth.

Fortunately, the same is resonating with numerous government, private sector, and multilateral leaders during Value addition in produce Meanwhile, Africa continues to import what it should be producing, spending US $35Bn on food imports each year, a figure that is expected to rise to US

To expand opportunities for youth, women, and private sector players, Adesina is currently looking to promote and seek support for the bank’s Affirmative Finance for Women in Africa (AFAWA) program. AFAWA aims to mobilize US $3Bn in support of women entrepreneurs who historically lack access to finance, land, and land titles. From this will be a US $300m

that will help ENABLE Youth program to develop the next generation of agribusiness and commercial farmers for Africa. There is also a new global investment marketplace, the African Investment Forum, which will be held in Johannesburg November 7-9. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, in the Hague; Peter van Mierlo, CEO of the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), believes that a huge benefit for Africa is that it can skip development cycles that often almost all developed countries had to go through, by deploying new technologies such as artificial

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FEATURE

intelligence and robotics in agriculture. In a continent where more than 640m are without electricity, Adesina says the private sector is key to Africa’s development in Africa’s energy and agriculture sectors. He continues to single out the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility, Africa 50 - a private equity institution which has raised more than US$ 850m from 22 countries, and the new Africa Investment Forum. Adesina also recognizes lack of electricity as Africa’s biggest development impediment. As such, the

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Bank’s new and ambitious Desert-toPower initiative which aims to generate 10,000MW of power across Africa’s Sahel region is set to significantly reduce migration and climate change impacts. Agriculture steadily taking center-stage According to Adesina, the strategy is already bearing fruit with the establishment of Staple Crop Processing Zones in several African countries. These include Ethiopia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mozambique, with a plan to reach 15 countries in a few years.

As these are strategically located in and around rural farming communities, these agriculture zones are set to form the heart of a new wave of agroindustries and Greenfield ventures. This, Adesina says, will go a long way towards attracting agripreneurs, biotechnology firms, intellectual and capital investments. They will also ensure that foods are processed and packaged right where they are produced, rather than in urban centers far removed from centers of production.


FEATURE

Adverse effects of global warming By Nita Karume

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he Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report detailing progress and pathways to liming global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In response to the report, Pan Africa Director of Oxfam International Mr. Apollos Nwafor, said that climate change has set our planet on fire, millions are already feeling the impacts, and the IPCC just showed that things can get much worse. Settling for 2 degrees would be a death sentence for people in many parts of Africa. The faster governments embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods that will be spared. He went on to explain that a hotter Africa is a hungrier Africa. Today at only 1.1 degrees of warming globally, crops and livestock across the region are being hit and hunger is rising with poor small scale women farmers, living

in rural areas suffering the most. It only gets worse from here. According to Ms. Nwafor, doing nothing more and simply following the commitments made in the Paris Agreement condemns the world to 3 degrees of warming. Consequently, the damage to the planet and humanity would be exponentially worse and irreparable. He was however quick to add that none of this is inevitable. He added that the fact that some of the poorest and lowest emitting countries are on the frontline in the fight against climate change is proof that all is not lost, after all. He also insisted that Oxfam calls for increased, responsible and accountable climate finance from rich countries that supports small scale farmers, especially women to realize their right to food security and climate justice. Mr. Nwafor stressed that while time is short, there is still a chance of keeping to 1.5 degrees of warming. However, he also said the notion that kicking

small scale farmers off their land to make way for carbon farming should be rejected and instead focus on stopping the use of fossil fuels, starting with an end to building new coal power stations worldwide. Climate impacts in Africa: Natural disasters such as droughts and floods have been inhibiting development in the African continent. Fluctuations in agricultural production due to climate variations along with inefficient agricultural systems cause food insecurity, one of the most obvious indicators of poverty. The 2016 El NiĂąo phenomenon, which was super charged by the effects of climate change, crippled rain-fed agricultural production and left over 40 million people foods insecure in Africa. Without urgent action to reduce global emissions, the occurrence of climate shocks and stresses in the Africa region are expected to get much worse. September - October 2018 | 45


FEATURE

Banana wilt; modes of transmission, prevention and control measures

Xanthomonas wilt of banana, better known as BXW is a bacterial disease that affects banana plants. The disease was first reported in Ethiopia before 2001, where it reportedly affected bananas. However, it has since spread to the Great Lakes region of East Africa. Although no proper means of resistance have been identified, the disease can be controlled through cultural practices. By Nita Karume Modes of transmission Insects, farm tools and infected planting material are the main agents of transmission. However, the transmission is highly dependent on the management practices being applied. Leaf wetness has also been implicated in disease establishment.

46 |September - October 2018

On the other hand, goats and other livestock can carry the bacteria in their mouth. This facilitates the spread of the disease to healthy plants. Pests can also help the bacteria in the soil gain entry into the plant through the root system. The disease causes death of the plant and rotting of the fruit. The leaves gradually turn yellow and start looking lifeless as if they were

melting under intense heat. According to research, flowering plants depict the first symptoms of insect transmission through a drying rot and blackening of the male bud. The fruits ripen unevenly and prematurely, turning from green to yellow and black rapidly. The pulp of the rotting fruits shows rusty brown stains.


Internal symptoms revealed by doing a cross-section of an infected stem are yellow-orange streaking and the presence of a yellow bacterial ooze. This can also be seen from any other infected plant part. Prevention measures Removal of the male bud after the last hand has set will prevent insect transmission of the bacteria. Keeping cutting tools clean will also help prevent the transmission through contaminated tools. However, should the disease show up, removing the diseased stem has been proved to reduce the incidence of new infections to negligible levels. That is, when used in combination with the practices that prevent transmission of the bacteria. Alternatively, the growing of cultivars with persistent bracts has

also been proposed to protect the male bud from insect-transmitted infections.

the plant if the said plant is only in the first stages of flower infection.

Control practices Removing infected plants From the early days of the epidemics, farmers were advised to uproot diseased mats, and to dispose of the plant debris, before replanting using clean planting material.

However, long-term studies have since proved this wrong, since the bacteria do not go on to systematically colonize all the suckers attached to the rhizome. Moreover, the development of the disease is not given once a particular plant is infected.

The practice, however, proved to be a demanding task especially for small holder farmers. Mats can also be destroyed by injecting an herbicide into the mother plant. Single diseased stem removal

This, then makes the single diseased stem removal (SDSR) technique an effective alternative to uprooting the entire mat.

An alternative to uprooting the entire mat is cutting off the infected plant at soil level. In the early days of the epidemic, research suggested the possibility of preventing the infection of

Beyond what individual farmers can do on their plots, a number of measures, such as intensive surveillance and reporting of new outbreaks and strict control of the movement of plant material from infected areas to unaffected ones, have been proposed.

Photo Courtesy of www.frontiersin.org

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Boosting Farm Productivity in Africa through the sustainable use of machines

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he Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the African Union has launched a new framework document that aims to increase agricultural efficiency and reduce drudgery by helping countries in Africa to develop strategies for sustainable farm mechanization. The Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization: A Framework for Africa (SAMA) is the result of discussions with policy makers from AU member states, the AU Commission, FAO and key partners. It offers a detailed look at the history of machinery in Africa, and points the way towards addressing challenges and creating new opportunities to assure the successful adoption of mechanization. “Doubling agricultural productivity and eliminating hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025 will be no more than a mirage unless mechanization is accorded utmost importance,” AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Josefa Sacko, said at the launch of the framework at FAO. Remarkably, more than three-fourths of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa prepare their lands using only hand tools, a practice that entails poor productivity, repels youth and is incompatible with the continent’s Zero Hunger goal. “Farmers in Africa should be able to use modern agricultural technology, both digital and mechanical, to boost the agricultural sector in a sustainable way,” said FAO Deputy Director-

General Maria Helena Semedo. The new framework identifies 10 priorities for AU member states to include in their national plans, ranging from the need for a stable supply of machine spare parts and innovative financing mechanisms, and the importance of regional collaborations that allow for cross-border hiring services. Moreover, the framework notes that successful national mechanization strategies will address key sustainability issues including gender, youth, environmental protection and the overarching principle that farming must be profitable. It also emphasizes that these strategies should cover the entire agrifood value chain, including harvesting, handling, processing and

food safety aspects, with an eye to reducing food losses, boosting rural employment and bolstering the links between farmers and consumers. Past, present and future While tractors are used to prepare land on over 60% of cultivated lands in Asia, the corresponding figure for Sub-Saharan Africa is around 5%. Moreover, the use of draught animals in sub-Saharan Africa is minimal outside of Ethiopia - due in considerable measure to the tsetse fly so almost all the work is done manually. One result is that many African farmers deploy low-yielding techniques and may prefer slash-and-burn methods. Today smaller and more affordable machinery, such as two-wheel tractors, September - October 2018 | 49


FEATURE

are available hiring services using digital technologies are proving popular around the continent, underscoring how the sharing of capital assets can be leveraged to achieve greater scale and access to modern tools. Solutions The framework notes that crossborder initiatives - for dealers, supply networks and tractor operators - can allow for viable scale and greater utilization. Another key consideration is farm profitability. This can be fostered by giving access to markets, credit and land tenure a visible role in mechanization policies.

Photo Courtesy of The John Deere Journal

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The framework has been designed to contribute to the pledges made in the African Union’s Malabo Declaration and Agenda 2063, and to do so in a way that is private-sector driven, environmentally smart, affordable and friendly o smallholder farmers. Its implementation will require significant contributions from other stakeholders, including public institutions and private actors such as the European Agricultural Machinery Industries Association (CEMA), which has just renewed its partnership with FAO to work on issues related to sustainable mechanization strategies in developing countries.

FAO and the AU’s strategy acknowledges that “there is great potential for innovation in African agriculture” - notably with the proliferation of mobile technologies and access to information and services and that a significant effort in capacity development will have to be made to rise to related challenges. To that end, FAO and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) have also published a training manual to help roll out more effective networks of access to smallscale mechanization services.


NEWS

Tractor Counterweights T

ractors are used in the agriculture industry to lift, lower and transport heavy loads. They operate such that once the tractor starts the required operation, the center of gravity of the machine is moved immediately forward or backward. The more the tractor arm raises the load, the more the center of gravity moves further and higher. This, more often than not, usually leads to the tractor’s overturning. Point to note, therefore, is that the major safety factor while operating a front end loader tractor is its stability while lifting and transporting a load. This is because the extreme working conditions in which the machine is used increases the risk of tipping over and requires an adequate solution. That bring said, counterweights have been proven to be rather crucial in the maintenance of the stability of the tractor when using front end loaders. Furthermore, the fitting of a front end loader onto a tractor shifts the centre of gravity forward. The centre of gravity is further amplified when the loader

lifts a load thus putting pressure on the tyres, axle and rims. As such, special counterweights need to be inserted at the rear part of the machine to secure a proper weight distribution and stability. Traditionally tractors’ owners have added homemade counterweights. Some of the solutions are welded metal plates attached onto tractor’s body or a permanent magnet put on tractor’s front. Cresent Foundry make their counterweights primarily from Cast Iron or Ductile Iron. A single Counterweight can range from 1 kg to 55 tons. However, a proper tractor counterweight should take into account the tractor’s weight rack as well as designing accurate shape that is supposed to fit exactly into the given space. This is important because lack to the adherence of the same could very well spell doom for the machine operator. Due to the unreliability of homemade counterweights, some manufacturers such as Cresent Foundry recommend the usage of the three point hitch /

linkage (3PH / 3PL) implements with weights combination. 3PH or 3PL refers to the way to attach implements to tractors. This configuration provides the best counterbalancing effect by applying some force behind the rear axle and reducing in this way the weight carried by the front tires, rims and axle. When using a 3 point linkage, the counterweight is hooked up with a 3 point linkage set behind the rear axle. This is the best method to improve stability and it reduces the amount of pressure placed on the tyres, axle and rims. Crescent foundry manufactures, among other products, iron castings for the agriculture segment through its various foundries located in Kolkata and Vadodara, India. They are also currently the largest manufacturer of Agricultural roller rings from India. Some of their products include Link Housing, Suitcase weights, Wheel Weights, Tractor Weights, Roller rings, Hydraulic lift housing, Cylinder Head, Trumpet Housing Rear Axle Support, Flywheels and 3 Point Linkage and other related castings.

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IMPROVING NUTRITIONAL EGG VALUE Effect of innovative emulsifier on egg quality in layer hen diets Dr. Paul W. Cardozo Technical Department, AndrĂŠs Pintaluba S.A.

T

he egg is one of the basic principles pillars of our daily diet with more protein (about 6 grams / egg). The egg white is formed by four structures. Firstly, the chalazae, immediately surrounding the yolk, accounting for 3% of the white. Next is the inner thin layer, which surrounds the chalazae and accounts for 17% of the white. Third is the firm or thick layer, which provides an envelope or jacket that holds the inner thin white and the yolk. It adheres to the shell membrane at each end of the egg and accounts for 57% of the albumen. Finally, the outer thin layer lies just inside the shell membranes, except where the thick white is attached to the shell, and accounts for 23% of the egg white (USDA, 2000). Regarding albumen composition, the ovalbumin (54%) and ovomucine (11%) are responsible for the consistency of albumen, and the lysozyme (3.4%) by its antibacterial properties. The rest of the egg proteins are found in the yolk (16% of the yolk). There can be no doubt that the freshness of the egg and the shell quality, including color and cleanliness, are essential for acceptance or rejection by consumers. Appropriate measures should be taken to promote egg quality during the productive period of the hens and to avoid dirty, potentially contaminating eggs. The use of additives such as biosurfactants can improve the digestibility of fat, oils and other nutrients increasing animal

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productivity, as well as reducing feed costs, that in several cases represent more than 70 % of total production costs. Several studies performed by AndrĂŠs Pintaluba S.A. on poultry and pigs showed the beneficial effect provided by the addition of an innovative emulsifier called APSADIGEST. This additive improves the digestibility of energy, protein and amino acids contents in the ration of feed. Recent field trials show the benefits of using APSADIGEST during the whole cycle of laying hens. The application of the additive not only maximized the digestibility of the fat by acting as emulsifier, but also improves the internal and external characteristics of the egg (shell hardness, less dirty egg and broken). These results of an increment of egg quality, it can be attributed to improved intestinal nutrient absorption by higher concentrated source of lysophospholipids present in APSADIGEST which enhances

flow and transport of nutrient to target issues by modulation of membrane permeability. Conclusion The supplementation of APSADIGEST in laying hen diets promotes higher contents of albumen in the eggs, considered of high biological value due it is a source of high digestibility protein for humans. APSADIGEST not only improves the internal egg quality, but also the external quality (less broken and dirty eggs), these factors have a very important economic impact on the profitability of the poultry industry. Finally, APSADIGEST has clear and proven benefits in animal nutrition, not only as a potent emulsifier, but also as an enhancer of nutrient absorption allowing to make rations with a minimal cost. working nations trying to build a better Africa for our children. We will ensure that we empower them through our new stories and help them grow into good people without prejudice.


ANIMAL HEALTH AND NUTRITION

APSA DIGEST Emulsifier Improve fat digestibility Saving feed cost

PHYTAFEED 6-phytase

Improve mineral deposition Feeding cost reduction

APSAZYME DC Xilanase and β−glucanase Better performance Saving money

APSATRON Intestinal health

Pathogen control Better performance

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FEATURE

Dry season farm irrigation Benefits of rain water harvesting Rain water harvesting eliminates the cost of pumping water for farm irrigation with power generators. This also makes the operations more sustainable since cases of inadequate water will be solved by the daily pumping of well water for purposes of supply till harvest times. On the other hand, there are also solar powered pumping machines that could reduce the cost of pumping water on a small farm, with little initial capital. Ideally, profitability of the farm operations increases with cost-cutting water collection and solar pumping machines.

By Nita Karume

I

t often goes without saying that the prices of agricultural produce in dry seasons are often much higher than produce in the rainy seasons. This is because rain-fed agriculture allows all farmers to cultivate and harvest almost simultaneously. However, irrigation facilities enable farmers to beat the law of demand and supply in this case. As such, they are able to produce crops at odd periods especially the dry season when rain-fed agricultural products are not available. Unfortunately, the short supply of irrigated crops always forces the prices up. It would thus be a wise move for any farmer to produce for such periods. To accomplish this, said farmers should look into digging wells, boreholes, using dams and collection of rain water into tanks for farm irrigation in the dry season.

54 |September - October 2018

Water collection In both small and large scale, dry season farming requires adequate planning. This is inclusive of rain water collection during the dry periods of September to November. For instance, small scale farmers of one or two acres of land can save cost of sinking a borehole or pumping water for farm irrigation by collecting water into underground reservoirs or plastic tanks. Several plastic tanks of 6,000 to 10,000 litres could be purchased, put on a slightly elevated floor at the highest points on the piece of land to be used for irrigated farming. From the elevated floor, water can flow from the tanks to the crops through drip irrigation holes. Alternatively, civil engineers and welders can help with the construction of underground or overhead tanks on the farm. Rain water will then collected into these through improvised rain collection devices.

This, in turn, serves to increase the disposable income of farmers and their households, meeting their basic needs and improving their living standards. Dry season crops Early maturing crops that could be planted in the dry season include cucumber, sweet melon, watermelon, maize and okra. These crops appear ordinary, but when produced out of the regular season, they are highly profitable. Drip irrigation maximizes water utilization efficiency. This in turn eliminates waste, unlike sprinkler or flooding irrigation systems. The system uses tiny holes on the farmland, with drips of water dropping from the calibrated outlets from the holes to the base of the crops. This way, water is adequately utilized and good results obtained. According to research, an hour of irrigation is enough for the plants in a day. This can be done 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Moreover, keeping in mind the volume of water needed, early maturing varieties of the said crops are necessary.


FEATURE

Fertilizers Demystified An Easy Guide to Choosing the Right Plant Food By Nita Karume

G

oing shopping for fertilizer can prove to be quite the daunting task. From the numbers etched on the box to figuring out which particular fertilizer is used where, or even the type. Hopefully by the end of this article you will have gained some valuable insight on these and more.

just marketing jargon. There is literally no difference between products for lawns, roses, vegetables and herbs, etc. Inasmuch as there are different N-P-K ratios on the labels, that doesn’t actually mean the ratio is the right

one for your particular roses, grass or vegetable beds — it’s simply a ploy to sell more fertilizer. For instance, lawns don’t really need a different N-P-K ratio than roses. In fact, the vast majority of plants need more or less the same

N-P-K These three letters stand for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the three most important plant nutrients. As such, the three numbers on nearly every fertilizer product refer to the percentage of N-P-K they contain. For example, a 10-5-2 fertilizer is 10 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphorus and 2 percent potassium; the rest of the product is inert materials. Breaking down the Label When it comes to the label, try not to get sucked in too much. This is because most if not the entire thing is September - October 2018 | 55


FEATURE

quantities of nutrients; whether they have them or not depends on the particular soil they’re growing in. Thus, the only way to know the precise N-P-K ratio you need is to test your soil and then formulate a custom fertilizer based on the nutrients that are deficient. On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be that complex. Nitrogen availability is almost always the limiting factor in plant growth and health. Which is why the N number is usually highest. In most cases, you’ll have success-using products with an N value in the 5 to 10 range and P and K values of 1 to 4. Using products with nitrogen concentrations above 10 percent greatly increases the likelihood of over-fertilizing, which can harm the plants. Furthermore, any fertilizer that isn’t readily absorbed will eventually leach away and pollute nearby water resources. The one exception are fertilizers for special plants like citrus, palms, orchids and African violets. These typically contain additional micronutrients (beyond N, P and K) that are helpful for growing those particular species. Forms of fertilizer Choosing from among the three forms of fertilizer is largely a matter of personal preference, though there are a few practical considerations.

The most important has to do with how quickly the nutrients are released. Liquid nutrients are available immediately, while granular or pelleted fertilizers last longer in the soil. Spikes are really designed for houseplants; it isn’t practical or economical to put a spike in the ground next to every single plant in a large garden Bulk bags of pelleted or granular

fertilizers are by far the most economical option, though the organic ones are notorious for inciting pets to sniff, dig and roll in the tantalizing animal products that they contain. Liquid fertilizers are an option to prevent this, though you can always convert granular fertilizers to liquid form by grinding them up and soaking them in a bucket of water for a few days.

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Farmers Review Africa Sept/Oct 2018  

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