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Volume 2. Issue 6. November - December 2016 D A R ME R S




Biotechnolgy: Aneweraforplantpathology andplantprotection -p50

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Contents 22




Rural Business


40 Aatoxins – Saving African Food from Contamination

Could systems research transform Africa's agriculture?

Market Information

New Product & Services

16 Harnessing plant microbiomes for sustainable agriculture

43 Complete process pump solutions for the food and beverage industry

Machinery Preview


24 Center Pivot Irrigation: The Real Crop Circles

52 Vermiculite The mineral that boosts soils and crop yields

Health & Safety 38 Evolving from Manual Mowing

56 November - December 2016



Volume 2. Issue 6. November - December 2016 D A R ME R S




Editors note Biotechnolgy: Aneweraforplantpathology andplantprotection -p50

We are at the beginning of our African year calendar, the time that used to mark Please visit the website




farmersreviewafric .com




the start of the rainy season more than three decades ago, but an era that we recently experience extreme heat waves that normally discourages those who highly depend on pure nature to farm.

Front cover : Courtesy of

exciting and last publication of Farmers Review Africa for the year. We would

Execu ve Editor

like to give our gratitude to our advertisers and contributors who participated

It's almost the end of 2016 and we welcome our valuable readers to yet another

Lee Daniels

this year, as our success hinges upon your support.

Agriculture is the oldest industry around. Even beyond biblical times, whatever


the situation, there was always a farmer involved in some way. roughout

Bertha M.

various eras, the process has stayed the same although the tools and technology

Maxin Fourie

used have evolved.

Adver sing Execu ves Russou Billiard

In this issue we bring you the stories that offer those small matters that mean a great deal to your farm. For instance, the art of dairy is a method that is

continually changing, and we explore that simple premise of pipeline milking.

Cleopas M.

We also look at issues like soil fertility and how Vermiculite can enhance soil

fertility and improve productivity.

Mkhululi K.

Whether you're cleaning up a new farm or keeping things in tip-top shape at

the farmstead, a chain saw is a must-have tool. Selecting the right saw will help

Project Manager

you be even more productive. erefore this edition gives a buyer's guide to

Victor Ndlovu

chain saws. Correspondents

Plant biotechnology ushers in a new era for plant scientists working to maintain healthy plants, optimize crop yields, and minimize pesticide usage.

Maambo Hakayobe

One of the ultimate aims of agricultural biotechnology is to feed an expanding

world population.

Himanot Kelemu

Chlorine Dioxide is becoming an increasingly popular choice for biocidal applications in industries around the world. In this issue pro le, Scotmas which

Graphic Design & Layout

continues to lead the way in Chlorine Dioxide technology and has experience

Que Gibson

implementing ClO2 technologies across the world.

Farming is evolving faster than any of us realize, with farmers solidly in charge.

Published by

To see how, just read the stories our latest issue and apply their messages to an

Mailing Times Media

entire industry.

+27 11 044 8986

As we focus into 2017, we will be working extra hard to ensure that Farmers Review Africa is the most informative and educative publication to our readers.

Bertha M.

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 expressed are not necessarily shared by Mailing Times Media (Pty) Ltd



November - December 2016


YARA Zambia Officially Launched Organi, Pas Reform partner to revitalise Tanzanian poultry

Norwegian rm, Yara International has been officially launched in Zambia, taking over the operations of Greenbelt Fertilizers Limited at a cost of about $51 million. Whereas the transaction was rst announced in December 2015, it was subject to approval by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Leading Tanzanian poultry and agriculture specialist Organia will be

Greenbelt Fertilizers is a leading fertilizer distributor for Zambia, Malawi and Zambia.

partnering with Pas Reform for an economic regeneration project that

Yara International says it has been motivated to acquire Greebelt

will redevelop Kibaha, a once important regional production centre, into

Fertilizers Limited due to the investment-friendly policies introduced by

the country's leading supplier of day-old chicks e Kibaha Education Centre, west of Dar es Salaam, was founded as

the Zambian government which are conducive to business, thus

part of an international aid project in 1963 and was formerly the site of

attracting long-term investment into the country.

Tanzania's leading poultry operation. Kibaha was a major local employer,

Yara business unit downstream Africa chief executive officer, Bernhard Fonsenka, said by acquiring Greenbelt Fertilizers, Yara will be able to

supplying chicks to local families, farmers and businesses and producing

provide sustainable crop nutrition, increase crop yields and farmers'

1.5mn day-old chicks per year. e centre was forced to close ve years ago following a serious poultry


epidemic, leading to a great deal of local hardship.

''We invested in Zambia because we were motivated by the investment-

e new project aims to develop Kibaha in phases over the next ve

friendly attitude that we have witnessed through the process of this acquisition. We observed that investment authorities, regulators and

years, to have a 16 per cent share of Tanzania's poultry market with the

partners, all have the determination to attract long-term commitment by

production of 16mn chicks per year by 2021.

easing the cost of doing business,'' he said at the launch of Yara Zambia

First phase investment has included a complete overhaul of the existing

on May 4, 2016.

operation, with new breeder and broiler sites, a feed mill, processing and a new hatchery, designed by Pas Reform.

''While Yara boasts of its ability to deliver the world's best agronomic

e hatchery is equipped with state of the art SmartPro setters and

practices and resources to local farmers, it will continue to ensure that the farmer remains at the heart of everything we do with the aim of

hatchers, with full HVAC control (climate control) to ensure that an

sustainably increasing their pro tability, thereby improving their

optimal hatchery environment is maintained throughout the year.

livelihood,'' he added.

Demonstrating a relatively high level of automation by African standards, the hatchery has been designed with future expansion in

Speaking earlier, Agriculture deputy minister, Maxus Ngónga said the

mind. With a rst phase setting capacity of 153,000 eggs per week, phase

coming in of Yara in the agriculture sector will bring competition in the marketing of fertilizer.

2 will be 230,000 per week and there is the possibility of doubling that

''is investment has come at a time when Zambia is diversifying its

capacity in the future. According to the company, the launch phase has already created more

economy and our commitment is not only to make Zambia the food

than 100 local jobs - a number expected to increase to over 500 by 2021.

basket of the region, but also attract investments that will help us achieve

In addition, the hatchery is expected to help re-ignite opportunities for

that dream.

small-scale poultry keeping in the region.

''As a nation, we are delighted to have a new entrant in the fertilizer

Organia's chairman Amr Taher said his company has long-standing

sector because this creates competition and helps to push the prices of

experience in the poultry industry and will work hard to ensure that the

the product down for the bene t of the farmer,'' he elaborated.

Kibaha project achieves its goal of regenerating the country's poultry

Norwegian ambassador to Zambia, Arve Ofstad is optimistic that Yara, as a commercial producer of fertilizer, will add value to the Zambian

industry. “In a year's time, Organia will be producing 10.5mn chickens a

economy through job creation and better yields for farmers.

year and we will double this output annually until 2021.”

November - December 2016




GMOs: Zambia to Boost Maize Yields

Three agricultural crops under trial in Nigeria e director-general said the trials commenced in 2009 and 2013 respectively at the Institute of Agricultural Research, Zaria, Kaduna State and National Cereals Research Institute, Badeggi, Niger State.

Zambia is among 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa expected to bene t

ree genetically modi ed agricultural crops are currently under

from the newly launched Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project that will develop improved maize varieties with resistance and tolerance to

con ned eld trials in Nigeria, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General,

drought and diseases affecting maize production.

National Bio-safety Management Agency, has said. Ebegba disclosed this when he featured at a News Agency of Nigeria Forum

e varieties have been launched to help the region boost food security.

in Abuja on ursday.

e STMA project introduced by the International Maize and Wheat

He said that the crops are cowpea, sorghum and rice.

Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and the International Institute of

e director-general said the trials commenced in 2009 and 2013

Tropical Agriculture (IITA), will help increase maize productivity by about 30 to 50 percent and provide 5.5 million smallholder farmers with

respectively at the Institute of Agricultural Research, Zaria, Kaduna State

improved maize varieties.

and National Cereals Research Institute, Badeggi, Niger State. Ebegba said: “Presently we have about three crops on con ned eld trails

According to the ProAgri latest report, other bene ciary countries are

but before now, we have six, some of them have been completed.

Benin, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, South

“Presently, we have the insect resistant beans known as cowpea at the

Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. STMA project leader, Tsedeke Abate, said the four-year project will

Institute of Agricultural Research Zaria.

improve maize production for over

“We also have in Zaria, Africa Bio-forti ed Sorghum modi ed in a way that

ve million smallholder farmer

it can now produce iron, zinc and protein and also has the ability to produce

households by the end of 2019 in the targeted bene ciary countries.

vitamin A. e essence is to increase the nutritional content.

''STMA will use modern breeding technologies that will confer the desired resistance to pest and diseases, and tolerant climate stresses like

“With the result we are getting from that so far, the beans now has the ability

drought and heat to bene t farmers within their socio-economic

to produce up to four times its original productivity. “e safety data is also being collected. Before that beans will be allowed,

capabilities, that oen dictate their access to important farm inputs such as

it will go through nutritional analysis to ensure that there are no toxins.

fertilizer and improved seed,'' he said.

“e rice has been genetically modi ed to use less nitrogen fertilizer and

e project will apply conventional breeding techniques to develop maize varieties and hybrids capable of resisting environmental shocks,

less water.”

including drought, low soil fertility, heat, pests and disease.

According to him, when this is successful, it will reduce the cost of fertilizer that is being applied to the farm as well as reduce the monies

''e project also seeks to increase commercialisation of improved

Ebegba assured Nigerians that consumption of GMO foods would be a

multiple stress-tolerant maize varities with gender-preferred traits,'' he elaborated.

choice, as they would be properly labelled.

STMA will also link up national and regional initiatives to develop

He said: “Once we are able to con rm that the modi cation is efficacious

strategies that bridge the yield gap and dramatically increase maize

and safety is ascertained, we have no reason not to advise Nigerians, those

production at smallholder farm level.

who are interested to consume it. “Genetic engineering is not meant to turn all crops to GMO. It is the ones

Continued collaboration with partners will enhance sustainable maize research and development systems in target countries through sustained

that the speci c problems cannot be solved through the conventional

variety release deployment and adoption which has been insufficient in

method that genetic engineering will be applied.”

many sub-Saharan countries, Mr. Abate added. STMA is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the

By Popoola Babalola On R&D Health

United States Agency for International Development (USAID).



November - December 2016


Tech access key Could systems to smallholders research transform tackling climate change Africa's agriculture? e effects of climate change on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa are now I know across Africa, presidents are repositioning their policies to re ect agriculture as the new engine for growth, and are also changing strategies that considered agriculture as a social obligation to a business enterprise. In Nigeria, for instance, the president launched the green alternative with an agricultural transformation agenda to show how important the administration prioritises agriculture. But scientists and researchers at a three-day workshop at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria this week (15-17 November) are discussing the role of systems research in the continent's quest for food self-sufficiency and security. Systems research could transform the continent's agriculture because it creates the necessary platform for scientists and researchers to think and work with policymakers and farmers. Nteranya Sanginga, director-general of IITA, told the audience at the meeting that the biggest challenge the institute faces on the continent is providing answers to leaders who seek their knowledge on how to transform their agriculture. I received senators from Nigeria last week who came asking for how to transform the nation's agriculture. I was also with the president of Benin who asked the same question. So how can this happen? Are there things we are doing that aren't working or what lessons are we failing to put to use?” he posed. Scientists and researchers at the meeting, to me, are of the view that systems research could transform the continent's agriculture because it creates the necessary platform for scientists and researchers to think and work with policymakers and farmers to solve the challenges they face. Kwesi Atta-Krah, IITA director of CGIAR Research Program on agricultural research systems for humid tropics, says that agriculture in Africa is currently plagued by low capacity, institutional bottlenecks and biological challenges that require the convergence of various systems and components to solve. “We have to link research to policies, with societal needs and aspirations … and this require an integrated and multistakeholders approach where research can speak directly to challenges,” Attah-Krah says. Atta-Krah adds that system research is not just about yield or bumper harvests but it focuses on considering all the variables involved in agriculture for farmers' overall wellbeing. But as good as the idea of systems research may sound, Asamoah Larbi, IITA's country representative in Ghana and a farming systems agronomist, notes that it is not new, and that l it will not solve all the continent's agricultural challenges. Larbi says what Africa needs to transform its agriculture is to strengthen and adequately fund its national agriculture research institutions to enable them do what is necessary.

real; we have increased cases of ood and prolonged droughts that destroy crops. Smallholder farmers, especially those in rural areas, are the most affected, with some experiencing total loss on their farms. ese farmers still rely on traditional methods of predicting weather, which in most cases, fails miserably. For instance, in the past, one could con dently predict and expect short rains in Kenya between September and December. Today, this is no longer the case. Innovations such as new seed varieties that can withstand droughts are available but cannot be accessed by smallholder farmers in droughtstricken northern Kenya. e devastating impact of climate change is increasingly becoming a matter of concern, leading to debates globally on how to combat climate change. is was the case at the 5th congress of the Seed Trade Association of Kenya where scientists, seed traders, government and the private sector gathered to share key developments and innovations that help smallholder farmers mitigate against climate change. In fact, the conference that was held in Kenya last week (8-9 November) had the objective of discussing the use of quality seeds to tackle climate change and improve agricultural productivity. Listened to the delegates, it was worrying that many farmers in rural areas still have no or limited access to agricultural innovations and technologies that could help them tackle the effects of climate change. For example, innovations such as new seed varieties that can withstand droughts are available but cannot be accessed by smallholder farmers in drought-stricken northern Kenya. One of the farmers revealed to me that some of the technologies are expensive for smallholders to afford. He added that in some cases, they do not know where to get the seeds suitable for their climatic zones. e farmer, who hails from Busia county of western Kenya, added that increased sensitisation could help smallholder farmers access agricultural technologies and innovations to tackle climate change. For Sub-Saharan Africa to realise its development agenda and global blueprints such as the UN's Agenda 2030 on sustainable development, it is prudent that the agricultural sector is transformed. It is time that we put in place systems that ensure smallholder farmers access and use agricultural technologies to help transform Africa's agricultural sector.

By Alex Abutu By Gilbert Nakweya

November - December 2016



Market Information

Agritech Expo migrates to Tanzania Successful outdoor agricultural show, Agritech

with the industry it was decided to move

two international pavilions, from Germany and

Expo, is expanding to Tanzania with the

closer to the farming community in Arusha to

Zimbabwe, welcomed two agriculture ministers,

farming B2B platform taking place in the agri-

create Tanzania's rst and only B2B outdoor

from Zambia and the Czech Republic, and the

hub of Arusha in January, the rst such

agriculture event delivering to the

Zambian President H.E Edgar Lungu officially

agriculture event in the country.

requirements of the entire agricultural value-

opened the show.

Agritech Expo Tanzania event director Yolanda dos Santos: says “continued agriculture

chain, from polytunnel crops trials, training and commercial farmer workshops to

In Tanzania the industry has responded with great enthusiasm to the rst Agritech Expo

economic growth in Tanzania has awoken the

professional consultations and networking

taking place in Arusha in January. Leading agri

need to facilitate an enabling environment


suppliers have already con rmed their

where suppliers, farmers of all scales and

e event will not only gather farmers, from

sponsorships at the event, including Hughes

industry professionals from the agri-value

commercial to emerging and small scale; but

Motors, Lonagro, Ford, Rivulis, Irrico, HortPro,

chain can meet on a professional B2B platform.

also key officials from regional governments,

Maji, FNB, Neptun, AMDT and John Deere.

Working in collaboration with our host

agro associations, NGOs, aid, development

“We at John Deere have been attending and

partners, the Agriculture Council of Tanzania

and research agencies; agro dealers, traders

exhibiting at this event since its inception three

(ACT) and Tanzanian Horticulture Association

and retailers; suppliers, consultants and

years ago and are pleased to see the progress that

(TAHA), we are proud to present Agritech

technical experts as well as venture capitalists,

the organisers are making in growing this event

Expo Tanzania at the Selian Agricultural

investors and bankers.

and reaching all those concerned with agriculture from government to small scale

Research Institute (SARI) in Arusha.” e event will take place on the 26-27 January

e Agritech Expo

farmers” says Kevin Lesser, global marketing

2017 at Selian Agricultural Research Institute,

In April this year, the third edition of Agritech

director, John Deere, Kenya, adding: “we fully

Arusha/Dodoma Main Road, Arusha. Dos Santos adds: “Agritech Expo Tanzania has transitioned from the Agribusiness

Expo Zambia in Chisamba rmly established

support the direction of growth intended for this

itself as the leading outdoor agri event in the

event in Tanzania. We look forward to next

region with a record-breaking attendance of

year's event”.

Congress event that has taken place in Dar es

17,605 visitors and 160 exhibitors over 70,000

Salaam for the last three years. Aer consulting

sqm of space. e three-day expo also featured

November - December 2016


Market Information

Airbus Defence and Space Launches “One Atlas” Satellite Image Library for Agricultural Applications Airbus Defence and Space has announced the

e service offers a streamlined work ow, and

and Space. “We take care of everything: updating,

launch of One Atlas, a brand new satellite image

the costs related to updating, selecting,

selecting, processing and hosting – all to make it

basemap, which covers the earth's landmasses

processing and hosting imagery are drastically

easier, cheaper and faster for our customers.”

with professional grade imagery. is service will

reduced. Seamlessly integrated into the

is new service has applications for a variety of

soon be available online and all imagery will be

customer's system, One Atlas facilitates the

industries such as oil, gas, mining, agriculture,

completely refreshed every 12 months. One Atlas

sharing of data across teams or partner

defense, and security. However, the new service

will provide agricultural organizations with easy

organizations, with no compromise on security

will not include specialized technology for

access and cost-effe c t ive hig h-qu a lit y,

or privacy. It also enables users to plan, map and

agriculture which facilitates real-time crop

homogeneous imagery. One Atlas has been speci cally developed to

locate their teams, assets or areas of interest,

vegetation index monitoring via geospatial

anywhere on the globe, allowing operators to

technologies. ere are some more advanced

support applications within the agricultural

devote more time to their core mission.

services which can monitor the difference

sector, providing the opportunity to delineate

“With One Atlas, we de nitively reduce the

between healthy and stressed plants by

parcel boundaries, map agricultural lands and

barriers for agricultural clients to access our

representing the amount of light they're re ecting

crop species, as well as being able to track and

data,” said Bernhard Brenner, Head of

in different bands of the electromagnetic

trace tractors and irrigation assets.

Intelligence Business Cluster at Airbus Defence



November - December 2016


Market Information

BASF launches 'Farming, the Biggest Job on Earth' campaign farming as the biggest job on earth because our

profession ensuring growing demands are met,

the Biggest Job on Earth' to address the

lives begin with eating. e person who

year aer year.

growing demand for food on dwindling land

produces the food,

BASF has launched a campaign titled 'Farming,

e world's leading chemical company BASF

the most basic of

has developed a new campaign aimed at

human needs has the

celebrating farmers across the globe and

biggest job to do. e

supporting agriculture to enable increasing

future for all of us is

production of enough food for the burgeoning

in the farmers'

world population estimated to reach nine

hands,” Mbaya added.

billion by 2050.

He reiterated that

Dubbed 'Farming, the biggest job on earth,' the

BASF is working with

campaign seeks to assist farmers access latest

farmers to keep the

farming innovations, ensuring soil remains

soil fertile and fruitful

healthy and connecting farmers to high quality,

with the right

fast maturing drought tolerant seed varieties.

amounts of water and

“In 1960 the total agricultural areas was 4,300 sq m per head, in 2005 it shrunk to 2200 and by

nutrients. Without

2030 this will shrink further to 1800. is

technology, food

means that the same parcel of land, has been

production becomes a

feeding more people. Population grows, land

herculean task, BASF

does not. e only way we can ensure that

stated, explaining

parcel of land can continue feeding more

why supporting

mouths is make it more productive through

farmers to access

innovation,” said Gi Mbaya, Sub Hub

innovation, solutions

Manager – Crop Protection & Public Health at

and experts will

BASF East Africa Ltd during the National

enable them to

Farmer's Awards 2016. “At BASF we create chemistry to equip

improve productivity, increase efficiency,

farmers with the skills needed to improve

and stay at the cutting

productivity. It is for this reason that we see

edge of their

November - December 2016


Market Information

Agriculture robots & drones to reach US$12bn by 2016 e IDTechEx Research report “Agricultural

navigation technology. e report notes that

the skilled driver via multiple slave or follower

Robots and Drones 2016-2026: Technologies,

more than 320,000 tractors equipped with

vehicles. is arrangement will nd increasing

Markets, Players” predicts that robotic

autosteer or tractor guidance technology will be

use in large-scale crop eld farming.

technology will enter into different aspects of

sold in 2016 alone, rising to 660,000/year in

agriculture and change the way farming is done e report gives a detailed roadmap of how

e report forecasts that fully and unmanned

2026. ese tractors use RTK GPS technology to

autonomous tractors will be the next evolutionary

autonomously follow pre-planned paths with

step. Multiple semi-commercial prototypes have

robotic technology will become the future of

cm-level accuracy, making agriculture the

a l re a dy b e e n d e m ons t r at e d by l e a d i ng

agrochemicals business and how it will modify

largest adopter of autonomous navigation.

agricultural machinery companies. e tractor

the way we design agricultural machinery. It

Leading tractor companies worldwide have

will be equipped with a variety of overlapping

provides detailed technology roadmaps,

already demonstrated master-slave or 'follow-

sensors such as LIDAR, RADAR, and sonar to

technology- and territory-segmented ten-year

me' unmanned autonomous tractors or load

provide autonomous navigation in the absence of

market forecasts and comprehensive interview-

carts, the report states. In these arrangements, a

GPS signal together with collision avoidance.

based company pro les, forecasting that

manned operator supervises the movement of

agricultural robots and drones will reach

the leader tractor with others following suite.

autonomous tractors will start only from

US$12bn by 2026.

is technological evolution is expected to

2021/2022 onwards, reaching more than

Agricultural vehicles have been at the forefront

further the notion that big is better because it

US$200mn in 2026.

of developing and adopting autonomous

enables further amplifying the productivity of

IDTechEx Research forecasts that sales of fully


November - December 2016

Market Information

Harnessing plant microbiomes

“If we can understand how to harness microbes to do speci c things, we will have the ability to carry out a lot of the same functions that we currently depend on chemical pesticides

for sustainable agriculture

and fungicides to do” Smith added. Microbes could help improve soil fertility and strengthen plant resistance to insect pests and diseases and help plants tolerate temperature uctuations.

Research shows that harnessing plant

alternatives. e plant microbiome could be

AgBiome is currently identifying microbes

microbiome – bacteria that live in roots, leaves

key to generating more food without the side

that can control weevils that attack sweet potato

and soil– can help in creating cleaner, pesticide

effects such as pollution, environmental

plants in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by a

free agricultural practices

degradation and toxic residues from chemical

grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,

In Africa, where soil health is a growing issue

pesticides, Fast CoExist reported.

AgBiome has already established a diverse

of concern in agriculture, researchers believe

“e microbiome has a lot of potential for

collection of plant-associated microbes and has

that microbial science could be vital in nding

agriculture because we know that microbes

fully sequenced and annotated the genomes for

alternatives to pesticides and arti cial fertilisers

have a lot of in uence on plants, how well they

greater than 26,000 microbial strains. e grant

that can improve farm productivity.

grow, how they resist pests and diseases, and

will support the isolation, sequencing, and

Plant microbiome —bacteria living in roots, leaves and soil that help plants absorb minerals

how well seeds germinate,” said Kelly Smith,

testing of microbes associated with US and

director of microbial development at

African sweet potato plants in an effort to

and nutrients, ght disease, and resist drought

AgBiome, a startup in Durham, North

discover microbes that are capable of controlling

and heat – is being studied to nd such


the weevil.

Market Information

Sao Paulo Stock Exchange

Algorithms In these modern times, it feels as if everything

to understanding and properly implementing

responses that would indicate not only the

(and sometimes, everyone) is being replaced by


presence of other algorithms, but also the terms

electronics and computers. e relentless

An algorithm is not a magical incantation, an

under which they operate.

march of automation and advances in the

esoteric knowledge hidden from mortal men.

It is estimated that 75% of the day-to-day

technological realm continue to make their

It is merely a set of rules. Written by a human,

trading volume in today's global markets is

presence felt in all spheres of life.

an algorithm can only be as good as the team

driven by algorithms. Yet in the African

e nancial industry is no exception.

that designs it. And in the modern world and

commodity markets that gure hovers at an

Algorithms have changed the way investors are

in the ercely competitive environment

estimated 15%. While algorithms are frequently

trading on the stock market and it has made

present in today's market, this is a moving

becoming more common (as more and more

the process incredibly efficient… and made

target as you constantly have to be ahead of the

brokers and traders wake up to the bene ts of

navigating the markets increasingly difficult for


these trading tools), they remain sorely under-

even an experienced trader.

Owing to their nature, algorithms can be as

utilised… and sometimes misunderstood.

In terms of trading, what is an algorithm? In

generalised or a specialised as the trader

Taking that into account, why not take

the simplest terms, it is a set of rules that a

requires, oen being able to be tailored to meet

advantage of a team that not only understands

computer will follow.

a speci c need. e following are very basic

the importance of algorithms in the modern

Trading algorithms can be very simple. For

algorithms that showcase the endless

trading space, but has years of experience in

example – the price of maize is R 3500 for

possibility that they offer:

both their design, and their use?

buyers, and R 3600 for sellers. You can write a

Iceberg – An order-based Algorithm that only

Russellstone International is a member of the

set of rules that will tell the computer to buy

“shows” the tip of the order to the market

Johannesburg Stock Exchange, a commodity

maize if the selling price is R 3550. e

hiding the rest. Instead of placing a large order

broking rm, and a leader in the eld of

computer will then monitor the price and

on the market, an Iceberg algorithm instead

developing execution algorithms, particularly in

execute the buying order if the seller price is

breaks it into various smaller orders, to avoid

African markets.


telegraphing the trader's true intention.

Our aim is to continue to improve on our

e main advantage of execution algorithms is

Sniper – An algorithm that never shows buy

existing knowledge, design and implementation

their speed. e algorithm reacts faster to

or sell orders, but instead trades against online

of algorithms, and to offer you the opportunity

emerging information than the human eye can

orders in the market, taking advantage of its

to take advantage of them yourselves.

blink – oen in a timespan measured in

faster speed to nd better deals than a trader

microseconds - putting the advantage square in

can react to on their own.

Craig Robinson

the hands of the brokers and traders that cra

Sniffer Dog - e algorithm that looks for

Director Russellstone International (PTY) Ltd

specialised execution algorithms.

other algorithms! Also known as a “sniffer”,

Algorithms have become increasingly complex,

this algorithm rapidly res orders into the

requiring more and more effort to be devoted

market to “sniff-out” trading patterns and

November - December 2016


Established in 2010, Russellstone International has since risen to become one of the leading broking firms in the South African Derivatives market.

As a registered member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Russellstone International is the market leader in algorithmic trade execution technology in the Agricultural, Equity and Currency Derivative markets on the JSE.

Utilising the latest in trading software, we also take advantage of advances in the field, making use of drone technology to conduct crop surveys and provide you a detailed assessment of the current conditions on (and in!) the ground.

Whether you're a miller or farmer looking to diversify your portfolio, or a large corporate that requires knowledgeable trading expertise to support your business, Russellstone International has an experienced team that is ready to offer you the advice and support that you require.

If you are interested in finding out more, visit our website at You can also drop us a line at or +27 12 743 5390 and we will be more than happy to assist you! Russellstone Interna onal (PTY) Ltd is a registered member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Reg No 2001/023483/07 A member of the Russellstone Group.

Market Information

SCOTMASChlorine Dioxide

Technology Chlorine Dioxide is becoming an increasingly popular choice for biocidal applications in industries around the world. As the rst Company to produce simpler and easier to use Chlorine Dioxide systems, Scotmas continues to lead the way in Chlorine Dioxide technology and has experience implementing ClO2 technologies across the world. Scotmas has an impressive track record of successful international projects across a diverse range of industries We serve all types of customers, and all types of requirements – from providing small dosing systems for bore-hole water supplies, to large oil- eld injection systems, and products suitable for municipal water treatment. We are technical specialists and experts in Chlorine Dioxide dosing systems and products, bringing a level of expertise and engineering excellence which ensure you get the best solution to t your requirements. Chlorine Dioxide is proven to be more effective, less corrosive, and a more environmentally friendly alternative to the use of chlorine based biocides. It can deliver bene ts to many industries, and we have experience working across such diverse sectors as Drinking Water, Healthcare, Agriculture, Food Processing, Building

November - December 2016

Services, Energy, and Industrial. Scotmas Group is a dynamic global business which has grown rapidly to become one of the world's leaders in water treatment, hygiene and environmental care technologies. We are proud of our reputation for innovation in a market that is oen dominated by traditional approaches. We recognise that effective solutions are oen borne from ideas which originate from out with our organisation. We work with some of the world's leading research institutes as well as individual entrepreneurs to develop, license and commercialise leading edge technologies in our areas of expertise. We have successfully navigated a large number of products and technologies from the lab to commercial application in some of the world's most demanding environments. We actively develop joint-venture and licencing partnerships in both technical development, and in the local manufacture and marketing of our key products and technologies. Knowledge and best practice is shared across our Global organisation to ensure the best possible levels of service are maintained at all times. Whilst regulatory and consumer priorities differ across the continents, Scotmas are able to take elements of best practice learned in one jurisdiction [20] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

and apply it in another using the expertise of our local partners and associates For entrepreneurs and research organisations, partnering with us will give your technology a global reach, whilst providing you with the security of a business partner that is not only experienced, but trustworthy. Water is one of the most critical, yet most overlooked aspects of agricultural biosecurity. With strong roots in the agriculture sector, the company has spent over 50 years' working to maximize productivity whilst maintaining the highest welfare and biosecurity standards in agriculture around the world. Our multidisciplinary approach brings together chemistry and microbiological expertise with our deep understanding of stocksmanship and modern agricultural practices. Whether in horticulture, agriculture or aquaculture, our founding principles of using the best possible biosecurity practice to improve welfare, reduce mortality and ultimately improve stock performance has led us to become trusted partners for major agribusinesses, pedigree breeders and farmers alike.

Domaine des Trente Arpents

Ø Loca on · Favières, near Tournan en Brie, Seine et Marne · Distance from Paris Nord Villepinte: 40 km / 46 minutes Owned by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, this very busy 1,600-hectare estate employs 28 people all year round. The current mixed ac vi es profile — which includes forestry, cereal crops, ca le breeding and cheese produc on — owes a great deal to Baron Edmond de Rothschild, the father of the current owner Benjamin de Rothschild. His personal involvement in the life of the estate is par cularly evident in the development of breeding, and overseeing the en re dairy produc on chain.

Ø Special features · Mixed ac vi es · On-site processing of 1.5 million litres of milk annually (4,000 litres daily) · The only producer of Brie de Meaux cheese bearing the “Farm” quality label


Livestock breeding

Livestock breeding was expanded in the early ‘90s, with two new cowsheds and an ultramodern milking parlour. There are now 320 ca le, including 150 Prim’Holstein dairy cows – a breed renowned for their produc vity and milk quality. These cows also produce 180 calves each year.


The arable opera on

State-of-the-art machinery and efficient processes enable the estate to produce 2,500 tonnes of cereals annually (wheat, maize, peas, rape and barley), stored and kept on site. Some silage is used to feed the ca le over winter.



The Trente Arpents Farm produces the only Brie de Meaux cheese to have been granted a “Farm” quality label. Since the ripening cellars began opera ng in 1995, the estate has handled the en re cheese produc on process and is also able to adapt the condi ons and dura on of ageing to customers’ individual requirements.


Sustainable development and resource op misa on

Methana on and recycling of wood waste, which is converted to wood chip fuel, are just two of the ini a ves being trialled at Trente Arpents.

To visit Domaine des Trente Arpents Please contact the SIMA office for your country. Only groups can be accepted, but this is subject to availability of places. Please note: Visits available only for groups of up to 30. Availability: Monday 27 February 2017, morning

Machinery Preview

Case IH takes 'Tractor of the Year' title for 2017 with Optum 300 CVX Prize awarded at EIMA, the international farm machinery show held in Italy / Judges praise high power, low weight design targeted at European needs / Tractor can be ballasted where even greater traction is required / Design ensures optimum efficiency and soil care e 2017 Tractor of the Year title has been

which like the Optum CVX is built in St

eSCR equipped FPT 6.7-litre six-cylinder

awarded to Case IH for its Optum 300 CVX

Valentin, Austria. We have created a totally

engine in the Optum CVX is built around a

tractor, a result that acknowledges the

new, strong yet lighter weight design, with

structural sump. While the tractor's typical

marque's focus on farmers' commitment to

new strong front axle and structural engine

unladen weight is 11,000kg, this design

soil care and fuel efficiency. Awarded by a

oil sump design, to meet demands for

allows for a maximum gross vehicle weight of

judging panel from some of Europe's most

customer requiring a 250-300hp tractor

16,000kg. Further fuel-saving features

important agricultural journals, the

with a high power-to-weight ratio in a

include idle speed management, cutting

accolade acknowledges the importance of

compact, manoeuvrable layout.

engine speed from 850rpm to 650rpm if the

the high power/compact Optum CVX

at means it's well-suited to tasks where

tractor which ts in the growing customer

high power is essential but weight less so –


such as working with large mowers, for

e result is a tractor that protects the soil,

example, where it's important to protect the

in that it can be operated at a weight that suits

“Following the Machine of the Year 2016

tractor stands still without moving for two minutes.

award won by the Optum, this Tractor of the

sward. But for jobs where traction and grip

the work. It protects the owner's business

Year title shows the recognition across the

are the critical factor, such as heavy

from the tyre and component wear that can

European agricultural press that the Optum

cultivations, Optum CVX can be weighted

occur when a heavy tractor is used for lighter

design and features represents a signi cant

to make it as capable as any ordinary tractor

eld or transport tasks. And it protects

advancement in tractor technology,” says

of this power. And for road transport, the

against high fuel consumption, as proven by

Dan Stuart, Case IH high-hp tractor product

Optum can be ballasted according to the

DLG Powermix test results of 249 g/kWh.

marketing manager for Europe, Middle East

weight of the load it is pulling, for

e Tractor of the Year award shows how

and Africa.

maximum safety and fuel efficiency.

i mp or t ant t ho s e char a c te r ist i c s are

Optum CVX is positioned between the

Driving through the continuously-

US-built Magnum and of our Puma range,

variable Case IH CVX transmission, the Hi-

November - December 2016


considered to be in modern agriculture.

Machinery Preview

Bagtech International Team at the Agri Indaba

Bagtech, Bagging ,Blending, Coating Machines Bagtech International is one of the companies

equipment from 10kg to 1ton, screening

provide accurate information to their clients.

that attended the Agri Investment Indaba which

equipment and any other compact fertiliser

Bagtech is the supplier of fertiliser management

took place in Capetown from the 28th -30th of

plant as per customer needs.

and Handling Solutions to Africa. e company

November. e company has a remarkable

In the 1980's, a group of Brazilian engineers,

recently successfully supplied the rst fertilizer

history that has made them leading innovators in

resident in South Africa started developing

blending plant in Kenya to Toyota Tsusho which

the fertiliser industry in Africa. Fred Coelho, the company's Managing

industrial equipment to supply the agricultural

already started their production this year. More

market on the African continent. e company

than 70 projects have been supplied by Bagtech across Africa to date.

Director gave the history of the company in

developed many types of machines: coffee

detail in an interview with Farmers Review

processing plants, peanut butter plants etc and

“We are proud to be an African company and


a  e r p u rc h a s e c u s t om e r s n e e d e d t h e

provide our expertise for Africa fertilizer industry

Bagtech International has over 25 years of

management of these machines, hence Bagtech

since supply chain management service until

experience in agro industry by developing its

started providing these services.

development custom made equipment for

own technology on a daily basis in partnership

Based in Durban, nowadays, Bagtech is

handling bulk fertiliser. We can prove that Africa

with its clients. e company's advantage is their

focused on offering a supply chain management

has an advanced technology through innovative

expertise in the fertiliser industry by providing

s e r v i c e an d d e ve l opi ng c u s t om - m a d e

management system in order to provide accurate

consultancy, equipment and services around

equipment for handling bulk solutions for

information to African clients. We usually say to

Africa. Bagtech can design in-house fertiliser

fertiliser. e company offers advanced

our customers that we want to be a partner, not

blending plants from very small capacities to

technology through an innovative management

only a supplier because we work 24/7 days for

over 100 tons per hour, coating plants, bagging

system in partnership with Festo in order to

them bringing the best solutions any time they >>p55


November - December 2016

Machinery Preview

Center Pivot Irrigation: The Real Crop Circles If you have been in a plane over a large agricultural hub you may have casually glanced out of your window. And then you may have performed a very, very quick double take. What on earth are those circular shapes below? ey are not the alien crop circles of infamy that's for sure – in fact whole elds seem to be circular in shape. ere are way too many of them, too, to have been done as some sort of practical joke. So, what are they? Welcome to the world of center pivot irrigation. As the name suggests, this is a method of irrigation, but it is one which, aer the initial setup, does not need the touch of human hand half as much as traditional methods. Imagine the middle of a eld and place a great big pivot at its heart. To this pivot attach sprinklers and equipment to rotate them. As November - December 2016

the pivot turns, so do the sprinklers – in a circular motion (the system is also called circle irrigation). Center-pivot irrigation (sometimes called central pivot irrigation), also called waterwheel and circle irrigation, is a method of crop irrigation in which equipment rotates around a pivot and crops are watered with sprinklers A circular area centered on the pivot is irrigated, oen creating a circular pattern in crops when viewed from above (sometimes referred to as crop circles). Most center pivots were initially water-powered, and today most are propelled by electric motors. Early center pivot irrigation systems showed a lot of potential, but they also broke down too oen. Center pivot systems were complex engineering systems that relied on [24] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

both old and new technologies. ey relied heavily on technologies developed for other uses for key components -· Turbine pumps. In the 1940s, irrigators adapted oil pumps to raise underground water to the surface. Combined with more powerful internal combustion and electric motors, these pumps could deliver water under pressure to the new pivot systems. · Pipes. Aer World War II, more and more irrigators started using steel or aluminum pipes – either with sprinklers or with gates to ood plant rows – to water their elds. Pivots raised the same pipes off the ground and moved the pipes around automatically.


Sprinklers. In the early 1900s, urban areas had pressurized water systems and used new sprinkler heads to water lawns in town. Gradually, plant nurseries adapted the sprinklers to their use and then farmers combined sprinklers with high pressure pumps and pipes. In 1946, sprinklers irrigated less then 250,000 acres of farmland. By 1959, 3.4 million acres were under sprinklers. To achieve uniform application, center pivots require an even emitter ow rate across the radius of the machine. Since the outer-most spans (or towers) travel farther in a given time period than the innermost spans, nozzle sizes are smallest at the inner spans and increase with distance from the pivot point. Aerial views show elds of circles created by the watery tracings of "quarter- or half-mile of the center-pivot irrigation pipe," created by center pivot irrigators which use "hundreds and sometimes thousands of gallons a minute." Most center pivot systems now have drops hanging from a u-shaped pipe called a gooseneck attached at the top of the pipewith sprinkler heads that are positioned a few feet (at most) above the crop, thus limiting

evaporative losses and wind dri. ere are many different nozzle con gurations available including static plate, moving plate and part circle. Pressure regulators are typically installed upstream of each nozzle to ensure each is operating at the correct design pressure. Drops can also be used with drag hoses or bubblers that deposit the water directly on the ground between crops. is type of system is known as LEPA (Low Energy Precision Application) and is oen associated with the construction of small dams along the furrow length (termed furrow diking/dyking). Crops may be planted in straight rows or are sometimes planted in circles to conform to the travel of the irrigation system Originally, most center pivots were waterpowered. ese were replaced by hydraulic systems and electric motor-driven systems. Most systems today are driven by an electric motor mounted at each tower. For a center pivot to be used, the terrain needs to be reasonably at; but one major advantage of center pivots over alternative systems is the ability to function in undulating country. is advantage has resulted in increased irrigated acreage and water use in some areas.

Center pivot irrigation typically uses less water compared to many surface irrigation and furrow irrigation techniques, which reduces the expenditure of and conserves water. It also helps to reduce labor costs compared to some ground irrigation techniques, which are oen more labourintensive. Some ground irrigation techniques involve the digging of channels on the land for the water to ow, whereas the use of center-pivot irrigation can reduce the amount of soil tillage that occurs and helps to reduce water runoff and soil erosion that can occur with ground irrigation. Less tillage encourages more organic materials and crop residue to decompose back into the soil, and reduces soil compaction. Most center pivot machines are electrically powered, using either a generator or a public power source. Pivots use both 120 and 480 volts of alternating current (VAC) to operate. 120 VAC is used as the control circuit, powering the safety circuit, the forward and reverse movement of the pivot, and, more precisely, the movement of the Last Regular Drive Unit (LRDU). e 480 VAC is the power circuit and supplies the needed energy for the drive units to move.


November - December 2016


November - December 2016

Machinery Preview

Pipeline milking Milking cows is an activity that can last for several hours for the larger herds, two or even three times a day, even although milking one cow would not take more than about 10 minutes. Sooner or later you need to replace the milking equipment in your pipeline milking system. At this point, the dilemma you oen face is whether to change to a milking parlour with a loose housing system, or stay with the existing pipeline system. e fact is that the pipeline milking system has a great number of bene ts to offer you, your milkers and your cows. Permanent pipelines have been introduced into the dairy industry as a means of increasing operating efficiency and of reducing operating costs. Widespread acceptance of permanent milk pipelines by the dairy plant operator, the dairy farmer, and the milk regulatory official largely is dependent upon the efficiency with which the pipeline can be cleaned in position. e introduction of bulk milk collection and refrigerated milk tanks on farms, together with the development of large static and rotary parlours for milking big herds, gave an impetus to pipeline milking systems which hitherto had been installed in large cowsheds and milking barns. e main advantages are that the milk is transported under vacuum from udder to November - December 2016

dairy for cooling and storage and the cleaning and disinfection of the milking equipment can be done in-situ with very little manual involvement. e pipeline milking system offers great possibilities for individual cow handling. It is also the system that stresses the cows least. It is of great psychological importance for cows to have their own space in the barn and yet have close contact with their neighbours. In addition, devices can be inserted into the milking pipeline to reveal clinical signs of mastitis, indicate the milk yield from each cow, a l low s amples to b e t a ken and automatically remove the cluster when milk ow ceases (thus eliminating overmilking). Internationally agreed standards prescribe the minimal diameter of pipelines to enable the milk to be transported without adversely affecting vacuum stability at the cluster. ese comparatively high investment, low labour cost systems are the only practical alternative for large and medium sized herds milked in parlours, particularly where bulk milk collection is involved. During milking, operator work routines can be reduced to [28] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

assisting cow entry and exit, udder preparation and cluster attachment so that milking performances of more than 85 cows per manhour can be achieved. Milk cooling can be done by discharging the milk over a corrugated surface cooler connected to the water supply or a chilled water unit and collecting it in milk cans underneath. Alternatively, the milk can be pumped direct from a milk receiving vessel to a refrigerated bulk milk tank or via a pre-cooler to an insulated milk storage tank. Rapid cooling prevents bacterial growth and ensures optimum milk quality. One can clean and disinfect the pipeline milking plant in-situ by rst removing manually any visible dirt and milk deposits from external surfaces and making the necessary adjustments to form a complete circuit between milking and milk transfer pipelines. Recirculate hot detergent/disinfection solution when the initial hot water rinse reaches 65°C at the discharge point, for 10–15 minutes at 10–15 litres per unit. Finally rinse with chlorinated water at 50 ppm.

Elegant. Process. Solutions. Design & Manufacture Food




Founded Forty years ago, Gerhard Unger Process Technology has designed and manufactured process solutions for leading food and beverage and other companies. Our in depth knowledge of Process Engineering has produced effective solutions for the following applications:

· · · · · · · ·

Breweries Dairies Sugar Dissolving / Syrup plants Margarine Processing Cleaning in Place (CIP) Systems Truck Tanker Washing Train Coach Washing Other (Fruit Juice, pasteurising, bottling, ltration, heat exchangers)

Website: Tel: +27 11 876 3740 Email: 22 Makriel Road , Wadeville Germiston.

Machinery Preview


Buyers Guide Whether you're cleaning up a new farm or keeping things in tip-top shape at the farmstead, a chain saw is a must-have tool. Selecting the right saw will help you be even more productive. You want an easy-to-start saw that you can handle and run all day without being too fatigued. Innovations in the chain saw market have led to more saws that are easy to start, are lighter, and vibrate less. To see which saws have the best combination of these features – and still excel at their prime job of cutting wood. Size matters e two most important chain saw characteristics to consider are engine and bar size. If you're an occasional chain saw user, you can

November - December 2016

get by with a smaller saw in the 35- to 45-cc range,” If you are using the saw more oen to cut down trees or blocking them up, you'll want a chain saw that is 50 to 60 cc. You also need to consider the length of the bar. e bigger the engine, the more chain the saw can carry. Smaller chain saws will have bars that are 14 to 16 inches long, while larger saws will typically max out at 20 inches, although you can nd longer bars on professional models. For occasional use, a 14- to 16-inch saw will be sufficient, If you are dealing with a lot of large trees, a longer bar will be helpful. Safety comes rst Safety is paramount whenever you use a chain saw, you need to protect your


extremities.” Protecting your head, eyes, and ears is also critically important. ree-in-one helmets, protect your head, keep ying debris out of your face with a steel-mesh face screen, and dampen engine noise with earmuffs. Safety glasses are also advised. Beyond the right safety gear, safety depends on you. Be patient and be aware of what's going on around you. When you're cutting down trees, always clear out two or three directions for an escape route. Sharpen on-the-go At some point, your chain saw will need sharpening. If luck isn't on your side, this will happen when you are nowhere near your shop.

Machinery Preview

Husqvarna's pioneering approach to chainsaws and lawnmowers Husqvarna boasts the market's

X-Torq® engine technology

TrioBrake ®

widest, most innovative and powerful

This revolutionary technology

This chainsaw safety system allows

range of machinery and tools for the

developed for two-stroke engines

the chain break to be activated

forest, garden, park, construction

delivers more power while cutting

automatically by the inertia release

and stone industries.

fuel consumption by up to 20% and

mechanism or mechanically by the

For over 327 years Husqvarna has

emissions by up to 75% (compared

operator's right hand.

applied 'out of the box' thinking,

to similar, traditional engine

which is well exemplified by the

technology). Good for the

AutoTune TM

development of Husqvarna's first

environment as well as the user.

A technological and environmental

chainsaw. Existing chainsaws at the time caused problems with noise

breakthrough in professional LowVib®

chainsaws, which minimises exhaust

pollution. By using motorcycle

Husqvarna's anti-vibration

emissions and optimises engine

muffler technology, which was

technology is designed to make the

performance, by compensating for

developed in-house, the noise level

operator's experience a more

different fuels, altitudes, humidity and

of the Husqvarna 90 was cut down to

comfortable and ergonomic one.

half that of the contemporary

temperatures and omitting the need to spend time on carburettor

competition. Throughout the years,

Air Injection TM

Husqvarna has proved its

Husqvarna's centrifugal air cleaning

technological leadership by

system results in reduced wear and

Husqvarna Battery Series

introducing ground-breaking and

longer operating time between filter

We have recently added a new

award-winning solutions and


chapter to our pioneering history –


products for the forestry industry,

the Husqvarna Battery Series, which

such as:

includes chainsaws and top handle


November - December 2016

Machinery Preview

saws and offers all the power,

and slopes up to 45% and offering

performance and intuitive design you

immaculate results.

cutting deck and the ability to turn on its own axis, the Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower makes short work of tall grass

expect from Husqvarna – without the need for petrol and refuelling. Just

Lawn Tractors

and speedily dispatches of large

quiet, clean, convenient operation

Husqvarna lawn tractors offer the

mowing areas.

using long-lasting lithium-ion

versatility of three cutting systems –


collecting, mulching (BioClip® ) and

P525D Front Mowers

Husqvarna's diverse range of mowing

ejection and thanks to a wide range

Husqvarna's front mowers have the

solutions further illustrates the

of attachments, your lawn tractor

smallest uncut circle in the industry.

company's commitment to

will serve as a powerful and versatile

That means you'll spend less time

technological advancement:

garden partner all year round.

trying to get out of complex areas or going back and forth to mow in tight

Push Lawnmowers


spaces. A wide range of attachments

Our versatile cutting system allows

The front-mounted cutting deck

make this mower even more versatile,

you to collect, mulch (BioClip® ) or

reaches almost everywhere and the

all year around.

eject grass clippings.

unique articulated steering provides unsurpassed manoeuvrability and a

For more information, visit

Robotic Mowers

small turning radius.


Automower ®


tackles even the most complex

Zero Turn Mowers

lawns, navigating narrow passages

With an extremely high capacity

Husqvarna P525 Front Mower

Husqvarna 450X Automower ®

November - December 2016


Machinery Preview

STIHL SR 450 backpack-mounted mistblower

Make light work of the daily tasks Agriculture is demanding and requires a wide

STIHL innovation is evident in the multi-

professional-grade models. ese hard-working

selection of power tools and equipment that are

purpose STIHL SR 450 backpack-mounted

beasts ably cope with the heavy duty work of

tough enough, consistently reliable and able to

mistblower. Its 2-in-1 conversion mechanism

clearing bramble, tough grass, thickets and weeds.

cope with extremely challenging conditions, day

adapts the machine from spraying to dusting

ere's a choice of petrol, electrical and battery-

aer day. With a legacy dating back to 1929,

with the turn of a single handle – no need for a

powered cordless options.

STIHL products deliver guaranteed

separate conversion kit and very easy to use. STIHL power tools are not only designed for

performance, innovation, quality and expert aer-sales service by a network of expert dealers.

STIHL is also known for its range of augers,

working at ground level: its pole pruners allow for

STIHL also offers a guaranteed 10 years' spares

which are designed to tackle the hard-baked

loy branches to be trimmed with ease and safety

availability on its products.

earth of Africa. e STIHL BT 130 auger offers

from the ground. e HT 100 and HT 101 pole

high torque power and combines the bene ts of

pruners are petrol powered by the STIHL 4-MIX

STIHL mistblowers and sprayers are vital

two-stroke and four-stroke technology with its

low emission motor and have a telescopic sha

equipment for any farmer and enable small

1.4kW STIHL 4-MIX® engine. e smooth-

that allows for the cutting of branches as high as

seeds, fertilisers and pesticides to be effortlessly

running, reduced noise, low emission engine is

5m above the ground. e HLA 85 is a cordless

and efficiently distributed across the required

also very economical. e BT 130's advanced

model that is quietly powerful and perfect for

area. All models are ergonomic and easy to work

vibration dampening system and large hip

noise-sensitive areas.

with, and the handle houses the engine controls

cushion pad enhance user comfort, and the

and the valve for the sprayer element so that the

STIHL Quickstop® drill brake, triggered by the

STIHL was started by Andreas Stihl, an engineer

operator's hand never leaves the handle. e SR

operator's thigh, stops the machine should the

who dreamed of creating the world's best

430 backpack mistblower is powerful enough to

drill jam in the ground.

chainsaw. Not only is STIHL today the world's best-selling chainsaw brand, the company that

spray liquid herbicides and pesticides over large areas, with an impressive range of 14.5m and a

STIHL's brushcutters range from lightweight

bears his name has taken his dream so much

large volume spray tank of 14 litres for maximum

models for occasional edge trimming and

further and created a stable of hard-working,

efficiency with fewer stops to top up the contents.

keeping small grassed areas tidy to robust

innovative power tools that have transformed how we work in so many ways.

November - December 2016


Health & Safety

Evolving from Manual Mowing Today, petroleum-based products are essential to farm operations. But for thousands of years, fodder – speci cally, hay – was the most critical form of fuel on the farm. For centuries, grass was cut by workers who walked through pastures or elds wielding small, sharp scythes. In addition to being tiring and slow, manual cutting was ineffective—the scythes worked well only when the grass was wet. e rst mechanical grass-cutting device appeared in 1830, when an English textile worker named Edwin Budding developed a mower allegedly based on a textile machine used to shear the nap off of cloth. Today's grass mowers are lighter, sleeker, better behaved, more easily controlled, more durable and a whole lot bigger than they used to be. Improved suspension and weight distribution allow machines to be worked at faster forward speeds with greater con dence, while bed designs have been developed to be strong yet cut close to the ground, with shear-bolt and discshear technology minimising collateral damage when things go wrong. Look also for blade mountings that allow knives to be changed quickly without grazed knuckles yet hold them securely when discs are spinning at colossal speed. In terms of size and sophistication, the choice has never been greater – from a simple 1.2m (4) tractor-mounted disc-bed mower for modest paddocks to a multi-armed 480hp selfpropelled giant that can fell 14m (46) of forage with each pass. Nor is there any shortage of con gurations, with November - December 2016

rear-mounted, front-mounted, combination and “reverse drive” options to extract maximum productivity from any size of tractor. Mowing without conditioning If the grass is to be spread out to dry, why bother conditioning it on the mower? ese machines cost less, weigh less and do not need as much power as their conditioning counterparts, so they can be run on smaller, lighter and more economical tractors, especially when operated in front/rear and triple combinations. Improving the ride Suspending a mounted mower's disc cutting bed from a support arm via a central pivot rather than from a pivot at the inner end of the machine is reckoned to improve the machine's ability to respond accurately to irregular surfaces. It is certainly becoming a more common design feature of mounted mowers, along with more sophisticated spring and/or hydraulic suspension systems that try to cater for demand for faster mowing speeds. Operators sitting comfortably in their suspended cabs are more inclined to drive faster in the eld, aer all. e mounting arrangement also improves weight distribution and reduces the height of the machines when folded for transport. Effective suspension is even more important on front-mounted mowers because of the different forces involved. [38] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

Most designs involve a linkage and spring arrangement that “pulls” rather than “pushes” the deck to improve contour-following responses while keeping the weight on the disc bed to a minimum without detracting from cutting height accuracy. Mowing back and forth It's not a new concept but there more trailed mower-conditioners capable of cutting to the le and right of the tractor. Apart from the advantages of cutting up-anddown rather than in lands or round-and-round, which means double swaths picked up by the forager will always be parallel, there is a positive conservation bene t. Cutting in this way gives animals and game birds a better chance of escaping unscathed than when they are corralled in “lands” or at the centre of a eld in the path of a fast-moving mower. Make mine a triple Triple mower combinations are increasingly popular among contractors and farmers with large acreages of grass to cut ahead of a selfpropelled forage harvester thanks to their combination of high output with good eld manoeuvrability and easy road mobility. Making most of the output potential with accurate steering is a challenge that can be made a lot easier with a GPS auto guidance system. e one-front-two-rear con guration is most popular as it spreads the out t's weight, but having everything on the back is an alternative. Working widths are typically from just over 7m (23) but can go to almost 9m (29 6in).

In weighing up different options, look for effective bed pressure control, on-the-move break-back protection and sufficient front/rear overlap adjustment to eliminate missed strips in elds that demand some tight cutting curves. Agriculture Mower Safety Power mowers are presently available in four basic designs: the rotary mower, the power reel mower, the riding mower, and the tractor. e rotary mower is by far the most common; it is the focus of this entry. Pushed from behind, rotary mowers feature a single rotating blade enclosed in a case and supported by wheels. As the engine turns, it spins the blade. e blade whirls at 3,000 revolutions per minute, virtually 19,000 feet (5,800 meters) per minute at the tip of the blade where the cutting actually occurs. e best rotaries feature a horn of plenty (cornucopia) or wind tunnel shape curving around the front of the housing and ending at the discharge chute through which the mown grass ies out. Self-propelled models are driven by a chain or

belt connected to the engine's drive sha. A gearbox usually turns a horizontal axle which in turn rotates the wheels. Some models have a big chain- or belt-driven movable unit that rises up off and settles down on the wheels. An accident with a rotary mower can cost you your life! We all know that a small push mower is a dangerous piece of equipment. Large agricultural mowers , by their nature can do much more damage to an individual. Following safety practices, using proper protective equipment correctly and keeping the mower in good repair will all help keep the operator safe. Mower Hazards e main source of danger with any mower is the blade, which does the actual work of cutting. In order to perform its task efficiently, the blade must be sharp and travel at a high speed. is sharp, high-speed blade can cause serious injury if a hand or foot is allowed to get under the mower deck while the engine is running.

e manner in which the mower is operated on slopes is also important. Push mowers should always be operated across the slope so your feet will not get under the mower if you slip, nor will the mower roll down the slope and run over you. Pulling a push type mower is also dangerous, as your foot might slip under the mower. Riding mowers are generally more stable when operated up and down the slope. ere is also the danger of objects being thrown from under the mower by the blade, whose tip may be moving as fast as 200 miles per hour. A person struck by a rock or piece of wire thrown with such force could experience severe injury or even death. Fueling hot engines and smoking while refueling can result in serious burns, oen to large portions of the body. Another source of danger is that of carbon monoxide poisoning. Whenever an engine is started in an enclosed area, such as a garage, the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning exists.

Rural Business

Aflatoxins – Saving African

Food from

Contamination Farmer Vongai Musembwa from Makoni District in Zimbabwe stores her maize grain in a metal silo an effective method in preventing aflatoxin contamination. Photo by Busani Bafana

Vongai Musembwa's eyes light up as she scoops up healthy white grains from a metal bin she uses to store newly harvested maize. Happily, they're free of a naturally occurring poison — a atoxin — that can contaminate crops in the eld, before or aer harvest and during storage. e metal silo protects the grains from a atoxin — produced by certain fungi that grow on food crops like maize, millet, sorghum, groundnuts, cassava and rice. Ms. Musembwa is one of more than 260 smallholder farmers in Makoni District, east of Zimbabwe's capital Harare, who have switched to non-chemical hermetic storage to prevent food from contamination. Musembwa received her metal silo from a local organization, under a multi-partner project seeking to prevent a atoxins contamination of maize grain. e Makoni District farmers are participants in a two-year project worth $1.6 million supported by the Cultivate Africa's Future programme, an initiative funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre and the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research. Under the project, Zimbabwean farmers are given access to metal November - December 2016

silos and thick plastic “superbags” to determine if improved storage can reduce a atoxin contamination in local maize grain. Crops contaminated by a atoxins develop moulds and acquire a dark colour. Livestock and humans can fall sick or die aer eating contaminated food grains. It has also been linked to childhood stunting, liver cancer and immune suppression in adults. Scientists warn that extreme weather is increasing the level of health-damaging toxic chemicals in crops, including staple foods which are key to food, nutrition and trade security in Africa. To protect themselves against extreme weather, plants generate a atoxins, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. “A atoxins are pervasive in African food systems negatively impacting health of women and children, income from agriculture value chains, and food safety and security of nations,” says RanajitBandyopadhyay, a senior plant pathologist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), where he guides research and development activities on crop diseases and poisonous chemicals produced by [40] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

certain fungi known as mycotoxins. Bandyopadhyay, said people fall sick, farmers lose income, grains are destroyed, food prices soar, pro tability of animal industries declines, reputation of African exports are tainted and nations become less food secure due to a atoxin contamination. “A atoxin contamination presents a barrier to trade and economic growth and is a serious obstacle to programmes designed to improve nutrition and agricultural production while linking smallholder farmers to markets,” Bandyopadhyay said. “ e extent of contamination varies by seasons, crops and regions and can be anywhere from none to 100% and oen hovers around 25%.” R h o d a P e a c e Tu m u s i i m e , t h e AU C ' s commissioner for rural economy and agriculture s a i d c u r b i n g t h e m e n a c e o f a at ox i n contamination was critical to improving child and maternal nutrition and health as well as achieving Africa's goal to transform its agriculture. Farmers are particularly vulnerable to fungal poisons, according to a 2015 baseline study to reduce maize-based a atoxin contamination

Rural Business and exposure in humans in Zimbabwe by researchers from the University of Zimbabwe and the international humanitarian organization, Action Contre la Faim. Dr.LovenessNyanga, the project principal investigator and researcher at the University of Zimbabwe, notes that the high-level of a atoxin contamination is a public health concern because Zimbabweans eat maize and legumes on a daily basis. e existence of a atoxins has other consequences to Africa's economy. e continent is losing more than $450 million annually when its commodities are rejected on global markets because of high contamination levels, says the Partnership for A atoxin Control in Africa (PACA), an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC) whose aim is to protect crops, livestock and people from the effects of a atoxins. e United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) con rmed that a atoxins affect 25% of the world's food crops and hurt trade. About US$1.2 billion is lost in global commerce annually as a result of a atoxins, according to IITA. While the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) notes that the World Food Programme has sharply reduced the quantities of maize it has been able to buy locally in Africa since 2007 because of a atoxin contamination. Africa also faces a health burden associated with humans' exposure to contamination. Harming our health An estimated 26,000 people die annually in subSaharan Africa from liver cancer resulting from chronic a atoxin exposure, according to a 2013 research by IFPRI. Globally, 5% to 30% of all liver cancer cases are linked to a atoxin exposure, with the highest incidences occurring in Africa, according to the Platform for African-European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD), an eight-year project sponsored by the European Commission. In Mozambique, a high prevalence of liver cancer in southern part of the country has been associated with consumption of a atoxin contaminated food, especially from groundnuts. Sustainable solutions Cultivate Africa's Future is one of several ongoing efforts to contain a atoxin

contamination. If experiments with the plastic “s u p e r b a g s” a r e e ff e c t i v e a g a i n s t contamination, they will be a highly sought aer item by Zimbabwean farmers who lose up to 30% of harvested maize every year to pests and poor post-harvest handling. More than $50 million worth of maize, the staple food, is lost annually during storage alone, says Ringson Chitsiko, the permanent s e c re t ar y i n Z i mb abwe ' s m i n ist r y of agriculture. To ght a atoxins contamination and maintain food quality and safety, scientists recommend an integrated approach, including, among other techniques, timely planting and harvesting, proper plant density and managing insects. is is in addition to crop rotation, shelling, enhancement of proper plant health and nutrition, rapid drying of grains in the sun for days, or with driers to reduce the moisture content and proper storage. Bandyopadhyay leads Africa-wide efforts on the development and scaling-up of the a atoxin biocontrol technology known as A asafe, a novel biological product developed by the IITA to ght pre-and post-harvest a atoxin contamination. Already the IITA has a programme to develop A asafe in Malawi where between 40% and 100% of the country's groundnut-based commodities contain unsafe toxin levels. A asafe has also been tested in Burkina Faso, Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal since 2009. About 30,000 farmers in Nigeria, Senegal, e Gambia and Kenya are using A asafe and getting 200 to 500% return on investment, Bandyopadhyay said. Tanzania in June 2016 announced that it was undertaking eld trials in the use of Alfasafe targeting four regions. A 2012 study in Tanzania established high incidents of a atoxin contamination in maize and groundnuts in the country. e Africa A atoxin Information Management System platform spearheaded by PACA is creating a “one stop shop” database for a atoxin-related information in the health, trade and agriculture sectors as a way to raise awareness and prevent contamination. e A asafe product has been registered in S e ne g a l and G ambi a w he re a atox i n contamination is a major deterrent for groundnut exports. Bandyopadhyay said a atoxin exposure in humans is rampant in West Africa with the toxin found in the body [41] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

uids of 100% Senegalese and e Gambian people in a few instances. In 2005 the World Bank estimated that investments in a atoxin control can add $281 million to the Senegalese economy from increased export volume and price differential of a atoxin-safe crops. A key impediment is the level of a atoxin awareness among farmers and consumers. Because of poor policing of food safety standards in many African countries, researchers say that many people eat contaminated foods, especially the staples such as maize, legumes and groundnuts, without checking for signs of a atoxins. Researchers at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi- Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in June 2016 announced the decoding of the DNA of the ground nut or peanut (Arachishypogaea), an oil and protein rich crop of global importance with the annual production of 42.3 million metric tonnes. Rajeev Varshney, the Research Programme Director- Genetic Gains at ICRISAT said in an online interview that groundnuts, though an important crop in terms of nutrition and income in Asia and Africa, face low productivity as compared to Americas. e current pace of developing improved peanut varieties and their productivity may not be able to meet the demand of ever increasing global population, especially in Asia and Africa where in some countries productivity is less than one tonne per hectare. According to the FAO, the world average productivity of groundnuts is 1, 6 tonnes per hectare. Varshney said the gene resources generated t hroug h t his bre akt hroug h provide an opportunity for scientists to prepare an efficient road map for developing improved groundnut varieties with increased productivity and quality. “Peanuts produced from African countries and India have high level of a atoxin contamination,” said Varshney. “is makes peanut produce unsuitable for export to Europe and Americas. erefore it is really important to work in the direction of producing varieties with minimal a atoxin contamination.” Manish Pandey, a groundnut genomics Scientist at ICRISAT said the availability of the DNA sequence will accelerate basic research to answer important biological questions about groundnuts and help crop improvement programmes around the world.

November - December 2016

New Product & Services

The pumps are used in the dairy industry, breweries and wineries, and a lot of other food applications.

Complete process pump solutions for the food and beverage industry Verder South Africa offers complete process pump solutions for the food and beverage industry, where high hygiene standards, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are critical factors. e food and beverage industry is one of the most important markets for Verder South Africa, points out pump specialist Kobus Fourie. High-quality production requires an environment that meets and exceeds the local hygienic requirements. Verder therefore has a wide product range to meet all the challenges in this industry. “Our pumps are used in the dairy industry, breweries and wineries, and a lot of other food applications. ey pump chocolate and dough, in addition to water and CIP (Clean-in-place) uids. Besides our food-certi cated pumps, we also offer a lot of industry pumps with sanitary connections for less sensitive applications,” Fourie elaborates. Peristaltic pumps such as Verder ex are used in the animal-feeds sector to introduce additives to the mix. e Verder ex range features peristaltic options perfect for this type of dosing, including high pressure/low ow, programmable presets, multiple-stream heads, and OEM component pumps. All models are available with FDA hose and tube types. Molasses and avourants are added to animal feed to make the mix palatable. Molasses has a viscous, syrupy and slightly oily consistency, oen with small particulates. is uid type is well-suited to the Verdergear internal rotary gear pump.

Carbon bushes can be speci ed if the molasses grade may cause compatibility issues. Where the sweetener is of a lower viscosity (less than 50 cps), such as a caramel- avour mixture, a Verder ex industrial peristaltic pump is recommended. is provides a constant ow rate, is very low shear, and can handle capacities as high as 90 m3/h. Fourie adds that Verder ex hose pumps are excellent for anaerobic digestion, which produces biogas for renewable energy. ese hose pumps are also ideal for rotor-chopped cold organic material, warm organic material, warm slurry, waste water liquor, and enzyme and chemical solutions. Verderhus concentric screw pumps are excellent for pumping waste with large solids such as bones. e percentage of solid matter here can increase by up to 13%. ese pumps are available with sha sealing, or in a cantilever version. e maximum ow rate is 1 030 m3/h. Verderpro progressing cavity pumps are ideal for pumping sh waste to produce biogas, while Verder ex Smart Pumps minimise the labour costs associated with harvesting yeast in the brewery sector. Reducing the cost of food-waste disposal into land ll is a key performance indicator for manufacturers today, which is where Verder plays an integral [43] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

role as well. Resistant to clogging even when pumping bred uids and unaffected by viscosity changes, the Verder HUS pump can handle diatomaceous earth, slurry, yeast, sugar, gelatine, hop, corn and malt, as well as agricultural waste such as chicken necks, bones, compost, biogas and pet food. In addition, abrasion is not an issue. It can also run dry without damage, whereas progressive cavity pumps and rotary lobe pumps would incur considerable damage. e Verder HUS centrifugal pump has fewer components, and therefore costs less than a positive displacement pump. For a given ow rate, it also has a smaller footprint. It is also more energy efficient than a positive displacement pump, using a smaller motor (typically from 2.2 kW to 7.5 kW). “Verder's expertise lies not only in a sound understanding of pump mechanisms, but also in the process itself, including the pipework requirement to reduce or prevent blockages,” Fourie highlights. Although a pump is a simple device with inlet and outlet connectors and a motor, a great deal of expertise is required for optimum application. “Verder also understands process engineering, recognising that the pump itself is but part of a bigger system,” Fourie concludes. November - December 2016

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New Product & Services

SKF offers new Lincoln PowerLuber

grease gun SKF announced the introduction of its Lincoln 12-volt, lithiumion PowerLuber. Developed for quick, effortless application of lubricant, this grease tool is suitable for agricultural, automotive, construction, general maintenance and industrial applications. e 12-volt PowerLuber features a lithium-ion battery for maximum power and efficiency and delivers grease at up to 8,000 psi (551 bar). Its three-point base keeps the tool upright for user convenience and helps prevent dirt and debris from entering the motor. Its ergonomic, lighter-weight construction reduces operator fatigue and allows easy access to tight areas. e tool's new dual-lip follower enables bulk or cartridge delivery and eliminates grease bypass. e 12-volt PowerLuber has a bright, built-in light emitting diode to illuminate the work

area. Also, the grease gun has an integrated hose holder and tube guide for secure hose storage and easy threading of the grease barrel.


Higher yield and

increased capacity with double rows Pöttinger has launched its new Duplex Seed drill that plants seeds in double rows and is reported to lead to increase in yields Duplex Seed plants silage and corn maize in double rows, which is claimed to increase yield by up to 10 per cent and increase output during drilling thanks to the higher driving speed. Duplex Seed is presented by the company as an economical alternative to conventional precision seed drilling. e seed drill model also has the ability to change quickly between seed types thereby offering the exibility of using one seed drill for cereals and maize. Further key advantages include direct control of the seed ow as well as monitoring of each maize row. In terms of plant cultivation, the comapny describe the effects of double row planting as positive. Planting maize in a double row creates the perfect distribution density conditions: more light, more water and more nutrients. Because there is 30 per cent more space between the seeds and therefore 70 per cent more space available for each plant, the roots can spread out in the soil much more easily. e individual maize plants then display less competitive growth behaviour. e roots spread into the free areas. Using a side strip of fertiliser actively encourages the roots to grow outwards. Moreover, the whole maize crop can absorb more sunlight because the plants do not shade each other as much as in a conventional formation. Increased photosynthesis is the result. Double-row drilling with also provides better erosion protection because it does not leave behind additional wheel marks. In addition, it delivers an increase in performance of around +25 per cent during planting thanks to the higher driving speed of up to 10 km/h with an increased hectare output of almost two hectares per hour with four double

rows (working width 3.0 m), the company said.

November - December 2016



Biotechnology: A new era for plant pathology and plant protection Plant biotechnology ushers in a new era for plant scientists working to maintain healthy plants, optimize crop yields, and minimize pesticide usage. One of the ultimate aims of agricultural biotechnology is to feed an expanding world population. During the last 30 years, production of the main food crops has doubled. is increase of production has mainly been achieved by introduction of high-yielding varieties, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Due to this increase, the share of people in developing countries with insufficient average food supply has decreased from 74 % in 1962 to 6 % in 1988, representing 230 million people. In many regions of the world, the intensi cation of crop production has led to deterioration of soil fertility, erosion, salinization, reduction of biodiversity, and other deleterious side-effects. e use of pesticides has more than tripled since 1970 and is a growing concern especially in developed countries. Despite the intensive use of chemical crop protection methods, the losses due to pests, pathogens and weeds are more t h a n 4 0 % o f at t a i n a b l e p r o d u c t i o n , representing a value of more than 240 billion US$. Genetic engineering offers new possibilities for the breeding of plant varieties with increased resistance to pests and pathogens. New resistant varieties may lessen the dependence on pesticides and help securing sufficient crop yields in the future. In plant genetic engineering, genes from November - December 2016

different organisms (other plants, bacteria, viruses, etc.) are transferred into the genome of 1 a plant cell . e bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens is frequently used as a vehicle for the introduction of foreign DNA into the plant genome. In nature, these bacteria transfer some of their genes into the plant genome, thereby inducing a plant disease which leads to production of compounds used by the bacteria. In genetic engineering, the genes causing disease are replaced by genes conferring other traits. For some plants, e.g. wheat or maize, Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer is difficult or not possible. In these cases, a technique called particle bombardment is oen applied. In this method, gold or tungsten particles of about 5 µm in diameter are coated with DNA and shot into plant cells, where the DNA is released and incorporated into the plant genome. Aer incorporation of the foreign gene, a plant is regenerated from an engineered cell, and the traits coded for by the transferred gene are expressed by the plant. Resistance of transgenic plants to insect pests or diseases has been achieved in more than 20 different crops, including maize, potato, squash, cotton, soybean, oilseed rape, tomato, tobacco, alfalfa, rice, barley and others. Very high levels of resistance to insect pests and viral diseases have been reached, while examples of successful protection to bacterial and fungal diseases are still scarce. Insect resistance has mostly been obtained by using a gene derived from the common soil [50] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. is bacterium produces a protein called Bt toxin which is toxic for certain insects. Intensive investigations have led to a detailed knowledge of the mechanism and speci city of toxin activity. In several studies, no effect of Bt toxin on humans, other mammals, and most non-target insects could be shown. Transgenic plants expressing Bt toxin were found to be protected against repeated heavy infestations of the target insect pest which totally devastated non-transgenic control plants. Other approaches to insect resistance focus on the use of genes which are part of the natural defense system of plants. e products of these genes interfere with insect digestion. For example, plant-derived protease inhibitors prevent protein degradation, and amylase inhibitors block starch- degrading enzymes in the insect midgut. Some of these strategies have proven to be effective and may soon be used in the development of commercial varieties. Virus resistance is mostly achieved by introducing gene sequences derived from pathogenic viruses into the crop genome. e introduction of genes coding for viral coat proteins has been very successful. During the last years, this strategy has led to a number of crop varieties resistant to important plant viruses. More recently, also other viral genes were found to confer resistance, e.g. replicase genes, defective viral genes or antisense coat protein genes. e mechanisms of resistance are not yet completely understood. Strategies applied to achieve fungal resistance

make use of plant genes acting on different levels of the plant defence system against pathogens. Several of these strategies have led to increased resistance, but so far the level of protection was mostly to low to be of agronomic importance. Chitinase and glucanase genes coding for enzymes which break down fungal cell walls have been used in several crops including rice and have led to signi cant protection in some cases. e growing understanding of plant defense mechanisms is expected to lead to increased levels of protection in the near future. Also methods investigated to obtain resistance to bacteria have not led to high levels of protection yet. Reduction of disease development in tobacco was achieved by transferring a cecropin gene derived from the Giant silk moth. Cecropins are produced by insects to ght pathogen attack and had a similar effect in some plants. Other partially successful strategies make use of genes which code for toxindetoxifying enzymes or plant genes involved in the response to pathogen attack.

Besides genetically engineered plants, also viruses and bacteria have been genetically altered in order to develop new crop protection methods. Baculoviruses are insect pathogens which have been used as a biological pesticide since the 1930s. As these viruses may take weeks to kill their host aer infection, their usefulness has been limited. By transferring genes coding for insectspeci c toxins, insect hormones and insect enzymes into the virus genome, the killing time has been reduced by up to 50 %, which is not enough to achieve sufficient protection. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin genes have been introduced into different bacteria for Bt toxin delivery to insect pests. In one approach, transgenic bacteria expressing Bt toxin are killed and then sprayed on the crop plants like a pesticide. Another approach uses bacteria living inside of plants for Bt toxin delivery. e safety aspects of transgenic organisms have been discussed and investigated since the rst successful gene transfer in the early 1970s. e release of transgenic plants is subject to different legal regulations. Before a transgenic

crop may be released, potential hazards like the possibility of gene transfer to other plants or microorganisms, weediness of the engineered crop, and the expression of undesirable traits resulting from secondary effects of the gene insertion are examined. Also possible toxic and allergenic effects are analysed, especially if the engineered plant is destined to serve as a food crop. So far, no deleterious effects of transgenic plants or other organisms have been reported. Several other transgenic crops are approaching commercialization. In the eld of pest and disease resistance, it is likely that more insect resistant crops expressing Bt toxins or virus resistant crops engineered with viral genes will enter the market in the near future. Within some years, varieties with enhanced resistance against fungal and bacterial pathogens may also become available. Other applications of transgenic plants which may reach the marketplace within some years include e.g. cotton with altered bers, crops with improved nutritional value and plants producing biodegradable plastic, cheap vaccines and pharmaceuticals.


Vermiculite The mineral that boosts soils and crop yields Food is essential for life. But despite major efforts to alleviate food shortage and outright hunger of millions of people, there are still approximately 800 million individuals who go to bed with empty stomachs every night. e need to feed approximately 9 to 10 billion people during the middle of the 21st century will put increasing pressure on land resources and it is obvious that the production of food will have to rise to keep pace with rising food demands. e per capita food production is still declining in some parts of the world, for example in SubSaharan Africa. One of the biophysical root causes of falling per capita food production is the declining quality and quantity of the land resource base, in particular the soil. Soils, the foundation for survival and food November - December 2016

security, are increasingly over-exploited in some parts of the world. In order to reverse this trend of land and soil degradation it is necessary to either expand the land base under cultivation or to intensify crop production per unit of land. But even if the land base is extended, most of the additional land that would be brought into cultivation is of lower quality and at risk for soil degradation. Clearly, the declining soil quantity and quality in large parts of the developing world poses a threat to food security. Some land has inherently low fertility because of the soils overly infertile rock formations. Other land is made less fertile due to human intervention, such as the extraction of nutrients through harvesting and other exports without replenishing the extracted soil nutrients. In some parts [54] FARMERS REVIEW AFRICA

of Africa the soils are degraded, eroded and successively mined of their nutrients. Nutrients are essential for plant growth. From the 18 elements essential for higher plants, all of them, with the exception of nitrogen, are derived from naturally occurring rocks and minerals ere are several ways to enhance and maintain the health of the soil basis. e application of so-called agrogeological practices is only one of the biophysical instruments that are used to tackle long-term soils related problems. Agrogeology, or the use of rocks for crops, is an interdisciplinary approach that aims to study geological processes and natural rock and mineral materials that contribute to the maintenance of agroecosystems 1995. It is an applied, problemsolving, interdisciplinar y earth and

agricultural science that has a speci c role in integrated nutrient management strategies. What is Vermiculite? Vermiculite consists of shiny akes, resembling mica. When heated to a high temperature, akes of vermiculite expand as much as eight to 30 times their original size. e expanded vermiculite is a light-weight, re-resistant, and odourless material and has been used in numerous products, including insulation for attics and walls. Sizes of vermiculite products range from very ne particles to large (coarse) pieces nearly an inch long. Vermiculite has been used in various industries for over 80 years. It is used in the construction, agricultural, horticultural, and industrial markets. Vermiculite has the excellent properties to be essential component for seedling,

planting, germination and cutting. When combined with organic material (peat, coco-peat and compost), vermiculite promotes faster root growth and gives quick anchorage to young roots. Farming using the mineral has been successful in Japan, Germany, US, South Africa and Canada. He said application of vermiculite at the bottom of furrows below the level of fertilisers would reduce leaching when precipitation occurs and therefore reducing fertiliser loss and leading to a higher growth efficiency. It also has a high cat-ion exchange capacity that helps prevent leaching of essential nutrients, especially nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. It aerates the soil and holds moisture-like organic matter and this is probably why it works so well in even small amounts. It is also ideal for small seed germination, medium or for covering like cabbage or

tomato s e e ds and tob a c c o s e e db e d germination. Uganda is the second in the world aer South Africa in vermiculite production with an estimated 50 million metric tonnes at Namekhara and its surrounding areas. According to Ugandan geologist vermiculite mineral deposits in Manafwa District, eastern region, can contribute to the transformation of Uganda's crop output by three to ve times the current production levels. Nathan Wolukawu Wanda, chief executive officer, Agro-Minerals Africa Uganda, says vermiculite, a naturally occurring mineral found at Namekhala, Butiru sub-county in Manafwa District, that has ability to improve the soils' and plants' capacity to capture large amounts of the essential nutrients such as n it ro ge n , ph o sph orou s , p ot a ss iu m , ammonium, calcium and magnesium, for healthy, better and rapid plant-growth.

<<p23 need. Efficiency, Reliability and Commitment, this is our priority,” says Fred Coelho, Managing Director at Bagtech International at the AgriIndaba Investment Conference. e Bagtech team actively participates at national and international market level in order to develop new technologies for the African continent – in other words from Africa to Africa. Bagtech not only supply but clients consider them as a partner. e company offers technical visits to the customer's facility to understand the client's needs and their business before selling any equipment or services. Bagtech offers its own technology in fertiliser equipment – always focusing on continuous improvements for customer bene t. e company has developed auto correction algorithms which detect changes of ow characteristics in fertilisers due to changes in density or moisture. Advanced and intelligent monitoring systems can assist plant operators with the control of the plant and supply critical information when needed, accessible from around the world. Highly accurate Servo radial gates control the ow of fertilisers very precisely without causing any damage to the product. e company has shown a major growth and, is currently employing +150 staff, having as its clients some of the major players in the fertiliser market, including Toyota in Kenya, Gavilon in S.A and others and is present in +30% of the main ports in Africa, with more than 70 plants sold across Africa. is is Bagtech. Victor Ndlovu interviewing Fred Coelho MD of Bagtech International

Market Information

GEA showcases wider range at Agri-Expo Livestock 2016 e Agri-Expo Livestock event at Sandringham, Stellenbosch is the most prestigious livestock event in South Africa. e 2016 event, which took place from 13 to 15 October, included cattle championships, youth shows, animal and product displays, animal parades, demonstrations, machinery and equipment. At an event such as this, it is important that the cows are milked comfortably and timeously. As in previous years, GEA Southern & Eastern Africa provided an eight-point side-by-side milking parlour as a goodwill service to the event organisers and farmers. e parlour showcased GEA's signature

contemporary, space-efficient design, which ensures that milking runs smoothly, without any stress to the cows and with considerable ease of use for operators. It was tted with the revolutionary IQ milking cluster, which is unbeatable when it comes to efficiency, and included the GEA Dematron 70 milk recording system. is innovative control unit records precise data, like the exact yield from each individual cow, and also analyses that data, which is invaluable in helping farmers to monitor production and the condition of their cows for precision farming, optimum yield and a healthy, happy herd. is year, GEA also showcased their total

solutions approach, and brought along some of their other products that can bene t dairy farmers across the entire production process, from hygiene equipment to compressors and ermo King T-Dairy for transportation cooling. e goal was to show industry players that GEA can provide its customers with equipment, solutions and service of the highest quality, with some of the best professional support in the industry, all from one source. As always, the milking parlour was a draw card, especially for the many school groups who attend the expo, and the organisers and farmers were grateful to GEA for taking such excellent care of their animals.

Market Information

GEA optimises wine production with new decanter skid Premium free-run juice from the rst to the last grape e new GEA Wine Decanter in skid design opens up new, highly pro table production perspectives to winegrowers: 100 % of must recovered have a comparable quality to premium free-run juice in grape juicing. e GEA Wine Decanter rst showcased at BrauBeviale 2016 covers a spectrum of ve applications with just one skid in the process stages juicing, clari cation and lees processing. It does all this with signi cant time and quality gains whilst simultaneously saving substantial costs.

Perfect grape juicing in 90 seconds Major strength of the new wine decanter is the unparalleled grape juicing quality: e total yield of must has a consistently high quality. In consequence, the deterioration in quality, which occurs in conventional processes aer around 50 % of the grapes are processed, is a thing of the past. e processing time with the skid in continuous operating mode is under 90 seconds instead of the usual one up to three hours. e added value for the winegrower: the payback time is typically just 1.5 years.

A wine decanter for ve elds of application Due to its innovative design the skid is multifunctional: applicable for juicing, must clari cation and treatment of otation sediment, must and wine lees. “is makes the skid a perfect all-rounder in wine production – ideally suited for round-the-clock application and also for the economical processing of small batches", says Frank Schauz Product Manager Sales at GEA.

Plug & Play for easy handling anks to state-of-the-art decanter technology in skid design, the wine decanter can be deployed in all areas of red and white wine production: for thermovini cation and thermo ash process as well as mash fermentation. As a pre-mounted skid with a wide selection of machine sizes, it offers customized solutions for every winery. e complete skid requires just one machine operator for on-going operation, supports CIP

processes and is simple to operate and maintain. “ose are optimal preconditions for wineries of all sizes to produce red and white wines in consistently high premium quality, with optimised productivity, yield and pro t”, Frank Schauz concludes.


November - December 2016

Market Information

Farming 4.0: smart technologies transfer

Digitalisation e digitalization has already found its way into

big data to smart data

digital media is mainly dependent on two

At this year's EuroTier (November 15 – 18, 2016,


preconditions: e applications need to be user-

Hanover, Germany) GEA presents according to

e automate d m i l k i ng s y ste ms G E A

friendly and need to provide easy-to-understand

dairy farming. But the satisfaction of users of

their motto “Smart Technology for Future

DairyProQ and GEA Monobox are further on

results. For that reason GEA offers technologies

Farming” intelligent technologies for the

the rise due to continuous enhancements. e

that combine all data in a way to enable the farmer

automation and digitalization in dairy farming.

Monobox with its revolutionary and linear

to easily work with them. is can be seen in

Digitalization has already entered the

design enables smooth and easy animal traffic.

intelligent automated feeding systems with

agricultural sector some time ago. On average,

DairyProQ offers a milking process that is

wireless integrated control (WIC) or in the herd

today's farmers have access to 400,000 data more

decentralized and individual to each milking

management soware GEA Dair yNet in connection with 365FarmNet.

t h an 5 0 ye ar s a g o. B ut t h i s d o e s n ot

stall, with a high level of system stability and a

automatically bring better times, as every farmer

top milking performance. Both systems are

may ask himself what to do with all that

based on a modular approach for easy

information. GEA has intensely dealt with the

servicing. rough usage of modern sensor

topic on how equipment and digital

technology dairy farmers can focus on the

technologies together can release and support

essentials: animal health and milk quality. With

farmers. e integrated applications focus on

the CMIQ-monitoring, GEA globally presents

the relation between the human, the animal and

the rst system to identify a mastitis risk on

the technology. So the farmer is able to increase

quarter-individual level in real-time. In sum,

animal health, milk quality, productivity and

the CMIQ sensor technology veri ably

pro tability.

increases the herd health while the workload is decreased.

Focus on the costumer GEA offers a comprehensive service concept for the long-term success of our milk producers. All dealers, sales people and service technicians are highly quali ed, have several years of experience in their eld of expertise and support dairy farmers in keeping their milking systems running. In addition, continuous service programs and scheduled maintenance provide for best equipment performance and sustainable dairy operation.


@ African Agri Investment Indaba

Agri Indaba Mr Sebastian Kopulande CEO of Zambia ZITIC interviewd by agri leaders team.

Victor Ndlovu of Farmers Review Africa at Agri Indaba vodacom's Vuyani Jarana speaking on the role of ICT ďŹ nancing in agriculture



November - December 2016



Farmers Review Nov/Dec  

Farmers Review Africa provides farmers with detailed, educational, experience-based content and professional insight to help them improve th...

Farmers Review Nov/Dec  

Farmers Review Africa provides farmers with detailed, educational, experience-based content and professional insight to help them improve th...