In this Issue: Gmos: why is afric a standing by?
N e w s , p o l i c y & t e c h n o l o g y f o r a f r i c a ’ s c r o p, a n i m a l & h o r t i c u l t u r e i n d u s t r y
milk sector in kenya: Which way forward? poultry: fowl typhoid big interview: taha ceo importance of soil analysis www.agribusinessafrica.net
Volume 1 • ISSUE 2, No. 2 • ISSN 2409-1235
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Christophe de Vroej - Trade and Communication Counsellor, EU delegation to Kenya addresses participants at the Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Conference in Nairobi, Kenya
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GMOs in Africa - Can GMOs sort out Africaâ€™s food security challenges?
Importance of soil analysis
poultry 24 Management of Fowl Typhoid Disease
Jacqueline Mkindi, Chief Executive Officer of the Tanzania Horticultural Association, (TAHA),
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Milk sector in Kenya - What is the way forward?
Industry Focus: Sugar Cane Industry in UgandaProduction, challenges, market trends, future prospects Technology: Grain Storage Silos
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Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own... Samuel Johnson april 2015 | agri-Business africa
editorial Land consolidation the future of agriculture in Africa
e must say that land is a hot issue in Africa, more so in Kenya, where elections have been won or lost by promising to reform land in one way or another in the country over the years. But a recent report titled Food: Our Health, Wealth and Security, a policy document prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and which was reported by the Daily Nation could soon change the way land is utilised in the country - if it ever sees the light of day. “The policy proposes movement of millions of people in rural areas to town estates or settlement centres with a view to consolidate agriculture land and boost food production. Resettlement of people would be undertaken by both the county and national governments” notes the Nation. With increasing population in rural areas, especially in the high potential areas where the country sources the bulk of its grains, milk and vegetables and other produce, pressure on land continues to increase by the generation. Land consolidation can be the answer to these problems. However, a few questions need to be asked: Who will skin the proverbial cat? Who, among the political class, will be willing to sacrifice the votes, which will surely be lost in the process of delivering on this idea? For the road to land consolidation is ridden with political minefields. The other point to worry about in this debate is the process that will be used by the authorities to consolidate land, including the right of farm owners to retain ownership even in communal land holdings, as envisaged in this report. Many agree that the issue of land consolidation and creation of settlement areas in rural areas will not only improve declining productivity of land but also enable the Government to improve the livelihood of rural populations through the provision of water, electricity and other essential services across the country. In a report called Why land consolidation is important, the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN noted that “the success and sustainability of rural development programmes will depend to a large extent on how countries address the vast numbers of small and fragmented parcels.” Land reform is an important exercise in Kenya, as the country is increasingly 2
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
becoming a net importer of produce, like maize, that it was self-reliant in only a few years ago. But Kenya is not facing the issue of shrinking agricultural land alone. A majority of countries in Africa face the same dilemma. Even countries that seem to have not reached this milestone, and where land is still abundant like Tanzania, Zambia and the DRC must begin reforming their land holdings to ensure that agricultural land is protected and incentives to have economical farm sizes are provided for in law. The continent needs to learn from each other as it seeks to feed itself and export. While many of the developed world countries dealt with land reform many centuries ago, China, emerging from being a back-water developing country to a country self-reliant in a number of key food commodities, provides a good point to start from. Mr. Chen Xiwen, deputy head of Central Rural Work Leading Group told the press that “a series of rural reform approaches have been adopted. For example, we have addressed how to guide the orderly transfer of rural land use rights in addition to how to give farmers powers and functions over the share of collectively owned assets.” “The central government has also set “three bottom lines”: no change in the nature of public ownership, no crossing the red line of farmland (which means “keeping the minimum amount of farmland steady”), and farmers’ interests should not be harmed. If we don’t protect China’s farmland, it will be hard to meet the goals we set for ourselves of self-sufficiently meeting our basic grain needs and ensuring the absolute safety of the grain supply.” added Mr. Han Jun, also a deputy director of the Office of Central Rural Work Leading Group. It remains to be seen how Kenya intends to guide its land reform agenda this time round. Even the promise of a new Constitution, and a new Lands Commission, long pushed for to be the panacea to the land problems in Kenya, seem to have made only small, largely unnoticeable changes to the general wananchi in Kenya. But, we do think that this document, if implemented, could be the spark Kenya needs to return to being the land of plenty. Have a good read Editor.
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China focuses on modernisation and land reforms to drive agric
CHINA/AGRIC POLICY - Chinese authorities issued their first policy document of 2014 during the Communist Party’s yearly policy meeting, placing importance on rural reform, modernising its agriculture and maintaining agriculture as the foundation of the economy. The policy document, dubbed the “No.1 Central Document”, is the 11th consecutive year in which the document has focused on rural issues. “Rural reform and development are confronted with a more complicated environment and an increasing number of difficulties and challenges, as the country is going through a period of transfor-
mation,” the document said. China’s rapid marches toward industrialization, urbanization and information-based development are imposing pressing requirement on the development of modern agriculture. The document reckons that to confront the “three rural issues” - agriculture, rural areas and farmers - the country must improve its national food security system, deepen rural land system reform and improve rural governance, while intensifying support and protection for agriculture and promoting financial support for rural areas. The document put improving the national food security system on the top of the reform list for 2014 and the next few years. “Taking good control of its own bowl is a fundamental principle the government must stick to over a long period of time,” the document showed. China has been striving to maintain food self-sufficiency, setting a minimum line of 120 million hectares of arable land to ensure food security – Xinhua
Innovation can help reduce food waste - Rabobank
NETHERLANDS/FOOD WASTE – A recent report released by Rabobank notes that innovation is the most effective means of making an immediate difference to reducing waste for food and agriculture (F&A) companies. Optimisation of supply chain processes and business models may be required to achieve this goal. “Looking at the food chain from farm to fork, most wastage occurs within and between F&A companies during agricultural production, post-harvest handling and storage, processing and distribution. For almost every type of food, producers 4
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
account for more than half the loss of value,” says Rabobank F&A supply chain analyst Paul Bosch. The European F&A industry is currently losing EUR 60 billion (US$ 65 billion) of value each year through food that is wasted in the supply chain and never reaches the consumer. According to Rabobank’s report, there are three main areas where innovation can tangibly help: harvesting and handling crops, packaging food and monitoring fresh produce. Through these, companies can realise up to EUR 10 billion (US$ 11 billion) of savings by using new approaches to reducing food waste. For example, companies can invest in new machinery to harvest greater volumes whilst reducing bruising or damage to the crop. Better use of packaging can also protect against damage, whilst monitoring can give producers information about food freshness to optimise sales and availability. Rabobank suggests food processors and retailers should start to select partners who see the benefit in reducing waste.
More than 97% of imports meet EU pesticide requirements
EU/FOOD SAFETY - A new report released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) indicates that more than 97% of food samples evaluated by the Authority in 2013 contain pesticide residue levels that fall within legal limits set by the body. The findings are part of EFSA’s 2013 annual report on pesticide residues in food, which includes the results for almost 81,000 food samples from 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway, which were tested for the presence of 685 pesticides. The report found that 1.5% exceeded the legal limits. It also found that multiple residues were found in 27.3% of the samples. Samples from third countries exceeding legal limits was higher (5.7%) than for EU countries (1.4%). The Authority has concluded that the presence of pesticide residues in food was unlikely to have a long-term effect on consumer health, with the risk of European citizens being exposed to harmful levels of residues via their diet being rated as low.
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High mycotoxin levels around the world affect animal health
AUSTRIA/MYCOTOXIN – A report released by Biomin has shown that the burden of mycotoxins, of which aflatoxins are the most famous, continues to weigh heavily on animal health all over the world. The Biomin Mycotoxin Survey covers
agricultural commodity samples from 64 countries, based on analyses conducted to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production by mycotoxins worldwide. The survey results provide an insight on the incidence of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in the primary components used for feed which include maize, wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage. The survey shows that North America and South Europe face the highest threat from mycotoxin contamination, with Africa facing the least threat, on average.
Of all mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol poses the most frequent threat to livestock with a prevalence of 66 % and average contamination level of 1,394 parts per billion, with 82% of samples exceeding thresholds. Levels of fumonisins and zearalenone also present a cause for concern, according to the study. Mycotoxins are fungal metabolites toxic to animals and humans produced by common molds found in almost all types of grains. The study found that a typical agricultural commodity sample intended for animal feedstuff contains 30 different metabolites.
Rains wreak havoc in India, affect crop harvest INDIA/FOOD SECURITY - Unseasonal rains in central and northern India have brought extensive damage to farms around the region, affecting wheat output that was forecasted to break the record this year. The rains have also destroyed other crops including pulses, fruits and vegetables. According to sources, wheat production is expected to fall up to 2% due to the unexpected rains, with production falling to 93.94 million tonnes – forcing the world’s number 2 wheat producer and consumer to import wheat for the first time since 2010. The rains have affected up to 10 million acres The country last imported about 200,000 tonnes of wheat in 2010 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture data and purchases since then have been low because of bumper domestic production, according to Reuters. According to Reuters, the country might not be forced to import any substantial quantities of wheat this year due to bulging stockpiles in government silos. Stocks lying with the state-run Food Corporation of India totalled 19.52 million tonnes on March 1, substantially higher than a target of 4 million tonnes. agribusinessafrica.net
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
Europe abolishes milk quotas, Africa threatened by imports
EU/REGULATORY - The European Union has abolished milk production quotas in the 28 states in the Union in a move that is bound to affect production volumes and patterns in the EU and could significantly affect milk production and prices around the world. Africa, a net exporter of milk products could face unprecedented levels of imports from the EU, as local consumption cannot absorb any increase in the EU region, with the African market becoming a fertile ground to target with products including milk powder and cheese, reducing incentives to grow the milk industry in the continent. The quota system, abolished on April 1 this year, had been part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU since 1984. It was established to address the problem of overproduction in the region, originally as a temporary measure. It means that for the first time in more than 30 years farmers within the EU will produce as much milk as they can without restrictions from the EU. “Farmers had been increasing production, but demand in Europe was static; butter mountains and milk lakes began to form. The idea of milk quotas, to reduce production, gathered pace. Europe said let’s try curbing production for five years, and the five years ran into 30 years of quotas,” Mark Magan, a dairy farmer told Irish Times. Each EU state has a quota that it distributes to farmers in its territory, if any member produces above its allocated quota, it has to pay a penalty, called super levy to the EU, at US$ 30.27 per 6
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100kg of milk. According to a research by the MTT Agrifood Research Finland report, Competitiveness of Northern European dairy value chains, the removal of quotas will ‘speed up’ the increasing geographical concentration of milk production in Northern European countries Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and the Baltic states into a milk production belt across Northern Europe. For many EU countries the removal of the quotas provides them with an opportunity to expand their dairy production that have been throttled and allow some competition. According to some estimates milk production is bound to rise 2% post-quota in the EU zone. The EU makes up 30% of all world dairy exports. A recent survey by the EC shows that there shall be ‘no surge in milk production is expected in 2015 over the 2014 record, despite the quota expiry in April 2014’, expecting an increase of just 1% in 2015. However, long term, production is expected to rise dramatically. Ireland, which has had constant milk production for years, is planning to take advantage of the loosening of production to increase its production by 50% within five years, with Board Bia, the country’s milk promotion board calling it the ‘opportunity of the century’. Glanbia, the country’s largest dairy opened in March a new factory valued at US$ 200 million that will process high end milk products for export to take advantage of the removal of quotas. According to analysts, the rise in
dairy exports to developing nations – particularly in Asia and Africa – points to the reason why EU dairy industries are looking to expand. However, there are those who reckon that the recent volatility in prices can be further accentuated by the removal of the milk quotas, further driving milk prices down, to the detriment of the farmers. A study by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) has shown that the six top countries Germany, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Ireland will increase their milk production by 12 billion kilograms between 2013 and 2020. The report further noted that investments worth US$ 2.8 billion had been invested in new processing capability – most of it in milk powder – with the six target nations “lifting whole and skim milk powder production by a combined 340 million kilograms from 2013-2020. Nearly 85 percent of that combined total, around 286 million kilograms per year, will find its way to export markets, primarily in developing countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. European exports of milk powder and cheese into developing countries and especially Africa has been criticised for decades by development NGOs, especially on their effect in providing a disincentive to local production due to the subsidies that have been applied in source countries. It is expected that exports of milk products from the EU to Africa will rise as rising volumes and increasing competition at home push the dairy companies to focus on Asia, Middle East and Africa, where a majority for countries are expected to remain net importers “Reducing EU dairy product exports to Africa would not in itself transform the potential for African dairy production, as there are an increasing number of other low-cost exporters ready to take their place. However, the availability of EU surplus powdered milk on the world market remains unfair competition, limiting the growth of the dairy sector in developing countries and undermining the incentives for farmers to boost local production to keep track with the growing demand” notes a study by the Trinity College Dublin.
Netherlands to remain the largest player in floriculture NETHERLANDS/MARKETS – This year’s Rabobank’s World Floriculture Map 2015 has revealed that Netherlands’ share in the flower and plants sector has been under pressure for several years now, the country continues to be the largest player with a 52% share in global exports. The survey that was presented together with FloraHolland at the International Trade Fair for Plants (IPM) in Essen, Germany showed countries that produce cut flowers inexpensively and on a large scale have seen their share of the floriculture market increase. These countries include Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya and Malaysia. A total of US$ 20 billion in flowers, plants and propagation materials were traded worldwide in 2013, according to the report. The Netherlands continues to play a dominant role within Europe, with the country still being a key supplier of flowers, potted plants and bedding plants for Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Increasingly, the transport of cut flowers in sea containers is being adopted due to “growing knowledge about how to condition flowers in containers and there are more and more possibilities for monitoring the conditions in a container. This and increasingly better port facilities and availability of container ships make transport by sea attractive” notes the report. The ‘World Floriculture Map’ is a graph showing all major trade flows for flowers and plants worldwide.
curity (CTNBIO), which analyzes genetically-modified organisms in the country - Agro News India’s cotton output estimate falls INDIA/PRODUCTION – The Cotton Association of India’s (CAI) February estimates that the country’s 2014/15 crop season will fall to 39.6 million bales, a figure that is lower than last year due to slight decline in productivity in the central region of the country. The 2013-14 season produced 40.7 million bales (of 170 kg each) according to CAI data. The projected balance sheet drawn by the CAI for the year 2014-15, estimates total cotton supply at 46.6 million bales while domestic consumption is estimated at 31 million bales, leaving an available surplus of 15.6 million bales for export. Antibiotic usage in animals to rise 67% by 2030 US/ANTIBIOTICS - A new study estimates that global use of antibiotics will be 67% higher in 2030 than in 2010 as agriculture intensifies to meet the growing demand for animal protein. The study estimates that between 2010 and 2030, the global consumption of antimicrobials will have increased from 63,151 to 105,596 tons. This comes as a consumer survey in the United Kingdom for the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) shows that more than 80% of shoppers believe that it is possible for animal medicines and vaccinations to harm people by getting into food.
US pig numbers rise US/CENSUS – The US pig population has shown a substantial increase pointing to a strong recovery in the sector, despite the continued sporadic occurrence of the Pig Epidemic Diarrhoea. The latest quarterly Hogs and Pigs report shows the total pig population at just below 66 million, a seven per cent increase on last year’s numbers. Fruit fly prompts U.S. ban on Dominican imports FOOD SAFETY - The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued import restrictions on “host commodities from the Dominican Republic into or through the United States,” on detection of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) in the Caribbean nation. APHIS is taking this action in response to multiple detections of Medfly in the Punta Cana region of the country. The list of commodities prohibited from entering the US include avocado, Clementine, grape, grapefruit, lemon, litchi, mandarin, mango, orange, papaya, pepper, pummel, tangelo, tangerine, tomato and cactus fruit However, mangoes will continue to be enter the US under the conditions of the APHIS hot water treatment pre-clearance program. Brazil may create new agency for agrochemicals approval BRAZIL/REGULATORY – Brazil’s new Agriculture minister Kátia Abreu has announced that the government is assessing the creation of a new agency that would exclusively analyze and release new agricultural chemical products. The minister intends to create a specific agency called the National Technical Commission of Phytosanitary Products (CTNFITO) similar to the National Technical Commission of Bio-seagribusinessafrica.net
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South Africa struggles to reform land laws
SOUTH AFRICA/REGULATORY – Struggling to change the racial profile of its land ownership and agriculture and its associated economic woes, South Africa is in the midst of a debate on how best to reform its land policy. Land reform has been a touchy subject since the country gained majority black rule in 1994. The present wrangles come after President Zuma stated in his State of
The Union address in February that The Land Holdings Bill would be introduced in Parliament for approval. The Bill, among others, states that no individual is allowed to own more than 12,000 hectares, with the government undertaking to buy and distribute excess land to landless people. According to the Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, foreign ownership of agricultural land will not be allowed, though longterm leaseholds which will be available to them for a minimum of 30 years. The 12,000 Ha ceiling applies to foreigners as well. The state plans to submit the Bill to Parliament this year. The bill will also provide for a land commission which will keep a register of land holdings. The minister notes that existing foreign landowners would be given the option of selling their farms or converting their ownership into long-term leases.
AfDB to fund youth in horticulture
Ethiopia gets Global GAP recognition ETHIOPIA/CERTIFICATION – A certification scheme run by the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) certification has been recognized by the Global GAP. The EHPEA code of practice for Sustainable Flower Production (Silver Level) is now officially recognized as equivalent to the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA Standard Version 4.0 for Flowers & Ornamentals. According to EHPEA, the recognition provides EHPEA the right to contract Certification Bodies (CBs) that have achieved ISO accreditation to “Now local producers do not need to obtain additional certification from abroad certification bodies to sell their product in European markets,” Gebremichael Habte, Fresh Produce Business Expert was quoted by the publication Capital GLOBALG.A.P. offers two levels of benchmarking recognition, Equivalent and Resembling. While Equivalent Schemes and Approved Modified Checklists fully conform to the GLOBALG.A.P. System, Resembling Schemes conform to a large extent with some exceptions according to its website.
African produce safe from Ebola - EFSA
KENYA - The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) will fund a 16 million dollar project in Kenya that seeks to attract graduates from all over Africa into horticulture and agribusiness. The project will be run by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). “The programme seeks to create jobs for youths who are coming out of university and are currently jobless, but who are willing to learn about agriculture and become entrepreneurs of the future,” says Dr Victor Manyong’, IITA regional 8
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director for East Africa. The Universities of Nairobi (UON), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Organisation (KALRO) and Makueni County in the Eastern part of the country will work with the Makueni Youth Agripreneurs (MYA) project to stimulate horticulture and agri-business. “The project aims to inspire the youth to create their own jobs to a level where they can make 700 US Dollars per month within three years,” says Sanginga.
EU/FOOD SAFETY – A report that aimed to assess the risk of Ebola transmission from the consumption of raw foods – such as plants, fruits and vegetables – legally imported into the EU from African countries has found that there is no evidence the virus can be transmitted through food in the European Union. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientists, to date there have been no reported human cases of Ebola infection from the consumption of these foods. In their risk assessment, EFSA experts identify several knowledge and data gaps – for example for how long the virus could survive in food. The report follows recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus disease in nine African countries – Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Senegal. All these countries can export fruits and vegetables into the EU, with the exception of potatoes. agribusinessafrica.net
SA citrus growers skirt Spain over disease dispute SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa, the world’s biggest orange exporter after Spain and Egypt, will avoid citrus shipments through Spanish ports to avert a possible ban after authorities there refused producers permission to inspect testing facilities for black-spot disease. The fungus, which affects some South African produce, causes blemishes on the peel of the fruit, which accounts for about 40% of citrus imported by the European Union (EU). The nation’s Citrus Growers Association (CGA) is disputing findings by the European Food Safety Authority that the disease can survive transport and storage and could establish in EU regions.
SA had to halt exports to the region last year after EU authorities intercepted 16 shipments with black-spot-affected fruit. The association sent an expert to Spain to inspect the testing methodology after the interceptions, and he was refused access, CGA CEO Justin Chadwick said by phone on March 26. “Science does not unambiguously support the view that these black spots can be transmitted,” he said. “There are other drivers of this and they are linked to commercial interest.” SA exported 115-million 15kg cartons of citrus worldwide last year.
Comesa moves to harmonise seed movement
AFRICA - Comesa member states have moved to promote the sale of certified seeds across borders to help achieve food security. The Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (Actesa), a Comesa agency, launched the bloc’s seed trade harmonisation regulations in March to guide trade in seeds and grains among seven member states. Actesa will align country policies and build the infrastructure needed for the success of the project. These activities are slated to begin in April and go on until August. “The programme’s objective is to achieve improved functioning of national and regional staple food markets. This will be realised through the outcome of increased regional trade in food, and a greater number of people benefiting from participation in the national and cross-border value chains,” said John Mukuka, a seed expert at Actesa. The volumes of grain traded within Comesa remain low owing to the different rules governing cross-border trade. Actesa data shows that the Comesa seed trade is worth about $1.3 billion. The global seed trade value stands at $45 billion.
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april 2015 | agri-Business africa
Kenya’s horticulture faces threats, must reform to succeed
KENYA – Kenya has to reform its policies, regulations and boost investment in the horticulture industry in order to remain competitive in the export market in the face of rising threats from other countries. A report released by the USAID’s Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project (KHCP) has shown that although the country is the most successful producer and exporter of fresh produce and flowers in sub-Saharan Africa, it has been losing market share in the global horticulture market due to rising production costs, long transport times, and poor regulatory compliance. The report, Benchmarking Kenya’s Horticulture Sector for Enhanced Export
Competitiveness and which focused on the fruit and vegetable supply chain, showed that Kenya must act on increasing farm level competitiveness; brand itself as a premium exporter; enhance food safety compliance; consolidate promotion efforts; increase export operations and cooperation among players and expand maritime freight to gain from a changing market place. Talking of the challenges faced by the sector, Richard Fox, the Kenya Flower Council Chairman decried the rising cost of production and inputs (fertilisers, chemicals and fuel) over the 2008-13 period, and which corresponded to the rise in the price of rose flowers in the export market of 7%, compared to 253% for that of fertiliser in the country. Over the review period (2003 to 2012), mango and fresh pea exports reported more aggressive growth compared to other crops, growing to just below 15,000 tonnes from under 5,000 tonnes, while peas volumes grew to 8,000 tons from 2,000 tonnes per year. French beans, long held as the country’s main export, have shown only a 4% growth per year, rising to just below 40,000 tonnes in 2012, with a deep between 2006 and 2010. Over the last five years, fruits ex-
Rice and tomato farmers lack access to storage facilities
GHANA - A survey conducted by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC), a non-governmental organization with focus on agriculture, has revealed that 82.9% of rice and tomato farmers in the country did not have access to storage facilities. The data was collected in 10 smallscale commercial rice and tomato pro10
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
duction areas in nine regions. The report evaluated the practical effectiveness of some agriculture policies in Ghana with reference to small-scale commercial production of rice and tomato. Mr Akalbila said the GTLC used indicators produced in Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) between 2011-2015 as the main basis for comparison and assessment. Rice and tomato were chosen since the two crops formed the main source of livelihood and income for millions of women and men small-scale farmers in the country. The study recommended that government should facilitate efficient policy implementation and develop a clear strategy that targets small-scale rice and tomato farmers to enable them store their produce to prevent post-harvest losses. - GNA
port volumes grew generally by 2% and vegetable figures fell by 5%. The study, which benchmarked Kenya against other countries, found that Kenya is leading in a number of key areas important in cost management and competitiveness: costs of labour, water, electricity and fertiliser cost, with the sector performing poorly in food safety, taxation, chemicals cost and level of infrastructure. Passion fruit, mango and avocado provide the best combination of high volume and value for the country to focus on while, fresh peas, French beans are expected to grow less in the coming years. Potatoes, onions and mango shall experience the largest expansions in demand in the international markets The report recommends that to remain competitive Kenya must improve farm level competitiveness by reducing post-harvest losses especially by combating fruit fly menace in mango. In terms of logistics, exporters must work towards consolidation of volumes and increase use of reefer containers. On food safety it recommends the creation of a well-coordinated public-private partnership to ensure food safety compliance.
Indian firm to invest $2m in Zambia
ZAMBIA - An Indian company, Agro Commodities Limited, plans to invest an initial US$ 2 million in a large-scale agriculture operation in Mumbwa, Central Zambia. The company has procured 5,000 hectares of land in the area, is part of a large Indian international group with multiple business segments that include Rosoya Protein Limited. Agro Commodities Limited plans to produce soya bean, wheat, maize, rice, sugar cane and pulses on a 5,000 hectare farm. The company will also produce bio-fuel and palm oil products. agribusinessafrica.net
Ethanol plant to process cassava set up
UGANDA - Farmers in northern Uganda should finally get a ready market for their cassava after an ethanol extraction factory opened in Lira. The $1.8 million Kamtech Logistics plant, opened on February 20, is a joint venture between Ugandans, Saudi Arabians and Lebanese investors. While production of cassava in Uganda has been on the rise, farmers have not been as lucky selling their crop due to low demand, low prices and unscrupulous middlemen. Production has been rising since 2010, after the country received $30 million under the World Bank’s East Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (EAAPP). Consequently, Uganda led research on cassava and shared new technologies with Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. He said that Norah Agro Transformation Ltd will be buying cassava from northern Uganda and the Teso sub-region at Ush400 ($0.14) per kilogramme.
Tea farmers launch US$ 1 billion suit against KTDA
KENYA - Small-scale tea farmers have opened an epic legal battle to recover US$ 1 billion (Sh93 billion) they accuse their marketing agency of stealing over the past 15 years. Kericho governor Paul Chepkwony is leading the farmers’ offensive in a suit that targets the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), big tea traders and brokers. Mr Chepkwony accuses KTDA of using fixed and unfavourable industry conditions to appropriate a large quantity of the tea that farmers produce. The suit, filed six months after the government promised to implement recommendations of a tea directorate that accused KTDA of similar sins. “The petitioner prays for a declaration that the actions of the respondents
in colluding to fleece farmers of their rightful earnings and unreasonably delaying the payment of their meagre amounts expressly violates the Constitution,” says Mr Chepkwony in court papers. The governor wants the court to compel KTDA to refund the billions that farmers have been charged in “unlawful taxes”. He is also seeking general and special damages for the losses farmers have suffered due to the alleged price fixing. The tea traders are accused of colluding to charge farmers double taxes, fixing tea prices and blending their tea with cheap imports so as to maximise profits while locking out growers from earning their fair share – Business Daily
Nigeria’s agriculture GDP rose to US$ 234 billion in 2014 – Adesina NIGERIA – Outgoing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said the size of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country rose from US$ 70 billion (N14 trillion) in 2011 to US$ 234 billion (N46.6 trillion) in 2014. The Minister further stated that the figure surpassed the total agricultural GDP for the 8-year period of 2000-2008 which was US$ 211 billion (N42 trillion). As part of achievements in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in the last three years, the minister said over 3.5 million farm jobs have been created across the agricultural value chains, spurring a revival of rural economies, especially for millions of youths and reduc-
ing rural-to-urban migration. “With increased food production, food import bill has declined, decreasing from US$ 16 billion (N 3.3 trillion) in 2011 to US$ 3.2 billion (N 634 billion) in 2014, according to the National Bureau of Statistics – a decline of 408%. “The agriculture sector has brought macroeconomic and fiscal stability for the country, despite the depreciation of the Naira and steep decline in the price of crude oil, food prices have been largely stable.” Adesina further said the production of maize has recorded tremendous success as 14 million metric tonnes of maize were produced in the last three years of the implementation of ATA. – Daily Independent
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
Tongaat seeks $20 million to up sugar production
ZIMBABWE - Zimbabwe’s largest sugar producer Tongaat Hulett (Tongaat) says it is seeking US$ 20 million from various financial institutions earmarked for the development of 4,000 hectares it was recently allocated by government. Tongaat chief executive Sydney
Mutsambiwa, told Parliament’s Indigenisation and Economic empowerment committee that this company was given the greenlight to develop the land by the minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora. “We have received indications from financial institutions to the tune of $20 million to develop the first phase of that project. So…we have been authorised by government to utilise that land for the benefit of the out growers because we do not actually own that land ourselves,” said Mutsambiwa. This comes as the company recently said it plans to increase its annual sugar production by 400 000 tonnes over the next four years without having to invest in new mills, but largely on expected improvements in yields and extraction rates – Daily News
Climate smart heat tolerant bean varieties released
WORLD - Scientists have bred 30 new varieties of “heat-beating” beans designed to provide protein for the world’s poor in the face of global warming. The new varieties were bred through traditional crossing of different species, rather than more controversial genetic engineering whereby traits are artificially transferred. The discovery was made after scientists examined thousands of strains of beans stored in “gene banks”. They were actually searching for types of beans that could withstand poor soils
when they found genes to help create the “heat-beater” beans, Steve Beebe, a senior bean researcher told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Some of the 30 new types also have higher iron content to help increase their nutritional value, CGIAR, the research group backing the new discoveries, said in a statement. Described as “meat of the poor”, beans are a key food source for more than 400 million people across the developing world, but the area suitable for growing them could drop 50 percent by 2050 because of global warming, endangering tens of millions of lives, scientists said. “Small farmers around the world are living on the edge even during the best situation. Climate change will force many to go hungry, or throw in the towel, sell their land and move into urban slums if they don’t get support.” Beebe said. Bean growers in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa are likely to be the worst hit by global warming, researchers said.
Nigeria breaks cocoa exports record NIGERIA – Nigeria recorded its highest exports of cocoa and cocoa products in 2014, with values worth N131.2 billion reported by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC). 12
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
“Cocoa and cocoa preparations were the highest exported products in 2014 with the trade volume on Cocoa amounting to N131.2 billion,’’ a report released by the NEPC noted.
Tuta absoluta hits Tanzania, tomato prices soar
TANZANIA - Tomato prices in Tanzania soared 375 percent between January and March as the effects of the tomato leaf miner pest Tuta absoluta took its toll on the country’s tomato crop. Tanzania had its first attack of the pest in the Ngarenanyuki area on the slopes of Mount Meru mid-2014 and later spread to Arusha. This later spread to Kilimanjaro and Manyara Regions. Tomato prices went up almost four times in the markets in the country with the price of a carton of hovering at Sh60,000 ($35.3), up from Sh16,000 ($9.4) in January 2015, according to the Guardian. Experts in the sector have repeatedly warned that should the pest continue devastating tomatoes, the country stands to lose nearly Sh300 billion ($176.5 million) in export this year alone. They say, in the worst cases, the pest infestation could lead to 100 per cent loss of the crop, as it was feeding on different kinds of crops and could attack a wide range of crops related to the tomato, including potatoes, brinjals, and mnafu. An estimated 45,000 smallholder farmers in Arusha, Manyara, Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions are engaged in the production of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes. The recent survey by Tanzania Agriculture Sample Census indicates that tomato growers are producing 518,312 metric tonnes per year, representing 51 per cent of the total fruit and vegetable production. – The Guardian agribusinessafrica.net
Seed organisation to launch new drive in Africa
AFRICA - The African Seed Access Index (TASAI) will launch a new initiative to boost the seed sector in Africa targeting smallholder farmers from Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The initiative will monitor the state of Africa’s rapidly evolving seed sector by issuing detailed scorecards on seed development and distribution. Scorecards by Cornell University’s International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (Ciifad) in US, for the four countries found that they are moving away from state-run monopolies as farmers face long waits for new varieties.
“We think that by tracking indicators along the seed delivery chain — like the number of crop breeders, varieties released, industry competitiveness, availability of seed in small packages, and quality of the seed policy framework - investors and policymakers can target choke points that are impeding the flow of seeds to smallholder farmers,” said Ed Mabaya, assistant director of CIIFAD and head of the TASAI project. Tasai’s analysis rates Kenya as poor in industry competiveness, compared to South Africa and Zimbabwe, as government-controlled companies still account for the lion’s share of seed sales, a situation that can discourage new start-ups from entering the market. South Africa’s seed production is thriving, but seeds accessibility to smallholder farmers is wanting. Uganda’s
Bayer CropScience launches global video competition for farmers
GERMANY - Bayer CropScience has launched YouFarm International, a global web video competition aimed at providing farmers and people passionate about farming the opportunity to increase their awareness and boost understanding of modern agriculture. “Most people have an incomplete image of modern agriculture and the origins of the food they consume. The common, romantic ideal of traditional farming is very far from the reality and challenges of contemporary farms,” said Liam Condon, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer CropScience. “YouFarm gives farmers a global platform to have their voice heard and to put faces and personalities to modern agriculture. At the same time, the public can gain first-hand insights into the various challenges and conditions of farming around the world while being directly involved in the selection of the winning videos and interacting with its participants.” This campaign will be quite a good one for Africa, notes Tasniem Patel, Head of Communications for Bayer Southern Africa. In an interview with agribusinessafrica.net
Agri-Business Africa magazine, Patel noted that the competition is meant to drive the knowledge of modern agriculture in Africa. “Agriculture is changing around the world, and hopefully through this initiative, we shall contribute our part in driving this change in agriculture in the continent as well, to tap into the huge potential Africa has going forward.” This year’s motto “Farm n’ Family” gives credit to the family farms around the world, which account for almost 90 percent of the world’s 570 million farms. Patel says that they would like to encourage farmers in Africa to participate in this forum. To participate, participants upload short videos via the YouFarm website or submit them via conventional mail. A jury of international experts will then choose the winning video from a shortlist, which includes the top ten videos selected via public online voting. The winning video will be awarded a Farming around the Continent Tour. The winner will visit agricultural heritage sites in Asia Pacific this year. Deadline to upload the videos is June 15, 2015, with online voting ending on July 1, 2015. The winning videos will be presented during the Youth Ag Summit in Australia, August 24-28, 2015. Find more information at www.youfarm.international.
seed sector is growing, but is burdened with weak seed policies and regulations while Zimbabwe’s once vibrant seed sector is showing signs of decline, the report notes South Africa scores well for having a competitive seed sector and for shepherding new varieties from breeders to farmers relatively quickly. It takes an average of 17 months to release a new variety in South Africa, compared with three years in Kenya and Uganda, and almost two years in Zimbabwe. “Seeds may not be a cure-all, but without a healthy seed sector, it’s hard to see how African farmers can satisfy the food demands of a population growing faster than any on earth and adapt to the effects of climate change that are rapidly altering farming conditions.” East African
Chinese firms to invest Sh2.8bn in Naivasha flower farming
KENYA - A group of Chinese firms have proposed to set up a Sh2.8 billion flower farm in Naivasha in a move that is set to shake up the industry currently controlled by Dutch investors. The consortium of Chinese firms comprising Julong and Oriental Agricultural group of companies have been prospecting the market and reaching out to county officials and business lobbies in the region over the plans. The consortium is said be planning to also venture into fish and sisal farming in the Naivasha. Unlike most local farms which target the European Union market, the Chinese investors hope to grow quality flowers for markets in China and Japan. – Business Daily april 2015 | agri-Business africa
Poor rain fears depress TZ beef prices TANZANIA – Fears by farmers of a poor rain season has depressed beef wholesale prices in Dar es Salaam, with prices down by an average of 20%. The wholesale price of beef dropped to between TSh 4,000 (US$ 2.17) and 4,500 (US$ 2.44) a kilo in late March compared to TSh 5,000 (US$ 2.71) and 5,500 (US$ 2.98) a kilo in January, as keepers were rushing to sell their cattle because of looming drought Despite the 20% drop wholesale price for beef, the retail price on average fall marginally to TSh 6,500 (US$ 3.52) from a high of TSh 7,000 (US$ 3.79) a kilo.
Coffee prices fall on Brazilian supplies
Drought reduces South African harvest 32%, to affect region SOUTH AFRICA – A number of southern African countries face dire food security situation following the reduction in estimated harvests of maize from South Africa due to drought in the country. South Africa is a major source market for maize for a number of African countries, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and even Kenya, during times of shortage. According to Grain South Africa, the National Crop Estimates Committee announced the summer maize crop estimate for the 2015/16 season showed a dramatic reduction of 30% from last year at 9.665 million tons. Of this estimate, white maize is estimated at 4.696 million tonnes and yellow maize at 4.969 million tonnes. The maize crop will be 32% lower than last year, when the coutry harvested 14.25 million tonnes, because of the severe drought experienced during January and February 2015. The average yield of maize will come down to 3.63 tonnes/ Ha, from 5.3 tonnes/Ha, according to Grain SA. The drought also impacted negatively on the estimates for sunflower, whose harvest will come down to 574,300 14
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
tonnes, 31% lower than last year. Soya bean crop will be 1% lower than last year at 938,350 tons, despite earlier forecasts of a record production. According to the report, South Africa will need to import about 1.65 million tonnes of yellow maize, putting the infrastructure of the country under strain. The supply and demand of white maize for the coming season is extremely tight, it adds. “The weather can still have an impact on the coming harvest and uncertainty prevails, Especially with regards to a further lower yield, Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA said. “One thing is sure and that is that we are not going to have an exportable surplus,” De Villiers added. South Africa is a major exporter of maize to the rest of Africa, the only country with the right infrastructure and quantities to export into a region with regular food security challenges. And with drought reported in a number of southern African countries including Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the region’s food security will be dealt a huge blow.
KENYA - Prices at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) have dropped by 26 per cent in March as a result of high supply at the international market that is hurting the local price. A 50-kilogramme bag of coffee traded at an average of $206 (Sh18,746) at the end of the month against $279 (Sh25,389) early February. At the New York Coffee Exchange, the price of a 50-kilogramme bag has dropped from $180 (Sh16,380) in December to $148 (Sh13,468) this week, representing a 17 per cent decline. The head of coffee directorate Grenville Kiplimo said the low international prices have dealt a blow to local coffee as the price has been dipping gradually in every auction since February. “The traders peg their buying price to the New York Exchange and the low prices at that auction affects the local crop,” said Mr Kiplimo. NCE chief executive officer Daniel Mbithi said a good harvests from Brazil and Colombia had flooded the international market, driving down auction prices. “We have witnessed an increase in volume of coffee in the world market and this has had a direct impact on our prices,” said Mr Mbithi – Business Daily agribusinessafrica.net
FAO food price index drops further in March Price, USD/lb
Mar Apr '14 May Jun '14 Jul '14 Aug '14 '14 '14 Price, USD/lb
Sept Oct '14 Nov '14 '14
Dec Jan '15Feb '15 Mar '14 '15
Linear (Price, USD/lb)
Source - International Coffee Organisation Coffee, Robusta, International Coffee Organization New York cash price, ex-dock New York
TEA Price, USc/kg
WORLD - The FAO Food Price Index averaged 173.8 points in March 2015, down 1.5% from its revised February value and nearly 18.7 percent below its level in March 2014. Sugar prices dipped particularly strongly in March, with more modest declines recorded by vegetable oils, cereals and meat. Overall, except for October 2014, the Index has been falling steadily since April 2014, on account of large global supplies for most commodities included in the Index. The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 169.8 points in March, down 1.1% from February and as much as 39 18.7% below the corresponding month last year. The Index has been falling since the start of 2015, as large export supplies weighed on international prices. In March, wheat and maize prices were down by nearly 2 percent from February, pressured by strong export competition and a generally favourable outlook for 2015 production. The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 151.7 points in March, nearly 3.1% below the February level and reaching the lowest value since September 2009. The slide was driven by palm and soy oils – palm oil due to weak global import demand, and soy oil prices due to good progress in South America’s bumper soybean harvest, rising global inventories, expectations of record soybean plantings in the US and weakness in crude oil prices. The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 187.9 points in March, down 9.2% from February, its lowest level since February 2009. The decline was due to improved crop prospects in major sugar producing countries, in particular Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter of sugar, but also the continued weakening of the Brazilian currency against the US dollar which dropped by more than 10% over the month.
350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0
Mar '14 Apr '14 May Jun '14 Jul '14 Aug '14 Sept Oct '14 Nov '14 Dec '14 Jan '15 Feb '15 '14 '14 Price, USc/kg
Linear (Price, USc/kg)
Source - International Monetary Fund Tea, Mombasa, Kenya, Auction Price
350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0
Mar Apr '14 May Jun '14 Jul '14 Aug '14 Sept Oct '14 Nov Dec '14 Jan '15 Feb '15 '14 '14 '14 '14 Price, USD/MT
Linear (Price, USD/MT)
Source - International Monetary Fund Wheat, No.1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein, FOB Gulf of Mexico, US
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
gmos in africa
Can gmos sort out Africa’s food security challenges? The subject of GMOs is a controversial one around the world, and especially so in Africa. Facing the prospect of malnutrition and hunger, there has been a concerted effort to have the continent adopt GM technology to boost its food security, but this is opposed aggressively by anti-GM campaigners within and without the continent. Should Africa adopt GM technology despite these protests? The Foodworld Media team explores.
bout five decades ago, the world witnessed a major breakthrough in agriculture, the so called the Green Revolution which saved the then developing countries in Asia and Latin America which were facing massive starvation through the development of high yielding seed varieties especially cereal grains, expansion of agricultural infrastructure, distribution of hybrid seeds, use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides to farmers. Africa missed this great spectacle, and with it the opportunity to feed its people. The year 2014 was declared the Year of Food Security by the African Union (AU) with a goal to eradicate hunger in the continent by the year 2025, where approximately 265 million people are malnourished. This ugly and disturbing statistic is again set to increase rapidly given the rapid increase in population which is projected to hit 1.5 billion people by the year 2030. This is a monumental challenge for a continent whose food production is highly threatened by environmental fluctuations and land degradation. Reliability on rain fed agriculture and climate change are not making the situation any better. The World Bank reckons that the demand for food in sub-Sahara Africa is bound to increase by 60% within the 15 years to 2030, even higher than in Asia where a 30% increase if forecasted, Africa continues to face an unpredictable food future.
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
Given the low adoption of modern farming techniques by farmers in the continent coupled with land fragmentation and dwindling land sizes, experts argue that there is need for a paradigm shift when it comes to increasing food production and productivity to feed the rapidly expanding population. There is no doubt that technology is key to unlocking the existing potential to increase food production that will go a long way in fighting malnutrition and hunger, increasing household income and eliminating poverty which is plaguing the continent, and mostly sub-Saharan Africa. A recent report by the IFPRI states that “emerging economies
Just because Africa is a developing country, it doesn’t have to remain behind in the adoption of GM. There is no evidence that this technology cannot make a big contribution to developing countries Dr Florence Wambugu, Chief Executive Officer of Africa Harvest
gmos in africa
in the developing world have been adopting a range of new plant varieties at rates surpassing those of their more economi¬cally developed counterparts. Sitting largely on the side-lines of this debate and in the adop¬tion of this technology is the continent of Africa. And, once again, the déjà vu comparisons to the Green Revolution and the possibility that another scientific revolution will pass the conti¬nent by have become unmistakably familiar.” Adoption of technology remains fairly low in the continent. Even the use of lowcost and less controversial technologies like hybrid seeds remains low in Africa. While the use of GM technology is not the panacea to Africa’s food security problems, some agriculture policy makers, scientists, political leadership seem to agree that the GM route is one of the ways to take to deliver Africa from chronic hunger and malnutrition. What are GM foods? Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering, according to Wikipedia. These techniques allow for the introduction of new traits that have been engineered for resistance to pests and diseases and herbicides and for better nutrient profiles. Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed-ripening tomato. Most food modifications have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn/ maize, canola, and cotton. GM livestock have been developed, although as of November 2013 none were on the market. There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food. However, opponents have objected to GM foods on grounds including safety, environmental impact and the fact that some GM seeds that are food sources are subject to intellectual property rights and owned by corporations. Examples of GM products Worldwide, a number of crops have GM variants, including maize, rice, cotton, soya beans, potatoes, wheat, pineapples, zucchini, sugarbeet, egg plants/brinjals among others. GM technology is also used in the production of rennet, an essential enzyme used in cheese production; in growth hormones used in animal feed; and in production of insulin agribusinessafrica.net
The GM advantage According to the International Service of the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), GM crops have benefitted the world in a great deal since the 1990s. A newly released report has provided the significant and multiple benefits that biotech crops have generated over the past 20 years, 1995 to 2014. The report notes that on average GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37% (reduced the need for expensive pesticides), increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%.” The report also reported that biotech crops increased crop production to a value of US$ 133.3 billion over the 1996-2013 period; provided a better environment by saving about 500 million kg of pesticides between 1996-2012; helped reduce CO2 emissions by 28 billion kg in 2013 alone; saved 132 million hectares of land; and helped alleviate poverty by helping 16.5 million small farmers. The report reveals that biotech crops have contributed to sustainability in the following five ways: i. Providing economic gains at the farm level of US$133.3 billion globally during the eighteen year period 1996 to 2013, of which 30% were due to reduced production costs (less ploughing, fewer pesticide sprays and less labor) and 70% due to substantial yield gains of 441.4 million tons. ii. Biotechnology conserves biodiversity and saves land - If the 441.4 million tons of additional food, feed and fiber produced by biotech crops during the period 1996 to 2013 had not been produced by biotech crops, an additional 132 million hectares conventional crops would have been required to produce the same tonnage iii. Contributing to the alleviation of poverty and hunger by providing important food and economic benefits to farmers and the economy as a whole. iv. Reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint through a significant reduction in pesticides; saving on fossil fuels; decreasing CO2 emissions through no/less ploughing; and conserving soil and moisture by optimizing the practice of no till through application of herbicide tolerance v. Helping mitigate climate change and reducing greenhouse gases through savings in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through reduced use of fossilbased fuels, associated with fewer insecticide and herbicide sprays and savings from conservation tillage. In 2013, the combined permanent and additional savings through sequestration was equivalent to a saving of 28 billion kg of CO2 or removing 12.4 million cars from the road for diabetes control and other medicines for human treatment. GM adoption in the World and Africa GM technology is a controversial subject, with truths, half-truths and lies peddled by both sides of the argument. The US remains the biggest user of GM technology, followed by Brazil and Argentina. Africa is a fringe player in the GM market, with some concerned that with dwindling yields and rising population, the continent needs to use all available arsenal to fight hunger. Others do not agree. According to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014 produced by ISAAA, the adoption of biotech crops in the world has grown tremendously in the last 20 years since the first commercial planting in the US in 1996.
The report indicates that in 2014 global biotech crop were planted by 18 million farmers in 28 countries covering more than 181 million hectares in 2014, a continued growth in hectarage since 1996. A majority of the farmers (90%) were resource poor small holder farmers, with the majority of the hectarage in developing countries. 60 percent of the world’s population resides in the 28 countries planting biotech crops. Of these countries, 20 are developing and eight industrial. In Asia, China and India have adopted the growing of GM crops in their countries. China is also a major importer of GM maize and soybean from the US. In Latin America, the biggest producers of soybean and maize, Brazil and Argentina have, despite original scepticism, adopted this technology and are major suppliers of april 2015 | agri-Business africa
SPECIAL REPORT these commodities to the world. Europe remains the stand-out region in the world with reservations on the growing of GM crops, but is a significant importer of GM foods. New regulations have given each of the 28 states within the EU to adopt or reject GM technology away from the centralised system that has been in place, but critics say it will only make it harder to grow GM crops within the EU. However, Europe imports about 58 products including maize, soybean, sugar beet and cotton. About 40 million tonnes of soy products, most of it GM, are imported from the Americas for use in the EUs animal feed industry. In Africa, South Africa leads the pack of planters of GM crops with 2.7 million Ha planted in 2014, followed by Burkina Faso, Sudan and Egypt. Seven African countries have legislation around GM regulation including Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. The list of crops that have been commercialised around the world include over 100 food and fiber crops including maize, soybean, cotton, canola, potatoes, papaya, eggplant and squash. Is GM the way forward for Africa? The report published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for the African Development Bank (AfDB) titled GM Agricultural Technologies for Africa – A state of affairs affirms the need for Africa to adopt biotechnology. “Faced with a variety of current pressures - population growth, poverty, food insecurity, cli¬mate change, and so on—most African countries, by adopting a status quo approach or by using outdated technology to drive the sector, will not be competitive in a global trade system that is increasingly using the tools of agbiotech to develop novel prod¬ucts. The transformation of Africa’s agriculture system will require new approaches, new methodologies, new efficiencies, and the accompanying political focus needed to effect change”, warns the report. One of the scientists and opinion leaders who has written and spoken extensively urging for the adoption of GM technology in Africa is Prof Calestous Juma. “Today we acknowledge that given the growing human population, the problem is to feed people. However, opposition to new technologies may cast a dark shadow over the prospects of feeding the world. It is now 17 years since the first commercial release of transgenic crops in North America. Evidence is stacking up against catastrophists and sceptics as emerging economies become major beneficiaries of the biotechnology revolution.” Professor Juma has said recently. Dr Florence Wambugu, Chief Executive Officer of Africa Harvest,
gmos in africa
Table 1. Global Area of Biotech Crops in 2014: by Country Rank
Area (million hectares)
Maize, soybean, cotton, canola, sugarbeet, alfalfa, papaya, squash
Soybean, maize, cotton
Soybean, maize, cotton
Canola, maize, soybean, sugar beet
Cotton, papaya, poplar, tomato, sweet pepper
Soybean, maize, cotton
South Africa *
Maize, soybean, cotton
Maize, soybean, canola
famous for the tissue culture bananas in Kenya, and even edited a book about GM, Biotechnology in Africa – Emergence, Initiatives and Future, has also weighed in on the need for the continent to adopt GM technology. Just because Africa is a developing country, it doesn’t have to remain behind in the adoption of GM. “There is no evidence that this technology cannot make a big contribution to developing countries. There is no evidence of food safety to humans and environment as well. They have demonstrated clear benefits to development, increasing production and reducing yield losses due to pests” she told the CNBC in 2010 in an interview. But there are also many sceptics about the adoption of GM foods in Africa, and none is more scathing on its attacks on the adoption of GM products in Africa than Friends of the Earth International, an international NGO. In a recent report, the NGO contends that American agencies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and seed companies including Monsanto are trying to force unwilling African 18
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
gmos in africa
nations to accept expensive and insufficiently tested GM foods and crops. “The US, the world’s top producer of GM crops, is seeking new markets for American GM crops in Africa. The US administration’s strategy consists of assisting African nations to produce biosafety laws that promote agribusiness interests instead of protecting Africans from the potential threats of GM crops,” said Haidee Swanby from the African Centre for Biosafety, which authored the report. The report blames the lack of strong biosafety laws in the continent as the reason Africa should not adopt GM crops. “African governments must protect their citizens and our rights must be respected. We deserve the same level of biosafety protection that European citizens enjoy,” said Mariann Bassey Orovwuje from Friends of the Earth Nigeria, a co-author of the report. The authors have given an example of South Africa, which still faces food insecurity despite adopting GM 16 years ago. “The South African experience confirms that GM crops can only bring financial benefits for a small number of well-resourced farmers. The vast majority of African farmers are small farmers who cannot afford to adopt expensive crops which need polluting inputs such as synthetic fertilisers and chemicals to perform effectively,” Haidee Swanby added. Other organizations that have been critical of GM in Africa include Oxfam. Why some say No to GM in Africa The adoption of genetically engineered crops in Africa is hindered by scepticism of the issue, impacting access to the technology. While concerns about the safety of GE crops top the list, a lot of consumers and farmers have not been presented with facts on the safety of lack of it on consumption of GM foods. Beyond the fear that GE crops are unsafe, critics have concerns about the impact on trade, compatibility with local farm systems, and dependence on foreign private sectors for the technology. Fear of trade disruption- The production of GE crops potentially has adverse impacts on trade since some countries in the European Union (e.g., France and Germany) where we export majority of our agricultural produce have bans or require special labelling for GM crops. However, currently, GM crops that hold the potential to help African farmers adapt to climate change are for consumption and food security (e.g., maize, rice, sweet potato and cassava) and are not typically products exported to Europe. agribusinessafrica.net
Incompatibility with small-holder systems Critics of GMOs in Africa also note that the GM crop supply chain is incompatible with small-holder farm systems. Smallholder farmers are used to saving seeds from previous harvest, while GM crops require farmers to purchase new seeds each year to maintain desirable genetic traits because of the so called terminator gene. Critics of this stance opine that Africa cannot rely on pass-me-down seeds to join the agrarian revolution but needs faster adoption of good quality seed, including GM seeds. Dependence on foreign seed companies In many countries in Africa there is a lack of biotechnology infrastructure to supply GM seeds locally. This is a valid concern. To avoid dependence on foreign supplies of GE
seeds, support for local production capacity is required, and some organizations are beginning to address this challenge. China, though it allows GM imports, has tended to rely on building its local capacity to develop GM products. Unfortunately, many African countries lack this capacity. Lack of capacity and regulatory capacity– “The lack of regulatory policy governing GM products is one of the most detrimental factors affecting current biotechnology progress on the continent”, IFPRI agrees. But it also says that “there are a number of products that could provide immediate benefit to African farmers, but most farmers are unable to access these products due to poor regulatory decision making capacity and indecisive political positions”. So as
Table 2. Status of biosafety policies and legislation in Africa, 2014 Status of policies or legislation
Enacted biosafety laws or regulations
Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Drafted biosafety bills
Algeria, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sey¬chelles, Swaziland, Tunisia, Uganda
Approved biotech or biosafety policy
Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Drafted biotech or biosafety policy
Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Rwanda
Developed sectorial legislation with reference to biosafety
Developed sectorial biotech or biosafety policies with reference to biotech and biosafety
Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Seychelles
Source: IFPRI april 2015 | agri-Business africa
SPECIAL REPORT much as capacity is lacking, if political capital is employed, Africa may sort out this matter. Other critics also add that the problem is not in the seeds per se but in the soil. “It’s like focusing on the mother, not only on the child: If you feed the mother, the child will be healthy,” says Million Baley the coordinator of African for Food Sovereignty (AFSA), a pan-African platform that promotes biodiversity and ecological land management in Africa and fights against the use of GM seeds. “Every time a crisis comes, the international community thinks that GM is the solution,” Belay said. Genetically modified plants are no solution in the fight against hunger, argued Million Belay, “They never were,” he added. As both sides of the debate continue to debate on this divisive issue, policy makers need to make decisions on the best way forward on whether GM should be adopted in the continent. Politics and GMOs No issue is as divisive as that of GMOs in Africa. We have attended a number of public fora in Kenya in the last one to two years where we came face to face with the most ardent supporters and haters of GM. The debate about GMOs is one of the most passionate we have ever seen. And these confrontations are continue to draw attention of policy makers. Case in point: Kenya placed a ban on GM produce imports in 2012 following a report that was later withdrawn by the publisher on the safety of GM products. Despite repeated push by the industry for the ban to be lifted, the matter has not been sorted out, with every time it seems an agreement has been reached in government circles, the matter grows cold again. The country’s own vice President was quoted at the end of 2014 asking for the ban to be lifted. “Our local researchers and agriculturalists have been distorting information on biotechnology and thus misinforming farmers. The same has resulted in continued use of traditional farming methods, impacting on production and escalation of agonies such as poverty and underdevelopment,” he commented. Yet, the ban is still in place as we went to press. Kenya is not alone. GMOs have been in the news in Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria and even Zambia. A scathing report released by the Chatham House, a UK based think tank last year noted that, “opponents have waged effective campaigns against GM technology based on misinformation and scaremongering”, with anti-GM campaigners linking GM crops to health concerns, making “public support for GM low and politicians seeing only downsides in promoting the technology.” Yet, political will is an important recipe to the adoption of GM technology in Africa. In the book edited by Dr Florence Wambugu, an example of an African country where positive political will has enabled the introduction of GM products, namely cotton, is Burkina Faso, where GM cotton was already being grown in over 300,000 Ha in 2012. Cotton output for the year to end-January 2013 rose to 630,000 tonnes from 400,000 tonnes in 2011/2012 according to the Burkina National Cotton Producers’ Union. Europe vs US in Africa? The battle of whether to adopt GM crops in Africa has increasingly taken a Europe vs. US angle as the two economic giants square off in pushing their views on GM technology. The US has been a leader in GM technology, with 73.1 million hectares, the highest in the world, of maize, soybean, cotton, canola, sugar beet, alfalfa, paw paw and squash grown in the US in 2014. The country first planted commercial quantities of GM seed in 1996 and has been growing its hectarage since. 20
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
gmos in africa
Table 3. Limits on genetically modified (GM) product use in select African countries, 2013 Country
Limits on use
Year introduced or reported
Lifted or expired
Ban on distribution and commercialization of GM products
Ban on GM foods except for milled grain
Two five-year moratoriums
Ban on GM imports, except for milled GM food aid Strict liability in place
Ban on GM imports and exports
Ban on GM foods except for milled grain Strict liability regulations
Ban on GM imports
Ban on GM food except for milled grain, which comes with a government advisory that it is to be used only for food, not cultivation
Ban on GM foods except for milled grain Ban on GM imports and cultivation
Ban on GM foods except for milled grain
Ban extended even to nonmilled food aid products
Ban on GM imports
Ban on nonmilled food aid products
Temporary waivers for GM food aid imports
Ban on GM foods except for milled grain
Ban on GM foods except for milled grain Strict liability regulations
Ban on GM imports and GM food aid
Ban on GM imports (with 1% tolerance for maize and soybeans) Identity requirements for non-GM
Europe, on the other hand, has discouraged the planting of GM in its territory, with planting of GM confined to the cultivation of Bt maize MON810 in Spain and Portugal. However, the EU imports GM source products from the US and other countries for use in the economic block. The EU Commission notes that opposition by EU states to draft GM authorisations is “usually not based on science but on other considerations reflecting the societal debate existing agribusinessafrica.net
gmos in africa
in the country.” France and Germany are particularly opposed to GM crops. But with Africa more connected to the EU in terms of trade more than the US, African countries have taken the cautious EU approach in deciding matters GM, to the detriment of the continent adopting the technology, despite the apparent benefits. According to Dr Wambugu, in seeking the EU’s opinion, Africa has been looking at the wrong direction. “The rejection of GM crops in Europe is not based on health hazard issues – it is based on surplus, as they do not need technology that will increase their production” “The claim that if Africa adopts GM technology they will not export their produce to Europe is not valid, as Africa does export to Europe mainly flowers and horticultural crops – crops that are not directly focused on food security. GM technologies are focused on maize, cotton, canola and crops that contribute to food security in Africa.” Dr Wambugu notes. Europe has forcibly recruited African governments as allies in its trade war with North America, arguing that importing GM products could cause catastrophic damage to the environment, Professor Juma told the Independent newspaper. “It involved putting diplomatic pressure on African countries saying that if you produce GM crops we will not import any agricultural products from your countries,” he said. “Europe didn’t want to see GM material entering from Africa when it was saying ‘No’ to North American GM products, so Europe then pressured African countries not to grow GM crops. It was to the great detriment of Africa,” he added. Is lack of regulation the hindrance? Even as the continent grapples with whether to accept GM or not, the tide against GM runs deep, despite the enactment of biosafety laws and regulations across the continent. While many countries have commenced legislations around GM, the technology has only been adopted in a handful of countries, which is a worry for the proponents of the technology. So, is the problem really the lack of regulations, as some are wont to argue? “The lack of regulatory policy governing GM products is one of the most detrimental factors affecting current biotechnology progress on the continent. There are a number of products that could provide immediate benefit to African farmers, but most farmers are unable to access these products due to poor regulatory decision making capacity and indecisive political agribusinessafrica.net
Some crops that could gain from GM technology Maize Currently, maize production supports the livelihoods of approximately 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. But it is estimated that higher temperature and reduced rainfall could depress maize harvests by 10-20% by 2050. Some of the current work in maize according to IFPRI include the drought tolerant the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) maize that was launched in 2008; striga-free maize; Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA); Vitamin A enhanced maize; Improved Maize for African Soils (IMAS) Cassava A staple crop in sub-Sahara Africa, cassava is a key crop to fight hunger in Africa, contributing about 40% of the food calories consumed, but with a decline in many parts of Africa due to pests and diseases. Cassava mosaic disease and the cassava brown streak disease cause losses estimated at $1 billion every year worldwide. The Nigeria-headquartered International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) released 19 varieties resistant to the crop’s two devastating viral diseases in 2014. Some of the work on cassava include cassava engineered to resist Cassava mosaic disease (CMD). Bananas Banana is an important staple food crop in East Africa, especially in Uganda. Current work include work on tissue culture bananas and the so-called Super banana that was developed with a higher Vitamin A content and could be ready in 2020 for planting in Uganda and several countries. Beans The group of legumes classified as beans including the common bean and other commonly consumed varieties in the continent and the more commercial soybeans are significant in the continent’s food and economy. Research is continuing to develop beans that are herbicide, disease and heat resistant. The majority of the world’s soy production comes from GM soybean. Africa continues to import the bulk of its soy bean needs and can gain a great deal from growing improved varieties with GM traits within.
Cow pea Scientists in West Africa are developing GM pod borer-resistant cowpeas, promising they could have the final product by 2017. Pod borers are pests that remove sap from the leaves, pods, seeds and other aerial plant parts damaging the plant and resulting in yield reductions. Severe infestations have led to losses of between 70–80% in northern Nigerian states thus posing a serious shortage of this vital crop to the local economy. Rice Rice is the second most important cereal crop in Africa. With the changing rainfall patterns and intensity, rice production has decreased over the years. A team of plant breeders and molecular biologists at the Africa Rice Center in developed the New Rice for Africa (Nerica), an upland rice variety. Though Nerica is not considered GM, it was genetically transformed by highly artificial cell culture and embryo rescue methods. Today, there are efforts to develop a Genetically Modified NERICA with nitrogen-use efficiency, water-use efficiency and salt tolerance traits for Africa’s farmers, according to Africa Rice Center. Sorghum Sorghum is Africa’s second most abundant cereal with the continent producing about 20 million tonnes of sorghum per annum, about one-third of the world crop. The crop is increasingly gaining usage in the food and feed manufacturing industry as well. Recent developments in sorghum include drought-tolerant and strigaweed-resistant sorghum. Recent work is being done around a more nutritious sorghum variety. The African Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) Project, aims to enhance the nutritional quality of sorghum, to improve the nutrient intake of low-income households, through biofortification, with an immediate target of increased levels of vitamin A, lysine, zinc and iron. In the near future, the focus will expand to achieving enhanced bioavailability and improved protein digestibility.
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
SPECIAL REPORT positions’ notes IFPRI in its report. A few countries including Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria have passed national biosafety laws; Burkina Faso and South Africa have functional pathways for commercial prod¬uct deployment in place; and Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda are implementing field trials to test a number of GM varieties. However, aside from these exceptions, most exist¬ing regulatory systems in Africa are inefficient and costly (unaffordable by local institu¬tions), lack transparency, and are very risk averse, IFPRI adds. But the problem in Africa goes deeper than lack of a regulatory framework, for even countries with proper regulatory frameworks and a functional biosafety authority like Kenya still go ahead and ban GM product imports into the country. Despite the existence of Model Law on Biosafety drafted the African Union and which was meant to provide African countries with a draft from which to draw their biosafety regulation regimes, across Africa a number of such legislation are stuck in the legislatures as time ticks by. “It is very important that we trust our regulatory system. The reason why Africa should not adopt the European model is that lack of trust in the regulatory system has made GM products very expensive because you have to enrol a high level regulatory system that only big companies can afford. Finally, you find publicly funded projects do not get sufficient funds to commercialise the projects they have been running at the universities and research institutes. Because only a few big companies can afford the regulatory system, which is one way to keep everybody else out. That’s the way they have done in Europe – to keep the products out. Should we do the same in Africa? If we need the products in Africa, we should regulate enough to keep the products safe – not regulate enough to keep the products out of the market. We need a balance. If we trust our governments to regulate drugs, why can’t we trust them to regulate our food?” asks Dr Wambugu
The Case of India India, an emerging economy with basically the same challenges as Africa, provides a case study that the continent can gain from. The success story of cotton in India is a well told story. India rose from planting no GM cotton in 2002-3 season to planting over 11.6 million hectares in 2014 of Bt cotton, a type of cotton with the genes of the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis inserted to protect the plant against the bollworm, a notorious pest of cotton. With more than 95% adoption of GM cotton, India has turned the tide, coming from a net importer to a net exporter of cotton in 2009-10 to the world because of the adoption of GM technology. The Cotton Association of India had predicted that the country would be the world’s biggest producer in the world with last year’s harvest. Between 1991 and 2003 cotton production varied between 11.9 and 17.9 million bales of 170 kg, rising to 30 million bales in 2010, and hitting 40 million bales in 2013-14 season. In terms of the economy, India has grown into a net exporter, clocking more than 8 million bales of 170 kg each in 2009 – 2010, generating US$ 2.3 billion in income.
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
gmos in africa
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Importance of Soil analysis and its interpretation
s the world celebrates the International Year of the Soil in 2015 led by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it is critical to assess the importance of soil analysis in the achievement of food security in Africa. According to FAO’s Director General, José Graziano da Silva, “The multiple roles of soils often go unnoticed. Soils don’t have a voice, and few people speak out for them. They are our silent ally in food production.” Globally, FAO estimates that 33% of soils have been degraded. Africa has suffered significant soil degradation with a recent report from the Montpellier Panel observing that, “In Africa, the impacts are substantial where 65% of arable land, 30% of grazing land and 20% of forests are already damaged.” The foregoing is an indicator of why we need to assess the quality of the soil on a regular basis to ensure the continent can feed itself.
The process A soil test is a process by which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulphur, manganese, copper and zinc) are chemically removed from the soil and measured for their “plant available” content within the sample. Other critical factors like soil acidity and pathogenic tests should also be done. Testing for soil pH will help the farmers know the type of fertilizer to apply since some basal fertilizers are known to increase soil acidity when used continuously over a long period of time. Soil acidity actually determines the overall soil fertility and nutrient uptake. agribusinessafrica.net
It is important that soil analysis is done before the application of fertilisers to check the particular farm’s unique soil requirements. There exists a huge disparity between the yield potential of various farms in Africa and the actual production due to the application of the wrong type and quantity of fertiliser. Soils have been degraded further by the continued application of the common Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) in African countries due to lack of analysis of the soils. Soil analysis consists of three important actions: soil sampling and analysis; interpretation of analytical data and lastly, recommendations for nutrient additions in terms of fertilisers or manure to optimise crop yield. Importance of soil analysis The productive capacity of a soil depends on often complex and sometimes little understood interactions between the biological, chemical and physical properties of soil. Soil analysis is a simple and effective farm management tool to increase yields and profits. Soil testing determines the physical conditions, fertility (nutrient) status, and chemical properties that affect a soil’s suitability for growing plants. Soil analysis enables farmers to manage soil nutrients efficiently to maintain soil fertility for those nutrients like phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) that are retained in soil in plant available forms. If the amount of any of these nutrients in such forms in soil is too small then yield is jeopardised, but increasing reserves in agricultural soils to very high levels is an
unnecessary expense to the farmer. Soil analysis ensures that the right balance is struck in terms of these vital components in the soil. Recommendations from soil analysis provide farmers with recommendations on optimal soil nutrient and pH levels that if properly implemented: • Increase crop yields and overall farm profitability • Raise fertilizer efficacy through ensuring optimal pH levels • Reduce costs by using precise amounts of specific fertilizers and lime • Reduce weed populations and improve efficiencies of other crop production practices (scouting, field spraying, harvesting, etc.) through greater plant uniformity throughout the field • Increase plant health that increases pest and disease resistance (and reduces chemical application requirements) • Improve environmental stewardship through reducing over-applications of fertilizers and other farm chemicals Despite its importance, soil analysis has not been accessible to smallholder farmers because of its perceived high cost. However, farmers should realize that soil analysis is a worthy investment that will actually save money in the long term. Ideally it is recommended that a soil test should be done at every two years. Apart from soil analysis, for those interested in venturing into irrigation agriculture, did you know that it is critical for your irrigation water to be analysed as part of Good Agricultural Practice? april 2015 | agri-Business africa
Fowl Typhoid Disease in Poultry
owl typhoid disease is one of the most important diseases of poultry. The condition is caused by Salmonella gallarium, a common bacteria present in the surrounding of the birds or through feed and water. Fowl typhoid disease has been eradicated from commercial poultry in many developed countries including the United States and Canada, but is a common occurrence in developing countries. The disease causes high mortality in birds and hence is a great concern in poultry, affecting productivity and huge economic loss, with 90% mortality being common. Chickens are the natural hosts for Salmonella gallinarum, but other birds can also be infected. In addition to chickens, Salmonella gallinarum has been reported in turkeys, quail, guinea fowl, pheasants, ostriches and doves. Most currently raised breeds of ducks, geese and pigeons seem to be resistant to clinical fowl typhoid, as the disease is host specific.
Transmission: Since chicken are natural hosts, birds can become chronic carriers, passing them to their offspring in eggs. Transmission can occur via the respiratory and oral routes. It can be brought into the flock through newly imported birds. Birds can ingest bacteria after environmental contamination or during cannibalism or through wound infections. It can be transmitted contaminated feed, water and litter; they may survive in a favorable environment for many months and up to several years. Wild birds, mammals, and insects can act as mechanical or biological vectors. Red mites, in particular, are involved in spreading fowl typhoid, and limited evidence suggests that rodents might be biological vectors for Salmonella. Clinical Signs: If birds are hatched from Salmonella - infected eggs, dead and dying chicks may be found shortly after hatching. Chicks and poults develop nonspecific signs such as depression, weakness, somnolence, loss of appetite, drooping wings, huddling, 24
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
dehydration and ruffled feathers. Labored breathing or gasping, as well as diarrhea and pasting of the vent feathers, may be seen. Fowl typhoid occurs in older birds as well, where common signs include decreased appetite, depression, dehydration, weight loss, ruffled feathers, and watery to mucoid diarrhea. A progressive loss of condition can lead to anemia with pale, shrunken combs. Salmonella can cause decreased egg production, fertility or hatchability in inapparent carriers as well as in birds with systemic signs. Control: The eradication of fowl typhoid requires the establishment of infection-free breeding flocks. Poultry should be purchased from certified infection-free stock or tested before adding them to a flock. They should be hatched and reared in conditions where they cannot contact infected birds, potentially infected surface water, or other sources of organisms. Rodents and wild birds should be excluded, and insects, particularly flies, poultry mites and mealworms, should be controlled. The premises and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Infected flocks are quarantined in fowl typhoid-free countries. Repeated testing and removal of carriers can sometimes eliminate the infection from a flock. More often, the entire flock is depopulated and the premises are cleaned and disinfected before restocking. Compounds that contain phenol are the most effective disinfectants under field conditions, but quaternary ammonium compounds and iodophores may be used. Heat treatment, formalin, dichloride of mercury and potassium permanganate can also inactivate these organisms. Exposure to sunlight and high environmental temperatures increases the efficacy of cleaning and disinfection procedures. Fowl typhoid vaccines are used in chickens where the disease is endemic, which is often the case in Africa. Vaccination can reduce clinical disease and mortality, but does not prevent infection. Antibiotics can reduce mortality, but do not eliminate the infection from the flock. Pre-cautionary management Effective control on the farm of fowl typhoid is based on preventing the introduction of Salmonella onto a farm and preventing its spread. New birds must be sampled, tested and confirmed certified disease free and adequate monitoring and control at the hatchery must be practiced. Flocks should be monitored frequently for possible Salmonella infection. Houses and buildings should be designed to facilitate cleaning and disinfection. After cleaning, swabs should be taken to check for the persistence of Salmonella. It is critical to practice wash-drydisinfect-dry practice on the farm to ensure the facilities are disease free. A key area to check and monitor is the hygiene of the hatching eggs to eliminate transmission through contaminated egg shells. Dirty eggs and eggs taken from the floor should be separated and not used for hatching. Further, it is critical that carcasses are disposed off in the right manner taking into consideration that re-contamination of the flock may occur from animal scavengers carrying back the carcass to where birds can be infected agribusinessafrica.net
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
the interview CEO TAHA 1.
We note that TAHA is celebrating 10 years of existence. How does this feel for you as the CEO of this organization? It is a very special feeling. When we started in 2004, over 10 years back, the organization and the horticultural industry as whole were nowhere in the map! Horticulture during those days was a topic of no interest to most of the people in this country. The industry was very small, and general awareness of its potential and opportunities was very limited to Tanzanians and the world. From staff size of 2 in 2004, today we are more than 60. In addition, with just 15 members in 2004, today the Association has over 15,000 members across the country. Again, TAHA started its operations only in Arusha, but it now has physical presence in over 15 regions in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. 2. How was the industry then? How has the industry changed since TAHA came into being? Before TAHA, horticulture was nowhere in the development map of Tanzania. At that time, when one mentioned horticulture the first image in people’s minds was flowers/floriculture featuring the large foreign investors hence it was not given any importance as far as the national development agenda was concerned. Today, horticulture is at the centre of attention in the national development agenda. Horticulture is the accelerator of the country’s agricultural growth, recording an average growth rate of 11 per cent per annum for the past five years, compared with general agricultural growth rate of 4% per annum. TAHA has been instrumental in the achievement of the following: increased values of export from just US$ 64 million in 2004 to US$ 450 million in 2014, with horticulture subsector now contributing about 38% of the overall agricultural exports in the country; increased horticultural yields in the country’s farms; increase involvement of small-scale farmers in horticultural value chain activities, making up to 90% of the total horticultural export volumes; and increased market access to Tanzanian products in the domestic, regional and international levels
Jacqueline Mkindi is the Chief Executive of the Tanzania Horticultural Association, (TAHA), which celebrated its tenth anniversary in late 2014. The horticulture industry in Tanzania has recorded aggressive growth in the last decade, with local and international players investing in the industry. Below are excerpts of the interview by Francis Juma.
3. How has TAHA contributed to this aggressive growth? Along with promoting the sector we have been working very closely with value chain actors. TAHA has contributed massively in triggering horticultural growth including through promotional and market development activities; technical support to and capacity building of farmers to meet market requirements; standards development; provision of logistics support through its company, TahaFresh; and active engagement with the Government in order to improve the policy environment and rural infrastructure for the industry. 4. Which organisations have you partnered with in your work to grow the industry? TAHA has been able to mobilize strong commitment and support from Development partners (USAID, Finnish Government, the Dutch Government, International Trade Centre, BESTDialogue, etc.) and private sector partners who have made significant investment in addressing farmers challenges including technical know and support infrastructures (such as irrigation and market infrastructure). 5.
Which variety of horticultural produce has especially done well? And which ones do you foresee doing well as we go into the next decade? Crops which performed better include tomato, avocado, French beans, various types of flowers including roses, green pepper, Irish potatoes, onions, carrots, water melons etc. Crops which we foresee to do well in the next decade include pineapple (MD2 variety), red and yellow capsicums, berries (raspberry and strawberries), snow peas, mangoes, apples, and table grapes. 6.
What sets Tanzania apart in the field of horticulture in the region? What is the country’s key differentiator in the region? Land availability, wide range of climatic conditions which support the production of a variety of horticultural crops, access to markets through preferential and other regional/multilateral schemes and peace and stability of the country are among the factors that make Tanzania apart in the field of horticulture in the region 7.
Challenges abound in Africa’s farming. What do you think are the key challenges that face Tanzania’s horticulture industry? Despite the commitment of the Government in creating enabling business environment to the sector, the sector is still faced with a number of challenges: 26
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
NUTRITION & HEALTH Nuts
• • • •
Overregulation associated with multiplicity of taxes, fees, charges and levies’. As a result, the agricultural businesses incur higher compliance costs (in terms of time and financial resources) as s/ he has to deal with different Authorities. Significant post-harvest losses by up to 60% of the total crop Lack of inadequate support infrastructures such as cold storage facilities Most of farmers lack knowledge on horticultural technologies and good agricultural practices making them unable to achieve the optimal yields. Poor marketing system characterized by market inefficiencies and information asymmetry
How do you think some of these challenges can be sorted out? Are there some policy issues you think Government can rectify? Streamlining the operationalization of taxes, fees and levies - More support from the government is needed particularly in harmonizing policies, taxes, levies and facilitating trade. To unify payment systems and make them available online for agricultural businesses to access and manage their statutory payments 9.
Why should an investor consider Tanzania as a horticulture industry investment destination? Peace and political stability - Tanzania is one of the most peaceful and politically stable countries in Africa. Since its independence in 1961, the country has never experienced a civil war or any major internal strife. Strategic Location - The country is connected directly to the Indian Ocean giving it trade links to Asia and Europe and is the gateway to six landlocked countries (Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and Malawi) that rely on Tanzania for passage of goods. The country has 3 deep water ports (Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara) that are servicing the neighboring countries. Furthermore, its membership to the SADC Free Trade Area and EAC Common Market, with developed road networks, makes Tanzania a natural transportation gateway for East and Central Africa. Government commitment to transform horticulture – The Government has made changes to a number of policies to favor and attract horticultural investment into the country. The government has also established specialized incentive schemes namely Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as well as Tanzania Investment Centre. The government also has invested in infrastructure development such as market facilities and irrigation schemes. Plenty of natural resources to support horticultural production and trade - There are a number of natural factors which support operation of horticultural businesses in Tanzania. They include rivers and water springs, which offer resources for irrigated horticulture and help farmers to meet the high water requirements for horticulture; varying climatic conditions to support a variety of crops and sea (with ports) to facilitate sea freighting. TAHA existence and role to coordinate the sector - TAHA, as a private-sector business oriented member-based organization working to promote horticultural industry in Tanzania presents interests of the private sector players and the industry as whole and works with the government to improve business enabling environment in the country. TAHA also facilitates smooth operation of the businesses, by, through its logistics arm, TAHAFresh Handling Ltd. by providing logistics services including perishable handling and transportation The full interview can be accessed from our website: www.agribusinessafrica.net agribusinessafrica.net
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Contacts us on: Tel: +254 20 8155022; Cell: +254 725 343932 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org april 2015 | agri-Business africa
dairy in kenya
The Milk Sector in Kenya: What is the way forward? The milk sector is an important facet of the economy of Kenya. The sector recorded tremendous growth in the decade leading to 2013, coming from many years of decline or stagnant growth. But the growth has since then has stalled, leaving observers with the question of where the next growth engine will come from. With increased interest by investors in the processing of milk with various investments being announced in the last few months in the country, where will the milk come from? FoodWorld Media explores
hat the milk sector is an important facet of the economy in Kenya is not in doubt. The dairy industry in Kenya is one of the largest in Africa. With an estimated 5 billion litres of milk produced in the country, the dairy industry is an important player in the economic and nutritional aspects of the Kenyan population. The industry experienced aggressive growth in the 2000s, peaking at almost 6 billion litres in 2009, from a low of just below 3 billion litres in 2000, a doubling of production in 10 years. Held back by a monopolistic and troubled Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC), low productivity, high costs and lack of incentives to the farmer, including poor producer prices throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the milk sector responded by recording falling volumes as the incentive to rear dairy animals withered with the inflationary years of the 1990s as well. A wind of change swept the land as a new government, increased processing capacity (due to increase in number of dairies) and favourable policies led to increased milk production in the country from 2004. However, as the 2000s faded and 2010s beckoned, the dairy industry has faced stagnant or falling volumes which is not
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
in tandem with a key component of the industry: increasing investments in dairy processing and increasing investor appetite in dairy products by increasingly wealthier, urban consumers. Rising investor interest This dichotomy of falling production and increasing demand for milk products in the domestic and regional markets places Kenya in a quandary. Sample this: Danone, the French food group last year bought a 40% shareholding in Brookside Dairy, the regionâ€™s leading dairy processor. The dairy recently commissioned a milk powder plant and expanded its fresh and fermented milk factory in its expansion plans. Sameer Agriculture & Livestock has just announced that it is building a second factory in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru this year to tap into the regionâ€™s milk production. Insiders say that the number of investors interested in either buying into current players or building new green field operations in the country is at an all-time high. Rising population, increasing incomes and a rise in urbanisation coupled with a vibrant retail sector provides the dairy processing sector with a bright future.
But the question remains: Where will the milk come from to feed into this rising demand? How does the country increase its production to meet this demand? And what are the quick wins that can be exploited to enable the country remain the centre of growth in the region? Cutting through challenges The Kenyan dairy industry faces the challenges that many African countries grapple with: production led by small scale farmers; high costs due to lack of scale and inefficiency; poor policy environment; poor quality of breeds and of the resulting milk; and infrastructural challenges that drive up costs and reduce the capability of the country to operate its dairy herd at an optimum level of production. The informal sector is the dominant force in milk trading in Kenya. About 75 per cent of traded milk is sold outside the processing sector, both because consumers prefer unprocessed milk and because of inefficiencies in formal trading. At least 800,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya depend on dairy farming for their livelihood. Dairy production improves household nutrition and provides extra income. In addition to family labour, dairy agribusinessafrica.net
dairy in kenya
Percentage of households that kept improved or local cattle by agro-regional zones (2000-2010) **Source: Tegemeo Percentage of households keeping cows 2000
High Potential Maize Zone
Marginal Rain Shadow
farming generates jobs in wage labour and mobile milk trading for a further 365,000 people. A survey conducted by Smallholder Dairy Project (SDP) asserts that there are approximately 6.7 million dairy cattle in Kenya (SDP, 2005). The Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) on the other hand estimates a figure of 5.5 million milking animals (TechnoServe, 2008). In Africa, Kenya is the only country, after South Africa that produces enough milk for both domestic consumption and export. Sudan on the other hand is the largest producer of milk in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), but it does not produce enough to satisfy. The sector is facing huge policy and regulatory challenges, even on the processing side. According to Sammy Kimanthi, the Production Manager at Guango Dairies, there are a number of licences from the Kenya Dairy Board, National Environment Management Authority and the local authorities that have also impacted the smaller dairies. The Dairy Board has also not provided support to smaller scale dairies that are important in the sector’s growth. Kimanthi also notes that the number of dairy farmers in Kiambu County where the dairy is located has been declining in the last few years, with the dairy itself selling off its stock of animals some years back. Milk production in the area is therefore falling as a result of farmers moving away to more worthy investments. Growth into the next decade The dairy industry’s growth into the next decade is tied to a number of interventions from the sector’s players, government and farmers. With population of the country agribusinessafrica.net
expected to grow by about 1 million per year, hitting 85 million by 2050, (doubling in 35 years) the demand for milk is expected to rise in tandem with the population, incomes and urbanisation. Yet, the country’s already highest per capita consumption of milk which stood at 99.9 litres/capita/year is under strain as it is projected that the country will face a milk deficit of 3.5 billion litres per annum by some researchers due to stagnating volume growth. For Kenya to meet the needs of the next generation of milk users and processors, the country will have to invest in the following: Open up new geographies The economy of Kenya has been driven a great deal by the Sessional Paper No. 10 of 1965, which has been blamed by a number of people for the lack of development of vast swathes of the country, as it called for the country to focus its resources to the ‘high’ potential former White Highlands, so as to fast track development of the young state. And the map of milk production tends to map this trend, with country relying on the Central Highlands and the Rift Valley for the bulk of its milk production. As the new devolved Constitution has shown in other facets of the economy, there is great potential to develop milk production infrastructure in other regions of the country. Such regions include Western Kenya, Coast regions including the Tana Delta and the former Eastern Province. According to the Productivity Trends and Performance of Dairy Farming in Kenya report by the Tegemeo Institute of the Egerton University (Table 1), the level of uptake of improved dairy breeds is highest in the country’s High Potential Maize zone and the Central Highlands (with about 80%
improved varieites). Regions that could be the next milk production zones include the Western Highlands and Transitional areas (Kakamega, Kisii, Bungoma etc) with between 38 and 54% improved varieties and Eastern Lowlands (Machakos, Makueni 30.5%), Coastal Lowlands (Kwale, Kilifi - 5.4%) and Western Lowlands (Siaya, Kisumu - 3.4%) require the appropriate incentives to build up improved varieties that will improve milk production – even if presently, they look like areas with no future in milk production. Build up infrastructure Although the quality of infrastructure (roads, electricity) has improved significantly since the 2000s across the country, lack of infrastructure at the farms for production and post-harvest management remains a major handicap. Milk collection and cooling remains a huge challenge for dairies, with dairies forced to invest in processing of milk and also critically, the infrastructure for milk cooling, storage and transport. For future growth prospects, the dairies cannot continue sinking funds in infrastructure that would rather be invested by farmers and other players. Improvement of investment by governments and Increase productivity on the farm Low productivity remains a major hindrance to milk production in Kenya. While Israel, the leading country in the world produces upwards of 10,000 litres of milk per cow, the US produces 8,400 litres per cow per year while Germany produces 7,100 litres per cow per year, Kenya produces a paltry 1,344 litres per cow per year because of poor feeding regimes, poor breeds and lack of innovation in the sector. Improving productivity on the april 2015 | agri-Business africa
dairy in kenya
farm is quite a sophisticated process with no quick wins, but a focus on turning dairy farming into a business and infusion of technology into the sector will go a long way in changing the tide of falling productivity. The imposition of VAT on animal feeds two years ago has also led to increased feeding costs that have affected productivity. Increase the use of technology at the farm level The use of technology is a severe handicap to production increase in Kenya. While on the milk processing side of the chain the quality and variety of technologies are increasingly being adopted by the processors, the majority of farmers are small scale players with no knowledge of current technologies that can be used on the farm to improve performance. Such technologies include increased adoption of artificial insemination and better breeds, using optimised feeding regimes, pest and disease management and pasture and farm management technology using the latest innovations available. While labour is still cheap in Kenya, a general infusion of technology mixed with better quality breeds and optimum herd numbers will reduce costs and efficiency that will drive up milk volumes. Strengthen market access through cooperatives The milk sector in Kenya has its roots in the co-operative movement, with the establishment of the Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) in 1925. Co-operatives have continued to play a key role even after the liberalisation of the sector, with Githunguri, Meru and Wakulima standing out as some of the dairy co-operatives that have thrived even in a fairly competitive environment, with value addition of milk products to boot. The creation and strengthening of market access channels and formation of co-operatives can be used to ensure that marginal areas like Western and Coastal regions can adopt better breeds with a supporting structure to make the ventures thrive, reducing the risk of loss. Reduce costs of production While it has to be noted that production costs remain high, this fact is amplified with the fact that many farms are small in size with no economic scale advantage. Poorly resourced farmers with other pressing matters have no means to source in bulk or cut off middle men when it comes to market access with the final product. The future of the industry lies on fewer farmers who can build economic scale and have integrated farming 30
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
systems that can cut costs of production. Costs of feed remain quite high due to lack of feed inputs, with most of the ingredients imported into the country. Maize costs are high in the country, impacting on feed costs. The costs of equipment, packaging and of critical services have to reduce to have a more competitive sector. Build quality infrastructure in the system With these investments on the processing side, Kenya cannot continue to produce poor quality milk for sale locally and for export. From poor quality veterinary services with only 13 percent of registered veterinarians are engaged in private practice, according to the Smallholder Dairy Project, with ‘the market gap filled by a large increase in the number of agro-vet shops (often manned by unqualified staff), the country lacks a quality infrastructure of note. Systems have to be put in place to ensure milk quality improves through the adoption of HACCP principles at the farm and throughout the chain, improved feed quality, improve access to higher quality breeds, increase investments in the cold chain and boost training of farmers and other players in quality management. Can Counties be the next growth driver? The promulgation of the new Constitution provides the possibility to spread milk production wider and deeper into the country. According to Nahashon Gitonga, the Production Manager at the Meru Central Dairy Cooperative Union, the dairy has spent a lot of resources in the establishment of resources in putting in place infrastructure and in extension services over the years. But this is set to change. “The county government has voiced its intention to partner with us to boost the production of milk in the region. When this comes to fruition, we are sure we shall bridge the gap and meet our volume growth targets which has been hampered by lack of adequate resources”, noted Gitonga.
And Meru is not alone. The county government of Murang’a has invested in 35 milk cooling centres that are spread within the county, an important investment considering that Muranga County, despite its potential, has punched below its weight in milk production. The county has also formed a company, Muranga County Creameries that manages the cooling centres, provides feed and AI services and markets the milk produced by members. Other counties that have been reported to commenced support to the milk sector include Bungoma and Nyandarua. But Kimanthi thinks that some counties are not as supportive. The new Kiambu County Government has plans to introduce a milk processing levy of Ksh 60 cents per litre as it seeks to raise more revenue, but has not offered any support to the farmers in the area according to Kimanthi. Milk marketing The dairy processing industry in Kenya is dominated by a few big processors and a high number of smaller and medium operators. Though the number of licensed dairies is higher, about 40 dairies are actively producing and availing their products through the normal retail channels in a significant manner. Latest figures show that there are 4 big dairies processing above 100,000 litres per day. These dairies include Brookside, New KCC, Sameer Agriculture & Livestock and Githunguri Dairy Co-operative Society. Other medium level dairies processing less than this amount but with a significant intake include Kinangop, Meru Dairy Cooperative Society, and Kabianga Dairy. Smaller specialist dairies include Bio Food Products, Razco Ltd, Raka Cheese, Brown’s Cheese and Alpha Dairy. Recent entrants into the sector include Wakulima Dairy and Aspendos Dairy. Milk processing has a bright future, with expectations that foreign investors will line up, buying out some of the present players in the next five years agribusinessafrica.net
pictorial Afca coffee conference & expo 12-14th february, 2015, Nairobi kenya
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
August 7-8: Central Kenya Agri-Business Africa Trade Fair, KALRO, Thika, Kenya The horticulture, crop and livestock Farmers Expo and workshops targeting the Mt Kenya region of Kenya. Hosted by the Horticulture Research Institute of KALRO www.AgriBusinessAfrica.net/Central April 28-30: Agritech Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel One of the world’s most important exhibitions in the field of agricultural technologies. www.agritech.org.il May 12-15: Grain SA Nampo Harvest Day, Bothaville, South Africa An annual trade fair held focused on farmers in the region with a complete perspective into the latest farming products and equipment. www.grainsa.co.za May 28-29: Food Safety Summit Africa Conference & Expo, Nairobi, Kenya The food, feed and agro industry event focused on food safety in Africa’s produce, food and beverages. www.FoodSafetySummitAfrica.com May 29-31: Mt Kenya Branch ASK Show, Nanyuki, Kenya The ASK trade fair for the Mt Kenya branch www.ask.co.ke June 3-5: IFTEX, Nairobi, Kenya The flower industry event serving the entire value chain www.hppexhibitions.com/floriculture/2015/nbo/ June 9-11: VITAM, Cologne, Germany The world’s leading events for the animal & aquatic feed, pet-food and biomass industries www.victam.com June 12-14: Eastern Branch ASK Show, Embu, Kenya The ASK trade fair for the Eastern Kenya branch www.ask.co.ke June 19-21: Western Kenya Branch Show, Kakamega, Kenya The ASK trade fair for the Eastern Kenya branch www.ask.co.ke June 23-25: AVI Africa 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa The event for the poultry industry in Southern Africa www.sapoultry.co.za June 28-July 10: Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania The leading trade fair in Tanzania with a focus on Eastern and Central Africa. www.tantrade.or.tz
Have an Event you would like to see here? Contact us on email@example.com 32
april 2015 | agri-Business africa
IN THE NEWS
“This year, we are faced with a challenge, particularly on our staple crop [maize]. Many of our small-scale farmers shall suffer crop failure.” Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture, Given Lubinda, sounds a warning, as poor weather conditions could negatively impact maize output this season
“Currently, a majority of smallholder farmers still practice dairy for subsistence reasons. We intend to transform the enterprise into a fully commercial undertaking that is capable of sustaining family incomes.” Brookside Dairy’s GM in charge of milk procurement and extension, John Gethi, on the need for farmers to take dairy harming as a commercial venture in Kenya
“We are currently in the negotiation stage with the Ministry of Agriculture to work out a way to have the industry get privileges that come with the listing.” The Kenya Flower Council Chief Executive Officer Jane Ngige, disclosing that they are discussing with the government to be listed under the Special Economic Zones.
“It will build capacity in technical, communication skills and advise poultry growers, sellers and live birds marketing administrators on developing a bio-safety plan.’’ Dr Ademola Raji, the Director, Department of Animal Production and Husbandry Services of Nigeria discloses on how they are working with industry to enhance disease prevention, detection and control.
“We have not yet understood why China has introduced this standard, which has never been a quality requirement in all other tea markets including our traditional ones.” Ms Elizabeth Kimenyi, interim head at the Tea Directorate in Kenya, on the recent introduction of fluoride content in tea by China, which has affected tea exports to the country.
“The cost of production is too high in Zimbabwe compared to other countries, while the depressed international prices have also contributed to the decline in the number of farmers producing cotton.” Zimbabwe Farmers Union President Abdul Nyathi decries falling cotton production volumes in the country
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may 28-29 2015, Nairobi kenya
Strathmore Business School to host Food Safety Summit Africa Conference & Expo 2015 Attendees at the upcoming Food Safety Summit Africa Conference & Expo have an opportunity to interact, learn and trade at one of the most relaxing and engaging event locations in Kenya. Strathmore Business School is the leading business and leadership training institution in the region “One benefit of the kind of venue we have at Strathmore Business School is that our delegates and exhibitors will have two days of interaction with each other better than any other events that have been organised for the food and agro industry in the region”, said the event organisers, FoodWorld Media, publishers of the industry leading technical publications Food Business Africa and Agri-Business Africa. With key decision makers expected to come from the Eastern, Southern and Central African food and beverage industry and the feed and agro industry, Government and regulatory authorities, researchers, retailers, and other stakeholders, this event promises to be a defining opportunity for the industry in Africa to place food safety where it belongs – top of the agenda. The event is held in partnership with Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Plant Health Inspection Service (KEPHIS) Ministry of Health and National Biosafety Authority. The two day event is planned for May 28-29, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya – the centre of sub-Sahara Africa’s economy. Hot topics during this year’s event include aflatoxins and other contaminants, GMOs regulation in the continent, pesticide residues in fresh produce, and case studies in meat, dairy, beverages processing and handling. The food safety landscape in Africa faces a number of challenges, one of which is capacity of farmers, processors, retailers, and Governments to ensure that the industry grows, produces and sells safe food. Increasingly, the continent faces the challenge of meeting export market requirements imposed by key export markets like the European Union.
More information about registering and attending the event are available at the event
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