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ProAgri B otswa n a /N am i b ia/Zim b ab w e

No 03

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p 34

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offers a one stop shop www.agri4all.com

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Letter from the Editor

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hat can agriculture do for Zimbabwe in these dark days? We can bank on the idea that since food is one of the basic human needs, there will always be scope for food production, no matter the scale or circumstances. Let’s discuss a few scenarios. The worst case scenario is the total collapse of government and consequently, water and electricity supplies, and roads. A dystopian world will await us where everyone has to fend for himself. Aid organisations won’t be able to feed everyone. Subsistence farming will become the status quo, because anyone trying to produce more than needed, will be ransacked by militia. A few super rich and daring enterprise farms will be able to carry on production though. They will have to pay for protection and fly their inputs and supplies in, using their own airfields. Their produce will be swept up the hungry masses, although it will be pricy. It will be branded the Middle Ages of Zimbabwe. The second scenario resembles the current state of affairs. Foreign

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Cover commercial farmers and investors look at Zimbabwe with hungry eyes, but full of scepticism, since government struggles to formulate and apply a healthy agricultural policy. The last scenario is where Zimbabwe will become a stable pro-free-market country. A strong president will bring corruption and incompetence down to levels acceptable for foreign agricultural investors. The issue of race will be buried and white commercial farmers will be invited back with lucrative incentives to kick-start the agri-industry again. When the production and value chain are moving again, the current, struggling farming community will be able to benefit from the growing agricultural sector like in other neighbouring countries. Zimbabwe has the opportunity to become the bread basket of Africa again. This edition is jam-packed with newsworthy articles from all three the countries and the educational and informational articles from Bonnox, AGCO and Reinke will give you a legup in your quest to become the best farmer you can be. For the farmers who wish to receive the magazine on WhatsApp, please WhatsApp your name, surname, country, main agricultural activity and e-mail address to +27(0)84-041-1722. It will be less than 15 MB per issue. Farm smartly! Du Preez de Villiers dupreez@proagri.co.za

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Content 3. Scania builds workshop and truck-stop on north-south route 5. Versatile Bonnox 6. How to get started with aquaponics. Part 3 9. AGCO offers a quick guide in fertiliser management and crop nutrition 11. Reinke provides systems suited to your unique needs 12. Reinke’s warehouse keeps enough stock for Africa 13. Soil, the farmer’s most important asset. Part 3 16. Water wise farmers build earth dams. Part 1 20. Spray to protect your crops. Part 3 25. Agriculture is the answer to Africa’s problems 31. Drought in Namibia: What to do to survive 34. Large-scale producer affirms Namibian grapes as a global brand 37. Another foot-and-mouth disease outbreak 40. Can Russia support Zimbabwean Agriculture?

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

Scania thought outside the box with their new service station and driver rest stop in one. Read more about this magnificent idea on page 3.

ProAgri B ot s wa n a/N a m i b i a/Z i m b a b w e

202b Griselda Road Murrayfield, Pretoria +26 (0)12 803 0728 www.proagri.co.za Copyright © 2019. All rights r­ eserved. No m ­ aterial, text or p ­ hoto­graphs may be r­ eproduced, copied or in any other way t­ ransmitted without the written consent of the publisher. O ­ pinions ­expressed are not n ­ ecessarily those of the publisher or of the e ­ ditor. We recognise all trademarks and logos as the sole property of their r­ espective o ­ wners. ProAgri shall not be liable for any errors or for any actions in reliance thereon.

ProAgri Editor Du Preez de Villiers > +27 82-598-7329 dupreez@proagri.co.za Reporters Jaco Cilliers > +27 71-893-6477 jaco@proagri.co.za Benine Ackermann > +27 73-105-6938 benine@proagri.co.za Marketing Manager Diane Grobler > +27 82-555-6866 diane@proagri.co.za Marketing Xander Pieterse > +27 79-524-0934 xander@proagri.co.za Tiny Smith > +27 82-698-3353 tiny@proagri.co.za Anelda Strauss > +27 74-424-0055 anelda@proagri.co.za Johan Swartz > +27 71-599-9417 johan@proagri.co.za Gerhard Potgieter > +27 74-694-4422 gerhard@proagri.co.za Design Christiaan Joubert > christiaan@proagri.co.za Enquiries Engela Botha > +27 12-803-0782 engela@proagri.co.za Izel Zeelie > +27 12-803-0782 izel@proagri.co.za Accounts Ronel Schluter > +27 12-803-0782 accounts@proagri.co.za Distribution Janita du Plessis > +27 12-803-0782 janita@proagri.co.za Managing Editor Annemarie Bremner > +27 82-320-3642 annemarie@proagri.co.za Business Manager George Grobler > +27 83 460 0402 george@proagri.co.za

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CUTCO Chester Oelf 071 748 5807 chester@cutco.co.za

DW Agri André de Waal 079 100 3167 andre@dwagri.co.za

Nutmech Riaan Coetzee 079 036 3240 riaan@nutmech.co.za

Upington Trekkers Ivan Heyns 082 773 3308 ivan@upttrekkers.co.za

Otjiwarongo Motors & Trekkers Thorsten Kopp +264 67 302 782 massey@afol.com.na

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ProAgri BNZ 03


Scania does more for clients:

New workshop and truck-stop on north-south route

by Jaco Cilliers

The Scania workshop is located on the same premises as River North Carriers and their relationship is testament to Scania’s customer focus. Flip de Bruyn, owner of River North Carriers, has had a business relationship with Scania since 2003. “When I needed a service centre closer to my business four years ago, Scania stationed two mechanics on the premises,” Flip explains. The symbiosis between Scania and River North Carriers serves as an excellent example of Scania’s commitment to their clients. The building process started on 13 May 2019, and the workshop was officially opened and ready for customers by 21 November this year. On the day of the launch there was an atmosphere of excitement about the new workshop. About 50 guests turned up to see the new workshop in all its glory. They were very impressed with the firstclass service that this workshop offers.

The new Scania workshop situated at plot 130, Wessels Street, Klerksdorp, is the ideal place for Scania truckers to stop over when they need rest or services for their trucks.

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cania leads where others try to follow. Over the past 128 years the company has fine-tuned their recipe for success. One of the core values that they have based their business on, is customer service. This served as the main motivation behind the new Scania workshop opened in Klerksdorp, on one of the main routes from the northern neighbouring countries to the southern regions of South Africa. Scania’s Regional General Manager, Morné Botha, explained that the motivation for building a new Scania workshop in Klerksdorp in the North-West province of South Africa, was to provide services for their customers who were passing by, as well as those located in the area. “Klerksdorp is on one of the main routes that traverses the country from north to south. We saw the need

for not only a service station where repairs and maintenance can be done on the trucks, but also a rest stop for the drivers,” explains Morné. The workshop is a fully equipped Scania service station that can fix any problem on site to get the wheels rolling again as soon as possible. The workshop can service six Scania trucks at a time, and it has a spare parts store as well. While the fully qualified mechanics attend to the trucks, Scania Klerksdorp’s rest stop offers the drivers an opportunity to recharge their own batteries. The driver facilities include sleeping quarters, a canteen and bathrooms equipped with showers. This ensures that the drivers get their much-needed rest and keeps them and other road users safe.

The Scania workshop in Klerksdorp is fully equipped to service six Scania trucks at a time.

Christopher Magson, Max Kruger, Morné Botha, Flip de Bruyn (owner of River North Carriers), Gary Boucher, Deon Koegelenberg, and Leon Kriel. The Scania team was very excited about the launch of the new workshop. The workshop will provide an alternative for the Scania clients of the area, including towns like Bothaville, Wesselsbron, Lichtenburg and Vryburg. Before this workshop was built, the closest of its kind was in Bloemfontein. Now Scania technicians and parts are a lot closer and easily accessible to the local market. The agricultural community in the surrounding areas of Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom will also be able to get their trucks back to work quicker due to the proximity of the new workshop, according to Morné. Morné thanked their loyal customers for their support over the years, saying that without them the success of Scania, and the new facility, would not be possible. “We have built this workshop for the convenience of our customers,” Morné stated. Contact Scania SA on +27 (0)11661-9600 or Gary Boucher, Regional Dealer Manager at +27 (0)63-693-7719 or Christopher Magson, Regional Sales Manager at +27 (0)72-122-5705. Visit their website at www.scania.co.za.

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

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ProAgri BNZ 03


Versatile Bonnox

by Du Preez de Villiers

Xander Pieterse from ProAgri with Michèle Schiess, Mafusi Molefi, Thomas Linders and Honest Moyo from Waaipoort Permaculture Research Centre, are very impressed with the Bonnox fencing that protects their vegetable garden from stray animals.

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any books can be written about the farmer’s ingenuity. One of the gifts typical of farmers is the ability to use any item in various ways to improvise. Thomas Linders is a small-scale farmer with a unique project on his farm, Waaipoort, near Rosendal. He operates a permaculture research centre that tests the ability of various plants to prevent erosion. Soil erosion is a major problem in the Rosendal region and nearby Lesotho. He believes in organic farming and his project is part of WWWOF (World Wide Workers on Organic Farms). The centre also grows organic vegetables for own consumption. Thomas believes in using only the best materials in his projects, and he knows Bonnox fencing. "We used it in Midrand in the early 90's in a construction project," he says. "When we arrived at Waaipoort, we had a lot of problems with stray

animals from other farms. We lost our entire vegetable crop during the first winter. We quickly had to make a plan to find a fence that could be erected easily and promptly. "I bought 200 m of Bonnox's Money Saver, which is 1,4 m high. We erected four strong corner posts and the gate posts, with wooden poles every ten metres," says Thomas. "We use volunteers from around the world in the Centre and we were able to quickly put up the fence. We bought the Bonnox clamp bar which made installation easy and found it very useful." Thomas plans to enlarge the vegetable garden and also to get alpacas, sheep and goats. According to him, Bonnox's fence can contain any adventurous goat. "In permaculture we believe that anything we add to the system must have at least two or three uses," he says. Therefore, Bonnox fencing

It is extremely easy for Thomas Linders and a volunteer to erect Bonnox fencing around the Waaipoort Permaculture Research Centre's vegetable garden using a Bonnox wire clamp.

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

doesn’t only keep out unwelcome animals. The fence also serves as support for fibre sponge cucumber vines. The fruit of this crop is used in soups, or as a natural sponge, or ground and mixed with concrete to produce lightweight bricks. "Later we also want to plant specific plants along the Bonnox fence so that it can run up and grow out to provide a living fence," says Thomas. Thomas bought another 100 metre role of Bonnox to serve as vertical support for the runner vegetables. "I arrived at Bonnox's factory in Sunderland Ridge on a Friday afternoon just as they were closing for the weekend. Without a fuss the people immediately unlocked the factory and assisted me very cordially. The Bonnox factory is very well organised and tidy, and the presentation of their products outside is very interesting and informative." Bonnox wire is perfect for running crops, and it also provides a strong support for the overhead bird netting that keeps the birds and bugs out. "We let our English cucumbers, pickles and tomatoes run up against the Bonnox wire. In winter, the peas and snow peas do the same so that we can have an early spring crop ready." Thomas still has problems with hares crawling through the wire, but next time he will buy the fence with the smallest squares at the bottom. "Although this is a small-scale farming operation, we can use the durable and versatile Bonnox in various ways," says Thomas. He is also considering the idea of using Bonnox to build erosion control cages ...

Bonnox fencing is very versatile. Waaipoort Permaculture Research Centre also uses it as a prop for their tomatoes and other runner crops. Call 012-666-8717, 076-169-9068 or e-mail linda@bonnox.co.za, gerda@bonnox.co.za or zane@bonnox.co.za. Also visit their website at www.bonnox.co.za. 5


Aquaponics Part 3: Seven moneymaking trends in aquaponics by Ryno Postma, www.hydrotowers.org

To set up your system in Namibia send an e-mail to aquacrispnamibia@gmail.com

Use 90% less water for vegetable production and have fish to sell • Cost effective • Highly productive • Robust

Commercial unit: 65 x 75m • 4 000 kg tilapia p/m • 50 000 lettuce / spinach / herbs • 4 000 fruit bearing plants (eg tomato) Community units of 30 x 10m also available

Send an e-mail to sales@ksba.co.za for a quote (+27)-71-412-4207 / colin@ksba.co.za www.ksba.co.za

System Design – Build – Train 6

Photo: fermierrestaurant.com

ProAgri BNZ 03


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aking money should not just be an act of doing, it’s an act of passion. Steve Jobs once said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. The combination of your passion with current market trends equals growth opportunities (which translates to money). In this article we shall touch on different aquaponic market trends, evaluating each trend in the following categories: Pros, Cons and Sustainability. Your passion should drive your choice, that will be the difference between you and your competitor, the difference between success and failure! High-value crops & niche farming High-value crops can be defined as crops that are grown year-round with a high sales price. Unlike commonly grown crops like lettuce, speciality crops are not widely grown and fetch higher prices for growers. Your geographical location and consumer base will determine which crop(s) will be considered as high-value crops. Pros • Higher gross profit margin(s) • Fewer competitors Cons • Nutritional demands differ between vegetables and herbs – consider nutrients per group of crops • Your market is defined which implies greater risk Sustainability Highly sustainable when you have an established customer base. Example(s) Herbs (such as basil, arugula, and coriander) and certain vegetables (such as brinjals, cucumbers, and heirloom tomatoes) usually fall in this category.

High-value crops

Aquaponic training classes Aquaponic training courses have become synonymous with aquaponic farms. These courses / classes provide the general public with a basic understanding of aquaponics, and in some cases a more technical understanding.

Aquaponics training classes Pros • Additional revenue stream (byproduct of aquaponic farming) • Great return on investment (ROI); initial time investment to create course material far outweighs subsequent time investment(s) • Brand awareness • Keep in touch with industry developments • Maintain knowledge and skills used in aquaponic farming Cons • Marketing campaigns; this might be a daunting task for some farmers • Your farm might not be equipped for entertaining large crowds; this equals additional costs which reduce profits.

of food processing is not only to add value to your produce, but to protect and prolong their shelf-life. Pros • Adds value to crops by processing • In some cases, by export, earns valuable foreign exchange • Is a major source of employment • Provides opportunities for import substitution • Protects and prolongs the shelf-life of your produce • Benefits many small-sector players Cons • Additional working capital to be incurred; such as equipment, labour and packaging

Sustainability Most commercial aquaponic farms have entered this market. The aquaponic market is experiencing significant growth which allows for everyone to enter this space successfully, albeit with some challenges. Be careful to build your business model around this trend as long-term sustainability is questionable. Example(s) Company A holds aquaponic training courses at Company B which is not too far from their farm. Company B is responsible for the marketing campaign, food on the day the equipment and ensuring that the facility is spotless on the day. • Company A revenue $200 pp • Company A expense (Company B) $135 pp • Company gross profit $65 pp Further processing Food processing combines raw food ingredients to produce marketable food products that can be easily prepared and served by the consumer. The goal

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

Food processing • •

High operating / fixed costs, including the cost of cold-rooms, storing, and transport Small-scale farmers do not have the advantage of economy of scale

Sustainability Highly sustainable 7


Examples • Salad mixes including herbs and green leaves • Canned pet food products made from aquaponic fish • Pickled or dried foods • Spicy microgreens Design aquaponic systems For those who have an in-depth understanding of the micro-biology of aquaponics (the bacteria, aquaculture and plants), this trend provides for an additional revenue stream. The business model behind this trend is ‘tricky’ as there are many established and well-known system designs freely available on the internet. The design package is where the value lies – what value can you add that your customer won’t find anywhere else? You then have to consider the different branches under this trend: Do you want to provide digital solutions (DIY systems), be involved in the construction process (additional fees to be earned here) or even provide training on designing principles? Pros • Additional revenue stream (byproduct of aquaponic farming) • Great return on investment; a once-off time investment to design your system, including additional value-added benefits • For aquaponic farmers, experience from your own system provides for more efficient designs • Empowering aquaponic farmers to understand the micro-biology behind aquaponics • Income from digital assets is passive in nature

tem” from the fish and vegetables to the livestock, that suits our idea of responsible, conscientious farming (and restaurant) where even “waste” is turned into a functional part of the cycle.” The statement sums it up, the synergies and cost savings provide for a highly sustainable operation that can withstand economic challenges. Pros • Additional revenue stream (byproduct of aquaponic farming) • Synergies and cost savings provide for higher profit margins • Brand awareness Cons • Your brand can sustain damage if your consumers find fault with food or service • Restaurants are known for the long hours: late nights and weekends are when you make your money • Restaurant profitability is likely to grow over time, depending on factors like your location • High starting capital required Sustainability Highly sustainable Example(s) Restaurant that serves aquaponic produce: Fermier in Pretoria, South Africa

Restaurant One of the prestigious restaurants in South Africa that farms their own produce using aquaponic growing methods made the following statement: “It is an attempt to create a restaurant which in future can become completely self-sustainable by creating an entire “ecosys8

Cons • You might not have knowledge of the industry that you want to pursue; this translates to time and / or money Sustainability Highly sustainable Example(s) • Grow gourmet and medicinal mushrooms • Farm snails for profit • Private fishing lakes (consider using tilapia) Cost savings and synergy benefits Synergies are often overlooked in the pursuit of increasing profits, and in most cases, it’s an easy and effective tool for increasing profits. This requires some clever thinking, evaluation of all possible outcomes and decisive decisions. Refer to the example for practical guidance.

Cons • This could be time-consuming Sustainability This trend alone cannot drive the sustainability of your venture, along with other factors this trend does however promote sustainability.

Fermier aquaponic restaurant

Example(s) • United States of America: Nelson and Pade Inc. • South Africa: www.ksba.co.za

Pros • Highly profitable • Business risk is reduced through diversification • Stabilises farm income • Is a major source of employment

Pros • Immediate cost savings • Cultivating an ‘out-of-the-box’ culture • Synergies and cost savings provide for higher profit margins

Cons • To the extent that your system may not function as intended, you could be held liable for the product / service that you provide • This creates additional admin where customers come back with questions / queries – additional consulting fees cannot always be charged • It takes time and energy away from your own production system Sustainability Highly sustainable

to lose, consider following the same principles that we set out for aquaponic beginners.

Diversification Diversification is a business strategy to enter into a new market or industry in which the business doesn’t currently operate, while also creating a new product for that new market. This includes aspects mentioned above, creating digital assets for an example, but I want to focus on produce diversity. This trend should be pursued with a specific strategy where you limit your risk and invest what you can afford

Example(s) Nile tilapia is usually farmed in aquaponic systems. Red breast tilapia (Rendalli) grow slightly slower compared to their Nile family members, but their average fillet size is between 48% and 53% of their total body weight, higher than the industry norm. The Rendalli tilapia also has a greater tolerance for plant-based diets; you will save costs when incorporating organic plants into their diet (consider adding moringa and duckweed) and could benefit from their fillet size if you are targeting restaurants. This article was published on https://hydrotower.org. Visit the site for many more interesting articles on sustainable living.

ProAgri BNZ 03


The science of feeding crops:

A quick guide in fertiliser management and crop nutrition Opinion piece by Dr Ben Ngwene, AGCO

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ach seed we plant in the soil must receive adequate nutrition to reach its full potential. It is up to the farmer to ensure that his field meets basic nutritional requirements to achieve optimal yields. If he neglects this important step, he risks weak growth and a crop more susceptible to diseases with a diminished ability to produce successfully. While we are waiting for the rains, here are some pointers on how to ensure crops absorb enough minerals essential for their survival. To get a good harvest, a field needs two categories of plant nutrients, namely macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are required in relatively large amounts while micronutrients are required in far lesser amounts. Macronutrients are further divided into primary and secondary groups based on their importance. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are some of the main primary nutrients which are readily available in mineral fertiliser. The most commonly used secondary nutrients are magnesium, calcium and sulphur. Now, the reason why most smallholder farmers yield weak harvests is because they do not have access to these secondary nutrients. Micronutrients on the other hand are only required in small amounts, and are less likely to result in crops displaying deficiencies if they are not available in the soil. These include iron, manganese, boron, copper, zinc and molybdenum. All these nutrients are absorbed through the roots as dissolved ions in the soil solution. Therefore, soil moisture is very important for plant nutrition and we must take moisture conservation seriously.

How to assess crop requirements for nutrients Crop requirements for nutrients are mainly influenced by crop type and yield expectation. For example, if we are expecting our maize yield at about 6 t/ha, we need about 140 kg/ha of N. This will come in the form of mineral fertiliser, manure and soil supply. A local agriculture extension service can help with these calculations. It is also imperative to know what is in our soil. A certified institution can conduct soil testing and provide full analysis on the soil type so the farmer can plan the best nutrient management for his field. The sandier the soil is, the less it can hold water and nutrients and the more the farmer needs to split fertiliser application to minimise loses. The analysis will also reveal the soil pH level. The ideal pH for most arable soils is about 6 to 7,5; however, if a field has acidic soil (pH below 6) it can be corrected through a process called liming. Liming is the application of calcium and magnesium rich materials such as chalk and limestone to soil which react as a base which neutralises soil acidity. Liming also promotes the activity of earthworms and the breakdown of organic material that releases nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and micro-elements. The rate, timing and application is very important in nutrient management. Plants need various nutrient rates and ratios at different growth stages. The optimum timing for fertiliser application is therefore determined by the nutrient uptake pattern of the crop and has a significant effect on crop yields. Furthermore, different nutrients must be applied at different timing as well.

Usually phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are applied prior to crop establishment because they are less prone to leaching. Nitrogen (N) on the other hand should be split. This varies with different crops and should match the period of crop uptake during planting (starter), high vegetative growth (sidedress), and flowering (sidedress). For instance, legumes only need small amounts of basal N to boost growth prior to N-fixation. And after a legume crop, there is more N in the soil which should be taken into account when calculating fertiliser requirements for the next crop! Soil type also affects the timing and frequency of fertiliser application. Split application of fertiliser is recommended mostly for large-scale farmers whereas most smallholder farmers use the broadcasting application method. But this might not be as efficient as banding. Simply put, broadcasting is spreading fertilisers uniformly all over the field while banding, either in rows or hill placement, ensures that the fertiliser is placed close to where it is needed reducing waste. So in closing, if you take care of the nutrition of your soil, the soil will take care of your crop yield. For proper fertiliser management start with calculating the fertiliser rate according to crop type and yield expectation, know what is in the soil (soil test), then apply calculated amounts of mineral fertiliser and manure at the proper time to limit waste. Dr Benard Ngwene is the Agricultural Advisory Manager for AGCO Africa. He is a highly enthusiastic and motivated agricultural scientist, with exceptional knowledge of rhizosphere processes, and involved in defining mechanisation solutions for smallholders and emerging farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. For more information on AGCO’s fine equipment and agricultural courses, send an e-mail to Benard.Ngwene@agcocorp.com.

AGCO Future Farm in Lusaka, Zambia provides smart solutions for farmers, giving them access to tools that will allow them to use fewer resources more efficiently and creating a more sustainable food production system. TRAINING INCLUDES: Agronomy Crop establishment Harvesting Crop nutrition Crop storage Crop protection Farm business management

Mechanisation Tractor fundamentals Tractor driving introduction Tractor maintenance & basic operation

For more information on training solutions offered at the AGCO Future Farm, please contact: Kalongo Chitengi | +260 979701936 | info_agcofuturefarm@agcocorp.com ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

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www.reinke.com Patrick Ellis 10

+27 (0)31 350 4525

patrickellis@reinke.com ProAgri BNZ 03


Pivot irrigation: Reinke provides systems suited to your unique needs by Jaco Cilliers Chris van Niekerk, from Kwazulu-Natal, SA has two centre pivot machines and the water to both is supplied by gravity. No pumps are required to get the water to the pivots.

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farmer always has to be on the lookout for any opportunity to save money. Wastage is not in the nature of a farmer, especially not of scarce and expensive resources such as water and electricity. Reinke shares this attitude and that is why this supplier will always assist farmers with efficient and costeffective irrigation systems. On Chris van Niekerk’s farm near Paulpietersburg, in Kwazulu-Natal, SA, this means that not one of his centre pivots needs a pump. The farm’s water comes from a mountain source and Ralph Klingenberg of Reinke has come up with a bright design that utilises gravity to provide water at the correct pressure to the centre pivots. Chris has two Reinke centre pivots. He plants fodder crops for his cattle under the Reinke irrigation systems. The water is stored in a dam high up on the mountainside. From there the water gravitates to the centre pivots. Chris grows maize for silage under the 10-hectare pivot and after that green fodder crops for his cattle. He divides the 10 hectares into ‘slices’ to prevent

The Reinke Advanced Plus control box automatically stops the pivot and cuts off the water supply when the end of a cycle is reached. trampling and over-grazing. He harvested 800 tonnes of silage on the 10 ha under irrigation. “I acquired the first centre pivot a year ago and it proved to be so effective that I could afford buying a second pivot within a year,” says Chris. He also uses the centre pivots to produce pastures for his animals. He

Pressure regulators are installed above the sprinklers to ensure equal water pressure in spite of the inclines of the field. ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

divided the 10 hectares into cake slices and alternates 120 head of cattle and 120 sheep on the slices. The animals are moved regularly to a next section to have the fodder grazed for five months and then resting for month. In this way Chris constantly keeps his animals in a good condition in spite of the present drought. The centre pivots are equipped with the latest electronic controls. When the pivot reaches the end of its programmed run, the system switches itself off and the water supply is closed down simultaneously. At the main tower, the water pressure is 3,6 bar. Due to the incline of the fields, the water pressure varies as the pivot moves over the land. At the lowest point the pressure is 4,8 bar and at the highest 3,2 bar. To maintain a constant pressure in spite of the uneven terrain, a pressure regulator has been installed on each sprinkler. Chris is more than pleased with the system and the service he receives from the knowledgeable and helpful Reinke team. “I never have to wait for Ralph. When it is necessary to make an adjustment, he is on the farm the same day," says Chris. He is equally delighted with the lots of electricity he saves because he does not need pumps to get the water to the centre pivots. Reinke provides an all-encompassing service to the farmer – from the planning of a new centre pivot system to the erection and maintenance of the system. The Reinke team concentrates on providing the best service to the farmer with a view of establishing longterm relationships with the farmers. For further information, contact Patrick Ellis on +27 (0) 31-3504525, or send an e-mail to patrickellis@reinke.com. 11


Reinke’s warehouse keeps enough stock for Africa by Jaco Cilliers

The huge warehouse keeps enough stock to supply all their distributors in Africa with pivots and pivot parts.

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einke is currently the biggest privately-owned pivot manufacturer in the world. This American company expanded into Africa over the past few years. The first shipment of Reinke warehouse stock arrived in August 2017. The Durban warehouse is used to keep stock for African farmers. When a farmer orders a new pivot, or spare parts for an existing Reinke product, the order is packed and sent from the Durban warehouse. The main goal of having a warehouse in Durban is to minimise the time that the farmer has to wait for his order. Reinke South

Africa can react and deliver effectively to any order in Africa. “Depending on the client’s needs and size of the order, we can deliver to any farmer in South Africa within 24 hours,” says the Warehouse Manager, Dhliep Bissessar. Orders from other African countries outside of South Africa can be packed and delivered within a week, according to Dhliep. The whole warehouse is operated by a few well-trained staff members. When they receive an order, they promptly pack the different components into crates and load it onto a

Every component of the pivot is kept in stock in the warehouse.

truck to deliver it on the farm. There are six Reinke agencies in Southern Africa. These agencies are not only equipped to help African farmers to plan their pivot irrigation, but they can also erect the pivots and provide technical support to farmers. Apart from the six agencies, Reinke also has marketers to introduce the products to the African agricultural market. Jaco Scheepers is the engineer at the Durban warehouse. He ensures that all the components of the pivots function correctly and he also provides technical advice to farmers and agents. Jaco uses a miniature version of a Reinke pivot in the warehouse to train the agents in the installation and faulttracking of the pivots. “I also provide training to our agencies in other African countries,” says Jaco. Patrick Ellis is the Director of Sales for Africa and he says that with this facility they have been able to react immediately to complete pivot orders as well as parts orders. "Over the last two years our business in Africa has grown tremendously and we are here to stay!" Reinke prides itself in the innovative design of the pivot structure to cut down on maintenance and operation costs, and to increase the lifespan of the irrigation system.

Contact Patrick Ellis on +27(0)31-350-4525 or via e-mail patrickellis@reinke.com.

12

ProAgri BNZ 03


Soil:

The farmer’s most important asset Part 2: The most important geological parent materials Martiens du Plessis, Soil Scientist, NWK Limited & Prof Cornie van Huyssteen, Lecturer: Soil Science, University of the Free State in South Africa.

S

oil is the most fundamental resource for the farmer, without which food and natural fibre cannot be produced. The mineral fraction of the origin of soil is mainly from geological material. This article aims at highlighting the influence of a few of the most important geological parent materials on the composition of soil. A rock or type thereof is sometimes made up of a single mineral, but is mainly made up of a complexity of various minerals. When the rock weathers, these minerals form the primary source of the mineral fraction of the soil. These various minerals, in turn, give rise to various soil properties. Should the parent material of soils in a specific area thus be known, various assumptions about the properties of the soil in that area may be made. Rocks formations are classified into three main groups according to their origins, viz. igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

on soil removal equipment. The other minerals (feldspar and mica) weather relatively easily to provide building blocks for the formation of silicate clays. Because granite weathers to a sandy material, it is alkaline and acidic in regions with a high rainfall. The K-feldspar provides granite soils with a lot of calcium, but usually has little Ca and Mg. The landscape in a granite area usually comprises round “domes” with small hollows between the domes. The soil above the domes is usually red and sandy with yellow sands further down the slope. The clay fraction then accumulates in the marshes to form clayey soils in the

hollows. The sandy nature of the soil makes it subject to compaction and the formation of compactions must be monitored constantly and broken up. Dolerite Dolerite (ironstone) was formed when magma penetrated the earth crust through cracks and fissures and solidified relatively slowly, albeit faster than granite. The penetrations were either vertical and formed stopes, or were horizontal and formed plates. Dolerite is hard and often weathers slower than the rocks into which it has penetrated. This has resulted in the formation of a series of ridges or the

IGNEOUS ROCKS Igneous rocks come from melted magma which has cooled and solidified. The chemical composition of the specific magma therefore has a determining effect on the properties of the rock. Granite Granite is plentiful in Southern Africa and often covers large areas. Because it cooled deep under the earth’s crust, the crystals had time to crystalise and therefore the granite crystals are relatively large. The typical composition of granite is indicated in Table 1 (p15). The quartz fraction is hard, chemically nonreactive and therefore weathers slowly. Quartz thus forms the largest fraction of soil that has weathered out of granite. The angles of the sand fraction are sharp and cause more wear and tear

A conglomerate comprises a variety of rocks of various fraction sizes (Photograph 1887)

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

13


so-called “mesas�. These landscapes are especially prominent in the Karoo. Dolerite crystals are finer, comprising dark minerals (Table 2, p15) and have a total absence of quartz. The minerals are all building blocks for clay minerals and, for that reason, dolerite soils are clayey. The sand fraction comprises semi-weathered minerals and should quartz occur in the soil, it has been imported by wind and/or water. The minerals are rich in Ca and Mg, but are low in K. Na from the plagioclase has a major influence on the physical condition of the soil, especially if it accumulates lower down in the landscape and makes the soil there brackish. Ca from the plagioclase could lead to the formation of limestone reefs. Fe from the augite and magnetite results in soils in well drained parts of the landscape being coloured an intense red, while the marshes are typically rich in expansive clays. Basalt Basalt is lava that flowed out on top of the earth and thus cooled down rapidly. Mineralogically, it is closely related to dolerite. Basalt is especially plentiful as the uppermost rocks of the Drakensberg where it overlies the sandstone, as well as on the Springbok Flats north of Pretoria. Those soils originating from basalt, are similar to those of dolerite, namely clayey red and black soils. Natrolite and quartz often crystalised in the gas openings. Ventersdorp lava Ventersdorp lava occurs widely in the North West Province in South Africa, where it weathers to clayey soils. In the North West Province in particular, it is covered by a layer of windblown sand, where it typically gives rise to a sandy topsoil with a very clayey subsoil. Ventersdorp lava is mineralogically partially comparative to dolerite and basalt and is also rich in calcium and sodium plagioclase and augite. In contrast to dolerite and basalt, it contains quartz, epidote, chalcedony and chlorite, which have crystalised in the gas openings. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS These are deposited rocks that were formed from weathered material originating from other rocks, which were transported, deposited and consolidated to form a new hard rock. Sedimentary rocks are consolidated under pressure from later deposits that form an overburden to create a hard rock and are subdivided according to partical size. Shales and mudstones Shales are very wide-spread in Southern Africa, where they form one of the lowest layers of the Karoo rocks. Shales and mudstones form when silt 14

A small dolorite ridge in a drained position in the landscape weathering to red clayey soil. and clay are transported by water and deposited elsewhere in layers. Shales are characteristically layered and have a fine texture. Mudstone is similar, but is not layered. It then weathers further to form clay minerals, fine quartz grains (silt) and other fine pieces of minerals, such as feldspar and mica. Some shales are rich in sodium and give rise to Na soils that are exceptionally sensitive to water erosion. Examples of these are to be found in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape provinces in South Africa in particular. Sandstone Sandstone is common in Southern Africa. The most well-known sandstones are those of the Karoo sediments, where they occur on top of the shales, as well as in parts of the Drakensberg in the Eastern Cape, the Eastern Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. In the Southern and Eastern Cape, the so-called Tafelberg sandstone is also widely distributed and originates from the sea bed. Sandstone in Southern Africa mainly comprises quartz sand deposited by wind or water and thereafter cemented together by a binding material (such as silica, calcium carbonate, iron oxides or clay) to a massive rock. The sand grains of sandstone are still clearly visible and, when the sandstone breaks, it breaks between the grains of sand. Sandstone is characteristically layered. Mineralogically, sandstone mainly comprises quartz,

but can also contain large quantities of feldspar. When sandstone weathers, it gives rise to more or less the same soil as the original parent material from which it was formed. The vast majority of sandstone in Southern Africa gives rise to sandy soil. These soils are mostly highly alkaline and tend to be very acidic, especially the Tafelberg sandstone soils. Conglomerate Conglomerate Is made up of both coarse and fine material and/or rock fragments. The finest are clay and iron oxides, while the largest may comprise pieces of rock larger than a metre. The parent material of conglomerate was transported by water or glaciers and deposited as unsorted and unconsolidated material. This unconsolidated material was later cemented into massive rocks by fine material such as clay, iron oxides and lime. Thus, mineralogically it comprises a mixture of rocks and minerals, which could lead to a variety of soils. The combination of minerals in the parent material, the topography and the climate are the main driving forces that will give rise to the specific soil type. The most important conglomerate may be found in the Northern and Western Cape provinces in South Africa, where it was deposited as glacial material. This conglomerate is often full of round stones (cobblestones) of various sizes.

ProAgri BNZ 03


METAMORPHIC ROCKS When any rock (igneous or sedimentary) is changed physically, usually by high pressure and temperature, so that it differs morphologically from the original rock, the “new” rock is known as a metamorphic rock. Chemically, it is still basically the same, but is now, for example, harder and less crystaline. Quartzite Quartzite is a metamorphic sandstone and can be found throughout Southern Africa. The best known quartzite is that found in a number of mountain ranges, such as the Magaliesberg, as well as the cliffs of the Witwatersrand, Waterberg and Cape Plooiberg ranges. Quartzite is also characteristically layered, as inherited from the parent material. The sand grains are also still clearly visible, but when the quartzite breaks, it breaks through the middle of the grains. Quartzite mainly comprises quartz, but with other impurities inherited from the sandstone. It is very hard and offers strong resistance to weathering. It does weather physically such as, for example, when stones roll over and chip each other, thus forming sand once again. Soils evolving from quartzite are sandy and tend to be alkaline and acidic.

Mineral

Percentage composition

Quartz3

1

K-feldspar / Orthoclase / Microcline

52

Hornblende

3

Biotite

12

Other

2

TABLE 1: Typical mineralogical composition of granite (Burger, 1979)

Mineral

Percentage composition

Plagioclase

46

Augite

37

Olivine

8

Iron oxides and magnetite

6

Other

3

TABLE 2: Typical mineralogical composition of dolerite (Burger, 1979)

SUMMARY The parent material from which soil is formed and even other parent material in the vicinity, have a major influence on the soils emanating from them. Should the parent material be known, various assumptions may be made about the soil’s physical and chemical properties. These properties may then be interpreted in order to evaluate certain soil usages and to predict the performance of plant growth in it. It is therefore a useful tool for the soil user.

For further information, please contact: Martiens du Plessis: martiens@nwk.co.za Cornie van Huyssteen: vanhuysteencw@ufs.ac.za ProAgri BNZ acknowledges Grain SA for the use of this series which originally appeared in Afrikaans in SA Graan/Grain.

REFERENCES 1. Burger, R du T. 1979. Unpublished class notes for GKD115. University of the Free State, Bloemfontein.

An example of Tafelberg sandstone, where the softer layers weathered away more rapidly, leaving the harder layers that remained to form hollow caves.

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

15


by Jan van Heerden, M.Eng Tec

Water wise farmers build earth dams Part 1: Types of dams

16

ProAgri BNZ 03


E

arth dams protect a farmer against potential devastating dry spells and this month we start a new series on this huge, but important construction. It is a huge initial expense to build an earth dam, but the long term benefits exceed the capital layout by far. With the uncertainty on changing seasons and climate change, it is very wise to invest in a long term water harvesting solution. We thank the ARC Agricultural Engineering in South Africa for making their manual on earth dams building available to the readers of ProAgri BNZ. The purpose of farm dams is the harvesting and storage of water for future use for: • Irrigation

• • •

Stock watering Domestic use The development, beautification and maintenance of the homestead There are, however, few storage dams that fulfil only one of the above functions.

Types of storage dams Storage dams fed by surface run-off The capacity of the dam basin is based on the quantity of water needed. This depends, among others, on the purpose of the dam, taking into account the probable run-off from the relevant catchment area. These types of storage dams are

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

usually built in natural waterways and the design of such a dam is mainly determined by the nature of the terrain. The following designs are used: • Earth walls with side spillways: The spillway is excavated level in its width, or used as a spillway in its natural state, or a weir is designed as spillway on rock. • A weir on rock is designed as spillway on the bed of the waterway with connecting earth walls. • Weirs built entirely of concrete or stone masonry. • Earth walls with chute spillways of concrete or stone masonry. • Earth walls with drop inlet spillways. 17


ter reserve within 12 months. It is therefore imperative that the surface of stock watering dams must be as small as possible and the basin as deep as possible to minimise evaporation. It must also consist of dense soil, so that seepage is minimal. The storage capacity must be equal to the quantity of water needed by the stock for at least six months, plus provision for the natural losses by evaporation, seepage and to bridge possible drought periods. The position of the site must fit in with a healthy pasturage control system. Preference should always be given to the fencing off of the dam wall, the dam basin and the spillway as a whole. A separate concrete or masonry stock watering trough must be provided. The pipe diameter through the wall must not be smaller than 50 mm. The drinking trough must be within

A storage dam fed by surface run-off. Water holes Water holes are mainly excavated in the ground on plains with a slope of usually less than 4%. The measurements of the hole are based on the quantity of water needed, with provision of stable side slopes, access for stock and the collection of adequate run-off water. Sometimes the type of dam is also fed by soil water inflow.

A storage dam fed by a permanent stream.

A water hole. Dams mainly fed by fountains A dam is built over the relevant waterway or a pit dam is excavated as the terrain dictates. It is essential that the spillway must be lower than the eye of the fountain that has to be protected and developed. The blocking-off of fountains must be avoided. Fountains break through the surface on the spot of least resistance against flow. If a dam is built there so that the standing water of the dam covers the fountain with approximately three meters of water, it means that the fountain must deliver its water at a pressure of 30 kPa. This pressure may cause the fountain to rise elsewhere. The capacity of the dam will depend on the delivery of the fountain and the purpose of the work. If no catchment area is present, the spillway is of minimal dimensions. Storage dams fed by permanent streams, apportioned water and diverted floodwater Seen in plan, these dams are usually in the form of a U. It consists of a wall on the contour with two sidewalls that are built upwards against the slope. Dams for the storage of night water (apportioned water that has to be stored during the night), water and fountain water are usually built directly upstream of fields. Since water is regularly fed and usually stored over a short term, the required storage capacity of these dams is relatively small. 18

A dam that collects diverted floodwater should be built on a suitable site, relative to the fields and outside the floodplain. As a rule, it should have a large storage capacity. This practice is applied in cases where the catchment area of a waterway, as well as the volume of floodwater is so large, that no storage dam can be built in the waterway that would be safe and economical. The capacity of these types of dams is determined by the available strength of the stream and the purpose of the structure. The water is redirected with a suitable structure and led to the storage dam by means of a pipe or canal. A controlled inlet makes it possible to use a spillway of minimal measurements. The dam basin and dam walls of these structures must be solid to prevent waterlogging and salination. Storage dams for stock watering Prerequisites • The building site must be technically and economically suitable. • A sufficient reserve of pure water, free of organic and harmful chemical ingredients, must be made available. • The evaporation losses in regions with a rainfall of less than 600 mm per annum is so high, that dams with a water depth of 2 to 3 metres will lose the entire wa-

easy reach of the stock, where the least trampling can be caused. The surroundings of the drinking trough must be stony or gravelly and not marshy. Also ensure that it is the most economical means of water supply. Always consider whether a cheaper way of water supply is possible, such as boreholes or development of fountains. Each stock watering dam must be supplied with an outlet pipe so that the water can be let out fast when necessary. The inner diameter of this pipe must be at least 150 mm.

A drinking trough should be within easy reach of the livestock.

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Dams for irrigation purposes Preconditions • The building site must be technically and economically suitable. • A sufficient quantity of suitable irrigation water, free of excess harmful salts, must be made available. The soluble alkaline salts in the water may not be more than 1 000 to 1 500 parts per million. • The minimum capacity of a dam for storage of floodwater is equal to the total annual irrigation water needed, plus the natural losses by evaporation and seepage over this period. • The total annual irrigation water required is determined by the size of the field, the type of crop cultivated and the irrigation requirements of the crop. • For storage of apportioned water, the period that water is stored and the volume and duration of the available stream will determine the size of the dam.

1

2

3

K

L

D

L

V = 0,27 LDK K

Plan D

/3L

L

/3

L

V = 0,35 LDK 6

5

wal

/3

K

Plan

D

wal

L

D

D

L

V = 0,10 LDK

V = 0,42 LDK

L

/6

/3 L

2

L

/6

L

V = 0,42 LDK 7 K D

Figure 1: Approximated capacity of dam basins

V = Volume [m3] L = Length [m] D = Depth [m] K = Basin length [m]

K = The furthest distance between the dam wall and the full supply level in the gully in metres (basin length). S = Average percentage slope of the floodplain. K can be calculated from D and S: K = 100 D/S Determine with the aid of a quick measurement, what the shape of the basin is. Use Figure 1 for the different shapes with the appropriate formula to determine the volume. The approximated volume of earthwork in the proposed wall can be calculated as follows: Take 2/3 of the maximum water depth, add the estimated total freeboard and thus obtain the approximated average wall height, H in meter. or A more accurate method for calculating the estimated volume of earthwork for the proposed wall consists of a rough profile survey of the wall and determining the average wall height (H).

(Z1 + Z2)H2

D

K D

wal

D

L

V = 0,17 LDK

V = 0,37 LDK 10 K

Plan D

K

Plan

D

wal

L

D

D

L

V = 0,23 LDK

V = 0,3 LDK

This means the cross section surface at average wall height × the total length of the wall. From the above calculations, the relation of volume of earthwork to the storage capacity of the dam basin can be determined, which is a good measure to judge the benefits of different dam sites. The cost per cubic metre water stored of dams built in the U shape on a level slope is more economical if the length of the lower wall, which is built on the contour, is longer in relation to the length of the two sidewalls, which are built perpendicular against the slope.

A well designed dam.

Next month we shall look at the quality and availability of building material and building cost. Published with the acknowledgement to the ARC Agricultural Engineering for the use of their manuals. Visit www.arc.agric.za for more information.

K = crest width of the wall in metres Z1 : 1 and Z2 : 1 = water and rear side gradient of the wall respectively

The approximated volume of earthwork = L HK +

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

/6

Plan

L

wal

L

V = 0,49 LDK 8

Plan wal

/3 L

2

/6

9 Legend

An irrigation dam. Storage capacity of different dam sites and different water depths The building of a storage dam demands substantial expenditure. Factors such as the following can have a large influence on the cost of a dam for a given storage capacity: The nature of the dam site, the foundation formations, availability of suitable building material for building the dam wall, the type of dam wall to be built, the shape of the dam basin and the flood peak for which the flood spillway has to be designed. The storage capacity of a dam increases rapidly in relation to its depth. A small increase of the spillway height can effectuate a large increase in the storage capacity and result in a cost reduction per cubic metre of water. Regarding the choice of a dam site, it is of the utmost importance to investigate possible alternative sites and to compare the results to determine the most serviceable and economical building site. Approximated calculations for the dam basin content can be made as follows: L = The width of the gully at full supply level in metres. D = The maximum water depth of the dam, this is the highest of the full water level above the deepest place in the gully in metres. Ignore the depth of small ditches in the gully.

4 /3 L

4

x 2

m3

19


Spray to protect your crops Part 3: Different kinds of sprayers Compiled by J Fuls (Pr Eng)

T

here are many kinds of sprayers available. Some of them are intended for very special applications. This month we look closely at the different kinds of sprayers, from very small to very large and from general to very specific applications.

Manual sprayers

Hand sprayer for pest control in small fields. Photo: amazon.com 20

Pressure tank sprayer for pest and weed control on small farm lands. A hand pump, like a motorcar pump, creates a high pressure in the whole tank. Air pressure drives liquid out of the tank for spraying. The sprayer is carried over one’s shoulder. Photo: ebay.com.

Knapsack sprayer for pest and weed control on small fields. The hand pump pumps liquid directly out of the tank for spraying. The tank is not put under pressure. The sprayer is carried on the back, hanging on both shoulders. Photo: chinaseeder.en.made-in-china.com.

ProAgri BNZ 03


Bicycle pump type (trombone) hand sprayer for weed and pest control in larger fields. Photo: gardeners.com.

Powered sprayers

Wheel driven sprayer for pest and weed control on fairly large areas of small farms. The pump is driven from the wheels and pumps liquid directly from the tank to a number of nozzles mounted on a boom. Photo: forestry-suppliers.com

Engine driven wheel barrow boom sprayer for pest and weed control on fairly large areas of small farms. The pump is driven by an engine and pumps liquid directly from the tank to a number of nozzles mounted on a boom. The machine is still pushed over the field by man.

Engine driven knapsack sprayer for pest and weed control on small farm fields. An engine driven pump replaces the hand pump of the knapsack sprayer. The sprayer is carried on the back, hanging on both shoulders.

Tractor mounted boom sprayer for pest and weed control on large areas of commercial farming. The pump is driven by the tractor power take-off shaft and pumps liquid directly from the tank to a number of nozzles mounted on a boom. The machine is fully supported by the tractor. ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

21


Air-assisted sprayers

Air assisted boom sprayer for pest and weed control on large fields of commercial farms. Air from a powerful fan blows into a sock. The sock has holes above the nozzles. The air blows down and forces the spray into the leaves below. The pump and the fan are driven by the tractor power take-off.

Tractor mounted disc atomiser for pest control on commercial farm lands. Spray drift in wind is a serious problem. Very little water is needed with the chemical. A special hydraulic drive system is used to drive the pump and disc from the tractor power take-off.

Specialised sprayers These sprayers are called ultra-low volume sprayers. They form very, very small droplets, like a mist, and the sprayers are only used to control insects and pests. Very little water is used together with the chemicals, which means that the tank can be very small or that a large area can be sprayed before re-filling. Photo: reiter-oft.de

A fast-spinning disc breaks liquid up into a mist. Photo: microngroup.com

Orchard sprayer for pest control on trees on large areas of commercial farms. Air from a powerful fan blows over a set of nozzles on both sides. This air carries the spray right into the trees. The pump and the fan are driven by the tractor power take-off. 22

Hand-held disc atomiser for pest control on small fields. A fast spinning disc breaks the liquid up into a mist. Spray drift in wind is a serious problem. Very little water is needed. Batteries in the handle provide power to spin the disc. Photo: microngroup.com

Next month we shall take an in-depth look at the knapsack sprayer. Published with the acknowledgement to the ARC Agricultural Engineering for the use of their manuals. Visit www.arc.agric.za for more information.

ProAgri BNZ 03


QUALITY FARM IMPLEMENTS

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AGROMONT BOOM SPRAYER 1000L

Working Depth: 250(mm) Space Between Bodies(B)530 (mm) Number of Disc 3 Required Power 55-60 (hp) Total Weight 410 (kg)

Working Depth: Space Between Units Working Speed Required Power Total Weight

Working Depth: Space Between Units Working Speed Required Power Total Weight

0-100 (mm) 350x750 (mm) 7-9 (km/h) 45-50 (hp) 845 (kg)

0-100 (mm) 350x750 (mm) 7-9 (km/h) 30-35 (hp) 493 (kg)

Number of Disc Space Between Discs Working Depth (Max.) Total Weight Required Power

Capacity Pump Type Pressure Safety Valve Working Width PTO Rotation Required Power

16 225 (mm) 200 (mm) 475 (kg) 35-45 (hp)

1000 (L) membrane standard 18 (m) 540 (rmp) 70 (hp)

Contact Us In Gaborone, Botswana +267 3186 115 | +267 7503 2186

vlado@montgroup.co.bw | quote@montgroup.co.bw | tractorspares@montgroup.co.bw F/TOWN - TEL: 2441526 - FAX: 2441527 S TARA FARM TEL: 3957698 @ METSIMOTLHABE LOBATSE - TEL: 5332337 - FAX: 5332346 PALAPYE - TEL: 4924225 - FAX: 4924226 SEROWE - TEL/FAX: 4630755 PHIKWE TEL: 2614662 - FAX: 2614662 / PANDAMATENGA TEL: 72333202 MAHALAPYE TEL: 4710730 - FAX: 4710734 ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / -Zimbabwe 03 OR VISIT YOUR NEAREST BRANCH COUNTRYWIDE

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Graphics:MaruapulaA@TheAgriShop-2019

Working Depth: 250(mm) Space Between Bodies(B) 530 (mm) Number of Disc 4 Required Power 70-80 (hp) Total Weight 470 (kg)


Botswana 24

ProAgri BNZ 03


Agriculture is the answer to Africa’s problems by Jaco Cilliers

Photo: haygrove.co.za.

F

arming is a risky business. High production costs coupled with dependency on rain to grow crops are only two of many aspects that might deter people from becoming farmers. Yet, many people choose agriculture, not only as a business but also as a way of living. This begs the question of why people would choose to venture into agriculture while there are so many risks involved. For Amanda Aminah Masire from Botswana, the answer lies in the gap that she saw between the funds that her government allocated to agriculture and the actual farmers doing the work.

Amanda did her homework and after studying the budget speech and the National Development Plan, she carefully analysed the agricultural value chain. “I found that there were too many gaps from mechanised farming, to manufacturing, to processing and facilitating training programmes for farmers,” she says. She realised that creating a solution for the problems that she identified would not only be lucrative, but also serve a greater purpose for her community. Being a qualified teacher, Amanda has a great desire to empower people through education. Her company hosts regular training sessions in

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

effective farming practices, so that the youth in particular can learn the right way to farm. She set up a dynamic company where opportunities are always opening up. The business started as an agricultural shop, but soon evolved into a consultancy. “My team mimics the customer,” Amanda says. They use the same products that they sell and can identify issues quickly and provide solutions. She describes the company as a horticultural and dry-land farming service centre. She supplies greenhouses, hydroponic tunnels, shade-netting, dripline irrigation, fertilisers, chemi25


Botswana

Amanda Aminah Masire

cals, seedlings and almost any other related product. They also construct the structures such as greenhouses and hydroponic tunnels for her clients. The services they provide include consultation, training, design of irrigation systems, business planning, farm management training, and soil tests and analysis. Green House Technologies aims to provide a holistic service to farmers, becoming an integrated part of Botswana’s agricultural sector. Amanda’s future plan is to continue diversifying her enterprise to include

Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture is the solution to alleviate poverty and secure food supplies. Green House Technologies can provide training to teach the young farmers the best practices in agriculture. Thereafter Amanda and her team can assist in obtaining government grants for emerging farmers by teaching them to draw up a sound business plan. The next step is to set up the structures and provide the products that the farmer will need for his business. Green House Technologies will be there to assist the farmer every step of the way from start to finish. Amanda’s business is certainly contributing to Botswana’s economy. In the past six years she has inspired 430 of her fellow citizens to start farming, which translated to an additional 850 hectares of land being farmed

small-stock farming and beekeeping. Being a teacher at heart, she also started a project of building an agricultural school that forms part of the greenhouse experimental farms. This will enable her students to not only learn the theoretical principles of farming, but also give them practical experience. Through Amanda’s business, she empowers others to enter the agricultural industry. People can farm to produce their own food, but also expand their operations and contribute to the Gross

productively. Agriculture creates selfsufficiency and the long-term goal is to reduce the quantity of fresh fruit and vegetables that Botswana has to import each year. Africa has a variety of problems and Botswana is no exception. Agriculture has the potential of turning unemployed people into self-reliant entrepreneurs, and can even create jobs. The only thing standing in the way of an unemployed person to becoming a self-sufficient farmer are the skills and capital investment needed to achieve success. Amanda’s company provides solutions for both these challenges, and with greenhouses and hydroponics one does not even need access to vast areas of land. 26

ProAgri BNZ 03


There are many benefits in the cultivation of food crops in hydroponic systems or greenhouses. You do not need as much land as with conventional farming. The threat of drought is eliminated by irrigation systems, and with drip irrigation a lot less water is required. The climate within these tunnels and green houses are controlled, ensuring the optimal conditions for plant growth and food production. Pests and diseases are also less common in the controlled environment thus reducing and, in some cases,

eliminating the need for herbicides and pesticides. Amanda truly believes that her solutions can be applied not only in Botswana but in other African countries as well. She is constantly looking for likeminded individuals in other countries who will be willing to partner with her and spread the success of agriculture. When asked about her vision for the future, Amanda replied: “My business is bigger than me and I would love to see it listed on the stock exchange. I want this company to be the change

Trading for more than 25 years in Botswana • • • • • • •

in Botswana's farming landscape. I realise my fellow citizens only needed the boost that I gave them, and I don`t have a doubt in my mind that at this rate, very soon we shall be feeding ourselves. “I have developed a training school because knowledge is power! It is a practical centre for farmers that cannot be reached online. I want them to not just know about it, but do it, and move from poverty and unemployment to self-employment. “It is built on a plot in Glen Valley to assist government in its efforts to support agriculture. Without proper training, a lot of the projects failed. Also keep in mind that vegetable production is a new venture for Botswana. In the past we have focused on legumes.”

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Drought in Namibia: What to do to survive by Benine Ackermann

I

f you are in a drought, most people say you should have planned for it. But it is too late for prior planning when the drought is upon you already. Presently the question is not what farmers should have done, but what can they do NOW to tide through the present drought. The only solution that makes sense is to find another source of income to survive, or to reduce your herd by 50%. But still, having a long-term drought strategy is important at farm level, because an enduring drought can seriously deplete a farmer’s cash flow and prevent him from playing his important role in food production. The Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmer’s Union’s declaration of the drought as a national disaster earlier this year states the gravity of the situation: The actual rainfall received is far below normal, which is to date around 30 to 40% of the average rainfall received. The high evaporation rate due to high temperatures is making water unavailable for plant growth and crop production, and the lack of rain is affecting the volume of water available in dams. Farmers’ debt levels are high and there is a possibility that they might not recover financially. According to the emergency response plan of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, Southern Africa, for 2019-2020, 9,3 million people are severely food insecure in the nine most affected countries – a figure that could rise to over 12 million at the peak of the lean season (October 2019 to March 2020) without immediate intervention.

Namibia’s Agricultural Union held an Agri Outlook Conference in October 2019, and most of the topics were about how to survive in the drought. Malcolm Campbell, a farmer from Mariental, told the conference about his strategy to cope with the drought. He named differences of this drought compared to other droughts, like the one of 1982: • Transport costs and feed prices are much higher • The value of money is much lower, thus the income from investments et cetera is much lower • Education and school hostels are more expensive • Universities/colleges are much more expensive, yet they became a must to ensure good jobs for our children • More people have debt – applying for loans became much easier • Medical funds are a must and are more expensive • Most people try too hard to impress neighbours and/or friends Malcolm also said that a farm’s grazing needs to become healthy again after a drought. “Good, sustainable grazing makes for good livestock farming and a good cash flow. “Farmers must try to build up quality grazing before a drought and manage it properly by reducing livestock numbers in time during a drought.” He added that a farmer should never exceed 80% of biomass grazing capacity during a good rain season, but save at least 20% to provide for a possibly bad next rain season. Diversification is the next important step for Malcolm. “Never put all your eggs into one basket. A farmer should

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

have different types of livestock and different grazing methods and preferences to reach different markets. This will ensure a more equal income over time rather than a too sharp up or down in income when you do not diversify,” he says. By keeping different breeds of small stock, he says, you can choose which breed you are going to sell first during a drought: either the smallest income breed or the heaviest grazing breed or the breed with the lowest endurance. “Sometimes a drought is short enough, and you can make it through with your best breed in high numbers and the other breeds in lower numbers. He feels having beef cattle as a diversification in the south of Namibia, should only be to shorten long grass and not to be a fully economical sustainable farming method. “The rainfall and grazing in most of the southern parts of Namibia are just not enough for that.” And to have planted green feed like lucerne, prickly pears et cetera, that can help you even in the slightest during the drought, may be worth gold, says Malcolm. “But then you must have enough water. If you pump out all your water during a drought situation, you are much worse off than having little grazing but still an ample supply of water.” He also thinks farmers should try to build up enough funds before the drought if possible. “Pay money into one account every month and follow a proper budget right through the year based on average incomes and expenses,” Malcolm advised. To keep your funds going for as long as possible, you should identify your non-producing animals and sell them. “You should also do proper vaccination and parasite control and keep 31


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predators out of your farm or manage them,” he says. Jacques Cloete of FNB gave tips on how to tackle the drought challenge financially: • Think critically about how you can increase your income • Reduce your expenses and apply money wisely • Plan strategically • Financial reserves outside farming • Be prepared • Analyse your situation • Compare different income streams Colin Nott, Namibian Rangeland’s recovery plan for farmers: • Reduce the cost of production per animal • Plan for profit and cut costs – there are tools to assist with this • Increase productivity per hectare • Farmers need to increase the number of plants above and below ground to increase the soil microbiome, which improves soil carbon and improves soil function • When this happens, farmers will have improved soil cover throughout the year, improved herbage yield and livestock production and good soil, plant, animal, and human health, as well as water quality and farm profit. Peter Zensi, a farmer in Namibia, also gave his strategy to cope in the drought at the conference. He said: “I would, for a quick turnover, sell my weaners, sell my stores, buy lean cows with potential of 220 kg carcass even at 12,5% interest, produce lean beef and intensify my herd management for better production, and keep 30% fewer cows than before the drought.” Vehaka Tjimune, of the German aid organisation, GIZ, spoke about the future of farming and says Namibia is potentially vulnerable to climate change. “Farmers must make their farm ventures less dependent on rain and grazing, and less dependent on underground water,” says Vehaka. GIZ has been working in Namibia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) since the country gained its independence in 1990.

Median climate change projections. Source: Dr Chris Brown AOC – 2018.

Actual rainfall receive vs expected average rainfall. Source: Metrological Service of Namibia. In October 2019 The Namibian reported on the Hardap Dam that gives the Mariental community and irrigation farms surrounding the dam water. About 5% of the dam water is supplied to the community and 20% is used for irrigation. They wrote: “The dam currently holds 14,7% of capacity and at the current consumption rate irrigation will have to be stopped by November 2019,” the newsletter said. On 26 September, the Hardap farmers met over this crisis and decided that each one will cease irrigation of 40% of their farmland as from 1 November 2019 in order to save water. This will mean that the channel will still provide

water for 60% of their farms until end of January 2020. Any rain and inflow into the dam before that date will bring relief and avert the crisis, the NAU said. The Neckartal Dam is a dam under construction since 2013 in the Karas Region of southern Namibia. It is a curved gravity dam on the Fish River near Berseba, 40 kilometres northwest of the regional capital Keetmanshoop. Once completed, it will be the largest dam in Namibia, almost three times the capacity of the Hardap Dam upstream. The dam's purpose is to support a 5 000 hectare (12 000 acres) irrigation scheme nearby.

Namibia’s rainfall Namibia has an extremely unpredictable rainfall. The current drought cycle already started in 2013, with 2019 being the fifth year of the last 7 years with drought conditions. Namibia dam levels The dam levels decreased further in 2019. Namibia has 18 dams with Hardap being the largest with a capacity of 294 mil m3.

The Neckartal Dam in Namibia still under construction. When the dam is completed, it will be the largest dam in Namibia.

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Namibia

Large-scale producer affirms Namibian grapes as a global brand T

he annual Namibian Table Grape Competition, hosted by the Namibian Grape Growers Association, was held in Aussenkehr on 9 November 2019. This prestigious event draws great attention and attendance from producers, exporters and visitors from all over Namibia and South Africa. Invited speakers on the day included Charl du Bois, Commercial Executive at Capespan and Michael Iyambo, Chairman of the Namibian Agriculture Board, who provided an overview of the global grape industry and agricultural sector in Namibia respectively. The NGC (Namibian Grape Company) made a clean sweep by taking six out of six places in the block competition for the categories Best Production Block and Best Young Block. Capespan Namibia manages the production and marketing of the product on behalf of the NGC. The winners of the production block category are awarded the opportunity to visit California on a field trip to view new grape varieties. Visitors had the opportunity to visit the winning blocks on the day. 34

Kobus Bothma, Petrus Hakwaashika, Kamati Jeremiah and AndrĂŠ Jacobs, chief judge.

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Capespan has, over the past five years, invested significantly in expanding its own production and partnered production footprint. Clearly these investments in people, new varieties and developments are now starting to deliver on Capespan’s promise to its customers: We deliver. In a statement, Capespan congratulated its Namibian team for this exceptional achievement.

The NGC is established as a largescale table grape producer, affirming Namibian grapes as a global brand because of the outstanding quality and sought-after pre-Christmas timing. The region has an ideal climate for grapes with an enviable advantage of Namibian vineyards being pest- and diseasefree with not a drop of rain falling during the harvest.

Winners of the Namibia Table Grape Vineyard Block competition are from left: Ludwig Dimunga, Junior Manager Phase A, Kamati Jeremiah, Senior Manager Phase A, Kobus Bothma, Executive Director of Capespan Namibia and Petrus Hakwaashika, Junior Manager Phase A.

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

Capespan will export their Namibian grapes to selected markets in the UK, EU, Middle East, Far East and also supplies to the local South African market. The season is 7-10 days earlier this year and packing has already commenced during week 44. A normal yield with exceptional berry size and quality is expected this season.

Front: Gideon Nuunyango, Petrus Hakwaashika, Kamati Jeremiah, Kobus Botma, Executive Director of Capespan Namibia. Back: Niekie Rousseau, Ludwig Dimunga, Hendricks Nyambe, Fillipus Hamanyala.

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Zimbabwe 36

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Another foot-and-mouth disease outbreak: Zimbabwe bans South African meat products by Jaco Cilliers

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

Photo: cnbc.com.

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Zimbabwe

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F

oot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious disease that affects various species of livestock. It can cause great losses for farmers, but cannot be transmitted to humans. The danger lies in the losses that countries incur due to the ban on their export products. The disease is caused by a virus of which there are seven ‘types’, each producing the same symptoms, and distinguishable only in the laboratory. The disease spreads very quickly if not controlled, and because of this it is a reportable disease. Symptoms • Fever • Blisters in the mouth and on feet • Drop in milk production • Weight loss • Loss of appetite • Quivering lips and frothing of mouth • Cows may develop blisters on teats • Lameness Treatment Treatment is not given. Affected animals will recover. However, because of the loss of production and the infectious state of the disease, infected animals are usually culled. Animals pick up the virus either by direct contact with an infected animal or by contact with foodstuffs or other items that have been contaminated by such an animal, or by eating or coming into contact with some part of an infected carcase. South Africa enjoyed foot-and-mouth disease free status until earlier this year, when the disease broke out in January. According to Gerhard Schutte, Chairman of the Red Meat Producer’s

Zimbabwe imposed a temporary ban on live cattle from South Africa. Organisation (RPO) in South Africa, the ongoing pandemic is costing the state millions in export losses. Not only meat is affected; all related industries such as wool, mohair and game are suffering. Zimbabwe imposed a temporary ban on all meat and livestock products until the issue is resolved. South Africa will not be able to regain their foot-andmouth disease free status until late in 2020 according to Gerhard. He went on to say that “SA has lost R10 billion

The latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease occurred in Dendron, Limpopo Province, about 200 km south of Beit Bridge. ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

since January 2019 in export revenue due to this disease.” Various South African agricultural institutions have blamed the latest outbreak of the disease on the South African government, saying that they had sufficient warning signs and time to react since January this year. They argue that the RSA government should be held responsible. Earlier this year, Botswana, Zimbabwe and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) stopped all imports of meat and livestock from South Africa. This was after the South African Ministry of Agriculture informed their counterpart in Zimbabwe that the latest outbreak occurred near the town of Dendron in the Limpopo province of South Africa, a mere 200 kilometres from the Beit Bridge border post. The temporary ban was instituted on cattle, pigs, goats, sheep and related products. The Zimbabwean Ministry of Agriculture said that the temporary suspension of imports was imposed on South Africa to prevent the disease from spreading to Zimbabwe. In April this year, the UN magazine, Africa Renewal, reported that Zimbabwe’s cattle industry is regaining momentum. They cannot afford any setbacks, especially an outbreak of a communicable disease. South Africa is the dominant source of meat and genetic material to Zimbabwe’s national cattle herd. In order to contain it, the South African state is responsible for providing vaccines and ensuring that the national herds are part of well-maintained vaccination programmes. 39


Zimbabwe

CAN RUSSIA SUPPORT ZIMBABWEAN AGRICULTURE? by Jaco Cilliers

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Photo: wilsoncenter.org

ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

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Zimbabwe

T

he Russian interest in partnering with Africa received much attention from news agencies in recent weeks. This comes after the Russian government invited African leaders to attend the inaugural Russia-Africa Summit. The ties between Russia and Zimbabwe go back to the days of the liberation struggle. In 2003, Zimbabwe was seeking alternative partners after facing sanctions from the Western powers that used to be heavily invested in the country. China and Russia were able to fill the void that was left by the Western investors. In more recent years, President Vladimir Putin’s administration increasingly made headway into the African markets. Zimbabwe is attempting to procure foreign investments to revive their struggling economy. President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed that the customs, tax and logistical conditions are being streamlined to grow international commercial ties with Russia. President Mnangagwa committed himself to protect and support foreign interests promoting their goods and services in Zimbabwe.

Two of the main economic activities that Russia is focussing on in Zimbabwe are agriculture and mining. Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of Uralchem Integrated Chemicals Company, met with members of the Zimbabwean delegation attending the RussiaAfrica Summit held in Sochi, Russia, in October this year. The company is interested in providing fertilisers to the Zimbabwean agricultural sector. In the third quarter of 2019 the RussiaZimbabwe annual trade increased by 9,5% to US$18,5 million, according to the Russian government. Russia’s economic involvement in Zimbabwe is clearly reaching new heights. In order for this to be maintained, Zimbabwe needs to create stability and guarantee the safety of their foreign investments. Zimbabwe’s agriculture has the potential to improve the country’s economy. However, this can only happen if there is a political will to create a climate that is conducive to growth. Years of mismanagement of resources and corruption have crippled not only the farming sector, but the country as a whole.

Farfell Estates, producers of coffee and avocados for export, is facing a claim for half of their land. Photo: maps.google.com.

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The mighty Zambezi river provides great opportunities for irrigation and agricultural development in Zimbabwe. Photo: andbeyond.com.

According to Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture, irrigation is the key to developing the agricultural sector. The country has lots of dams and two major rivers, the Zambezi and the Limpopo, that can be used for irrigation. The largely unresolved land issue is also a hurdle for agricultural development. Earlier this year, it was reported that more than five million citizens suffered from food shortages. In the midst of the food crisis the government has, on many occasions, promised that land seizures will not take place any longer, and that it is not the government’s mandate to disrupt productive farming ventures. But there is evidence that the land issues are far from resolved. As recently as June 2019, a land dispute in the remote east-

ern region of Zimbabwe saw Richard Le Vieux in court due to the fact that he would not give up the land on which he is running an avocado farm. His products are exported to Europe and earn foreign currency for Zimbabwe. Richard’s productive agricultural business was interrupted by Remembrance Gwaradzima, who is the son of a government official, claiming half of the land that Richard farms on. His land claim is based on an official government offer that he had obtained. Cases like Richard’s cause concern among foreign investors. If the country cannot protect the assets of the companies, they cannot afford to invest in Zimbabwe and the country will remain without the much needed economic growth.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, are planning more economic co-operation between their two countries. Photo: en.kremlin.ru. ProAgri Botswana / Namibia / Zimbabwe 03

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Zimbabwe 44

ProAgri BNZ 03


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