“Agriculture transformation through value additions and
“How farms adapt to new market conditions and commodity prices?”
According to an UN report, the world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030 & 9.7 billion in 2050. In order to feed the growing population, countries around the world are looking for arable land for agri investment to ensure their food security. Africa with over 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land seems a natural choice for investors!
Public and private sector can play a bigger role to transform Africa’s agricultural sector by modernizing and introducing innovative technology to the farm, increasing farm productivity, investing in agro related & value-added processing industries, investing in transport infrastructure & post-harvest storage facilities.
How will agricultural commodities prices perform this year? How are farms adapting to new market conditions and commodity prices? What are the strategies to adopt to reduce production cost and increase productivity?
CMT’s 5th Commercial Farm Africa Summit brings together leading industry experts to share insights and experience in transforming Africa’s agri value chain!
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Ethiopia uses remote sensing satellite technology to map soil fertility
Posted on : 13 Mar, 2017
Africa’s 80 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture. But the sector faces low yields leading to a huge food insecurity in the continent.
Ethiopia is one such country that faces food insecurity. With weather patterns such as EL Nino coupled with low soil quality, the country suffers low agricultural production and is often unable to meet its own food needs.
However, Ethiopia has been undertaking reforms to restore the sector. Improving the country’s degraded soils to improve yields has been one of its most ambitious plans. Crops produce better yields with 14 specific nutrients from the soil. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 65 percent of soils are considered to be degraded and lacking in these vital nutrients.
Good quality fertilisers can help increase agricultural output. In 2012, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and related stakeholders kicked off the Ethiopian Soil Information System (EthioSIS) project that uses remote sensing satellite technology and extensive soil sampling to provide high-resolution soil fertility mapping.
The project collected data using grid-based soil sampling across the country and revealed the soil fertility issues and health conditions that were limiting crop productivity in Ethiopia.
Nitrogen and phosphorus were the most widely deficient major nutrients. Plus, many areas were also deficient in potassium, sulphur as well as zinc, boron or copper. The soil analysis data along with satellite imagery are now being used to create the first country-specific digital soil fertility atlas in Africa.
The soil fertility atlas can help experts identify the types of fertilizers suitable for specific arable lands. In the past only two types of fertilizers – diammonium phosphate (DAP) and urea were distributed in all areas, without taking into account the different soil quality of each one. Soil fertility experts and agronomists will be now be able to recommend specific and localized fertilizers by districts and sub-districts.
The EthioSIS project is also producing new fertilizer blends, customized to suit the nutrient requirements of agricultural soils across the country. Till date as many as five local blended fertilizer production facilities have been set up in Ethiopia’s four major regions. In addition to this, new fertilizer demonstrations, field days, radio communications, leaflets and extension guidelines in local languages are also being disseminated to local farmers.
These new blends or other imported compound fertilizers can improve crop yields by up to 65 percent when used in tandem with recommended improved crop and soil management practices.
Learn more about ‘Adopting Climate Smart Agriculture Practices in Africa to Mitigate Climate Risks and Food Security’ by Dr. Wagayehu Bekele, Director for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM), Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, ATA at CMT’s 5th Commercial Farm Africa.
Contact Ms. Grace Oh at email@example.com or call +65 6346 9147 for more information about the event.
Old Mutual Investment Group Reaffirms Commitment To African Investment
Posted on : 01 Aug, 2016
Old Mutual Investment Group has announced a deal to increase its overall stake in African agriculture investment group, UFF African Agri Investments, to 49%. The partnership builds on the relationship between the two companies, and investment opportunities of up to $500 million into African farmland is predicted over the next three years.
With its specialist expertise and focus on agricultural investment in Africa, UFF African Agri Investments has long been a fund advisor to Old Mutual Investment Group, and the partnership is a natural progression for the two companies.
As the largest manager of real assets in Africa, Old Mutual strongly believes in the potential of agricultural investments across the African continent. While agriculture has gained huge momentum globally, it is still in its infancy in Africa, and presents significant investment opportunities. According to Old Mutual CEO Diane Radley, “Increasing populations across the continent will lead to a significant demand for agricultural produce, with a 70 percent total increase in agriculture production needed to feed the more than nine billion people expected to inhabit the earth in 2050, of which 25 percent will be in Africa.”
The UFF and Old Mutual partnership is a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investments in farmland. All farms are assessed and monitored on compliance to International Finance Corporations standards on environmental, social and governance standards encompassing standards. In addition, the portfolio’s farms implement a comprehensive education, healthcare and/or housing program, with 6 percent of rental revenues reinvested into social economic projects to benefit farm workers.
Co-founder of UFF, Duncan Vink endorses the partnership, stating that Old Mutual is fully aligned with their vision on the significant opportunities in African agriculture and wanting to make positive change on the continent. He adds, “Agriculture is a vital economic driver in Africa given a number of socio-economic factors, including population growth, poverty and unemployment. These factors present acute challenges and make unlocking our agricultural potential not just an attractive option, but a necessity.”
Find out more about investment opportunities in the farming sector in Africa, at the 5th Commercial Farm Africa.