Category: Uncategorized

The wrath of El Niño grips Africa

Poor rains as a result of the continued wrath of El Niño weather pattern have put much strain on the SADC region farming sector. Drought cut the staple maize crop in South Africa, Africa’s biggest producer, by about a third of the 2015/2016 season and is likely to continue into the southern hemisphere summer as El Niño strengthens According to a statement from the Crop Estimates Committee,
farmers in South Africa will reduce 2016 season plantings of the grain to the smallest since 2011 because of poor rains in the main growing regions. The El Niño effect is a known phenomenon which causes the sea temperature to rise significantly in the Pacific Ocean off South America, and the air becomes dry, affecting the rain-formation process.
United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) has indicated that a combination of failed harvests in a number of SADC countries during the 2014/2015 summer together with the effects of ongoing drought conditions in the region would create an estimated 27,4 million food-insecure people over the next six months.
Said the statement: “Most at threat from immediate food insecurity are Malawi, Zimbabwe and Madagascar which all suffered severe crop failure due to extended dry spells. There are also concerns about growing food insecurity in Lesotho and the southern parts of Angola and Mozambique. While Botswana and Namibia also suffered from extensive drought earlier this year, people in these countries are not considered as much at risk.”
Furthermore the statement added that Malawi was struggling with its worst food insecurity in a decade as a result of damage-causing floods that had then been followed by the current drought conditions. Zimbabwe’s harvest from its 2014/2015 summer crops was reported to be 50% down from the 2013/14 summer production season.
For the South Africa’s maize belt the weather patterns has brought more drought to already-parched regions.
In West Africa, a lack of rainfall across Ghana’s cocoa belt has raised fears that the world’s No. 2 grower could be facing another poor crop. In Ethiopia, 4.5 million people need food aid because of El Nino and long-term climate change.
SADC Climate Service Centre Regional Coordinator Bradwell Garanganga said much of SADC is likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall for the periods October to December 2015 as well as January to March 2016, adding that “a persistent strong El Niño is also favoured during the bulk of the rainfall season.”
Garanganga furthermore said that the SADC region should be prepared for such natural phenomena. “For example, farmers could plant crops that do not take long to mature, and the region should invest more infrastructure development including roads, irrigation and silos.”
In South Africa, the provincial agricultural departments of Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West
and KwaZulu-Natal have provided R14,7 million in drought relief assistance to small-scale and subsistence farmers in the provinces. The five provinces are reported to currently be the worst affected by the drought. The funds will be used for animal feed and water and for intensifying awareness campaigns.
The provincial agricultural departments submitted their declaration requests to the Provincial Disaster Management Centers in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002).
The drought disaster stricken provinces will submit their disaster funding requests to the South African
National Treasury through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC).
In the meantime, the department said that it has approached the Industrial Development Corporation and the Land Bank for possible assistance. Both indicated that they have plans to assist affected farmers. The plans include providing soft loans.
The Zimbabwean government has, as a result of the ongoing drought, slashed the 2015 growth forecast to 1.5% from 3.2%. Aid agencies say 1.5 million Zimbabweans, or 16% of the population, would need food aid by next March.
Meanwhile in Uganda, there is an increased disaster management focus around the country as it expects heavy rainfall during the months of January and February 2016. Heavy rains have already led to a rise in cholera cases. The disease has killed at least six people in western Uganda.
Additional reporting from: Reuters, Farmers weekly, News24

Helping the world prosper one cup at a time

Heard the one about the bank that built a coffee shop? And then gave away the coffee for free? No, probably not, because that’s never been done before.
But now, incorporating a personal interactive experience has become one of the leading drivers in consumer behaviour. And Absa bank, a member of the Barclays group, has launched a one-of-a-kind in-bank pop up coffee shop, Prosper Café, as an extension of its Prosper campaign, which encourages consumers
to ‘prosper’ in all that they doIn a move that “pushes the boundaries of its brand-consumer engagement
and transcends the limits of traditional creative communication”, Prosper Café offers consumers an “engaging brand experience”.
The idea
Lauren Daniel, brand manager, marketing and corporate, explains the thought process chain behind the shops: “We want to engage our clients in a different way, moving away from product push marketing and personalising the experience. We have been working with our creative agency, The Jupiter Drawing Room, for the past year to conceptualise an activation experience that would support our Prosper campaign. We
wanted to create an activation that could be used across the bank, that would reinforce the Prosper promise and that would activate all the senses, not just the visual and auditory senses stimulated through traditional media. Not only does Prosper Café meet all these requirements, but as a scalable, mobile pop-up store that comes in a kit format, it’s economical too. Prosper Café is undoubtedly one of
our most exciting marketing activations in recent years at Absa.”
She says, Prosper Café integrates all Absa’s marketing activations and promotions, furthers its Prosper
messaging, fluidly crosses multipleaudiences, and can be used by all Absa business units as needed, “ensuring a consistent and engaging brand experience, every time”.
According to Dana Cullinan, creative director at The Jupiter Drawing Room, the creative team was very specific in its choice of coffee as a medium. “Coffee has been bringing people together for centuries, and activating all five senses for just as long. Prosper Café gave us an opportunity to pair this with a space that offered multiple communication contact points. It was an idea that allowed us to connect brand and consumer in a unique, authentic and refreshingly unexpected way.”
The premium coffees and red espressos and cappuccinos served at the coffee shops are exclusively blended for the café from sustainably-sourced 100% arabica beans. “These beans are sourced from Honduras, Colombia, Burundi and Uganda, and the tea from local rooibos farms, reflecting the global, African and
South African footprint of the Barclays brand,” says Daniel
Furthermore, as an extension of the Prosper philosophy, “which hinges around stimulating and facilitating the hopes and dreams of ordinary people… Prosper has been incorporated through the coffee
beans which are sourced from companies employing transparent, fair trade policies such as the Rainforest Alliance to the product collateral messaging on coffee cups, stirrers, sugar sachets and complementary chocolates. In displaying infographic narratives of the stories of the organisations and people we have chosen to work with – including Coffee Kids and The Long Mile Coffee Project – on the most prominent piece of coffee shop real estate, the store counter.”
Both Coffee Kids and The Long Mile Coffee Project work to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable
livelihoods by transforming landuse practices, business practices and consumer behaviour.
The pop-up café will also be used at Absa sponsored events, such as the Absa Cape Epic, KKNK and L’Atelier, offering what is essentially Prosper coffee (a premium ground coffee especially blended for the bank). The coffees will be brewed and served under the leadership of renowned South African coffee personality Alessandro Morrico. Trained in Italy, Morrico is one of only four South African, World Barista Championship-certified judges and the only South African to obtain an acclaimed SCAE Coffee Diploma from the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe. This is a diploma that is made up of over six different diplomas achieved over five years.
Says Daniel: “Absa is a brand that prides itself on being innovative and driven by the belief that everything we do should serve a purpose. This is a one-of-a-kind concept and we are extremely optimistic that the idea will be implemented throughout our consumer base.”
Barclays Africa’s registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it has majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Barclays Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia. It also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria. Barclays Bank PLC has operations in Egypt and Zimbabwe which are an integral part of Barclays Africa’s African business and continue to be run by Barclays Africa operationally.
Barclays Africa Tel: +27 011 350 4000;

And in international news …
Capital One Financial Corp‘s new Boston office opened recently, with no tellers. The firm is expanding a “cafe” format in which visitors can get gourmet coffee and free Wi-Fi but can’t sit with a banker who will open an account for them or drop off a loan application.Instead, employees steer customers to its website and answer questions about the bank’s services. As it has in other locations, the company will also probably host occasional alcohol free “appy hours” that promote the smartphone apps of local businesses.
Capital One sees the cafe format, which it is using at several locations around the US, as a way to promote the bank’s brand without employing large numbers of tellers.
– The Wall Street Journal, Is This a Coffee Shop or a Bank?

Building an innovative wendy house

We explore how a Johannesburg man went about sourcing and selecting recycled materials to sustain the wooden home he built
Gaetano Gesualdo, a 65-year-old Italian expatriate tool and die maker, has been residing in South Africa for about 20 years. He has several years of experience in creating and building practical items. We take a look at his latest creation – a wooden structure consisting of a room, a bathroom and a kitchen which was built using “scrap” material.
Gesualdo started building his “wendy house” which has two separate entrances, using pallet wood late in 2013.
“It began with my decision to find a suitable shed to store my tools in. I priced around and after establishing that it would cost me from R30, 000 to R75, 000 ($2110.05to $ 5275.12) for the wendy house I wanted I decided to build one myself.”
Gesualdo says there was no rush to complete the project, which evolved from the initial intention of being a tool shed, to currently housing a worker on the property he owns in Nigel. Nigel is a small former gold mining town in the Gauteng Province situated on the edge of the greater Johannesburg area, known as the East Rand.
The exterior
Gesulado collected pallets until he had sufficient to begin constructing the wendy house.
“I used approximately 6,000 pieces of pallet wood. I used a plane to smooth down each plank after they were individually removed from their pallets using a crowbar.”
After all the planks had been smoothed out, which took about a month, they were stacked up and stored in
Gesualdo’s yard.
“My son, a worker and myself started by removing 30cm of sand around the area which we decided to build the foundation on. We dug up an area 10 metres in length and 5metres in width. The concrete was poured in and left to dry.”
A total of 30 bags of cement, 15m2 of sand and 10m2 stone was mixed to create the basis for the wooden structure to be built on. Thereafter three layers of bricks (about 200) were laid on the concrete base.
Gesulado says more than 50 pieces of 40×100 pine wood were used as the frame of the wooden home.
“These were placed vertically across. The pallets were secured horizontally using screws to nail individual pieces of pallet against the vertical pine pieces. There was space left for the window frames. The complete wooden house has four windows in the front section and two on each of the sides.”
Gesualdo says an estimated 450 nails were used to secure all planks, to complete the wooden structure. The door frames and doors were constructed using a generous amount of the pallet wood planks.
The roof trusses were built and secured with metal gussets. “Four roof trusses were placed on both the right and left side of the wooden structure. A total of eight were placed inside. This was done to secure the home, so that it will not collapse,” Gesulado comments.
Roof space had been left open to attach a clear corrugated roof sheet on a small section of the roof. “This is the skylight for my wendy house. This idea allows more light to penetrate through, so it is not dark inside.”
The corrugated sheet was attached with a corrugated fastener- a special type of nail used on such materials.
The interior
Gesualdo used 15m2 ceramic tiles in the interior of the wendy house. “I searched for a tile supplier of redundant tiles. The tiles I chose were not tainted or damaged in any way, they were quality tiles. The supplier had one box in stock. I inquired which tiles only consisted of a box, made a reasonable offer and got two different styles of tiles.”
The bathroom consists of a shower and toilet. “Being an innovative person, I recycled an old dirt-bin and
used this as the toilet’s cistern. It was perfect as it is a 25 litre capacity bin. I drilled a hole through on the right hand side of the bin and connected a pipe.”
Gesulado also built an outside lavatory, using a cooler box as the cistern and had that connected the same as the inside toilet cistern. “I called in a plumber and an electrician to do the electrical
and plumbing work required.”
Kitchen units were built using solid wood purchased at a hardware store. Gesualdo maintains that his “hand-built” wooden home will last for several years without weathering affects. “There were five coats of wood varnish mixed with thinners painted on. It was diluted with thinners so the liquid would seep
through the wood, providing a solid layer of protection.”
It took Gesulado seven months to complete the wendy house.
Uses of Wendy Houses
• Tool sheds: It can be used to store mechanical, electrical and other tools.
• Dog kennels: These houses are a perfect choice to home your pets.
• Play houses: You can have your kids play with their dolls, relax or just have fun in a wendy house.
• Staff quarters: They are suitable for temporary or permanent staff accommodation, especially for moderately-sized businesses.
• Guard huts or offices: If you have a guard in your home, you can accommodate them in this house.
This is a lower cost accommodation solution for your guard. However, some people choose to have workstations in their gardens. This provides a place where you can concentrate on work, away from

New infusion steam system revolutionises processes

Zambia-based beverage manufacture, Dairy Gold, a subsidiary of Trade Kings, recently launched a new system to hydrate maize flour for the manufacture of drinks. Commissioned for OAL Group, the new OAL Steam Infusion system is said to give the manufacturer a competitive advantage while reducing operating
costs and improving product quality.Trade Kings Limited is a prominent FMCG manufacturer in Zambia and
one of the major manufacturers in the region. Having sold its drinks business to SABMiller in 2009, Dairy
Gold wished to re-enter the market in 2015 with a new beverage offering. It decided to launch a new brand of highly nutritious maize based drink, called Ama Sipsip.
Winani Chiwowa, manufacturing director at Trade Kings, says the company was looking to re-enter the market with a maheu product as well as a variety of other ambient drinks: “Our company was seriously considering re-entering the market but needed to do this with products and processes which were superior to our competitors as well as being cost effective in this very demanding market place.”
Chiwowa says Dairy Gold has a good understanding of traditional processing technologies and was in search of new technologies to provide the competitive advantages for their new venture. “Reentering
the market, we believed there was a big opportunity to dramatically reduce operating costs and improve
product quality. Following many tests,we decided on the OAL Steam Infusion Vaction technology system from
OAL Group, a United Kingdom based company.”
Steam Infusion is a low risk cooking process that heats, mixes and cooks liquid based food products fast and efficiently.
Jake Norman, sales and marketing manager at OAL Group, says the system can manufacture 15,000 litres of maheu an hour, using only one 5,000 litre vessel to hydrate maize flour. He says: “OAL Group designed, built and commissioned Dairy Gold’s new hydration system in Zambia. Using patented Vaction™ technology, the steam infusion system can hydrate maize flour up to concentrations of 12%, at a rate of 15,000 litres per hour using only one 5,000 litre vessel. The maize slurry produced is then fermented at 60˚C for two hours before continuously passing through two steam infusion Vaction units to heat the final product to 90˚C, before filling.
“The first stage compromises a large batch vessel with recirculation routes and a powder entrainment system. This system is designed to batch liquid ingredients, entrain 500kg of powders into a five tonne batches, and heat it up to 80°C in 20 minutes. The recirculation routes consist of two Vaction units in parallel that allow for in-line heating and routing of the product to the next stage of processing. The second phase takes the product from the fermentation stage and brings it to temperature before final processing and packaging. This stage is completed using a continuous production system via two Vaction units in series. The control system can vary operating conditions of the steam infusion technology to provide a consistent product output temperature.”
Norman says the steam infusion realises significant business benefits: “Steam Infusion does not expose product to excess temperatures because of the partial vacuum generated in the Vaction unit, improving product quality by eliminating burn on contamination. There are also no moving parts, making the process inherently easy to clean and maintain.”
Flexible manufacturing
Due to consumers’ changing preferences, products that are both smooth and gritty need to be manufactured using the same equipment. By altering the steam flow rate through the Vaction unit, the level of shear can be increased and decreased, allowing manufacturers to change the characteristics of the final product.
Concludes Chiwowa: “The installed system is simpler with fewer stages compared to traditional methods. Previously a maize slurry was premixed by hand before heating in a vessel with a steam jacket or a steam coil. The new steam infusion system instantly hydrates maize flour on a single recirculation system. Dairy Gold has also benefited from energy savings and lower maize processing costs due to a significant reduction in capital equipment and energy efficiency. The ability to increase our maize concentration means we can create a higher quality product.”
OAL Group: Tel +44 1733 394 700;;
Trade Kings Zambia: Tel +260 211 286 117 /27;;

SA’s first energy from effluent in anaerobic waste water treatment facility

Over the past four years Distell has been developing a “green plan” to install a common anaerobic
water treatment facility in the Stellenbosch area, Western Cape.
The facility is expected to lower the chemical oxygen demand (COD) load in the outfall to the municipality, harvest the energy in the waste water, and lower the overall cost of effluent treatment.
The Veolia Biobulk® Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR)
The contract to design, build and operate SA’s first Biobulk® waste water treatment facility was awarded to Veolia Water Technologies SA. Veolia uses innovative technology and specialised skills to achieve water sustainability for people and industries.
The Distell-owned plant will be ready for commissioning in March 2016.Distell has three operational sites in the Stellenbosch: Adam Tas, Van Ryn and Bergkelder.
The Biobulk CSTR technology is a robust and proven process which treats industrial effluents with significantly high amounts of suspended solids.It is the anaerobic equivalent of the conventional activated sludge digestion system. Blended solid or liquid waste streams enter the reactor and are treated by anaerobic suspended bacteria. The majority of the soluble or solid COD is converted into biogas, significantly reducing the solids concentration in the waste stream. After a retention time of
several days, the treated waste stream leaves the reactor.
The Biobulk can be operated as a once-through system. Alternatively, biomass can be returned after a
clarification stage. The key to the Biobulk design is the manner in which the reactor vessel is mixed and the design of the degassing stage prior to clarification.
Produced biogas is temporarily collected in the headspace of the Biobulk CSTR, which acts as a biogas holder.
Biogas can be used as a source of renewable energy or burned in a biogas flare.
Technology features:
• Tolerance for high concentrations of TSS, fats, oil and grease (FOGs).
• Medium volumetric loading capacity (2-5kg COD/m3/day).
• Energy source from biogas production.
• Economical operation.
• Proven reliability.
The technical manager at Veolia Water Technologies SA, Jaco Oosthuizen, says the system represents a long term capital saving.
“It brings with it an operating cost saving in that solids in the effluent no longer need not be removed. They can be converted to biogas (energy) in the reactor.”
The Biothane Biobulk® Anaerobic Digester is the heart of the plant. “Ancillary equipment includes storage
buffer tanks, clarifiers, the centrifuge, boiler and biogas flare. First, the digester reduces the effluent COD content by 94.1%. Next, a clarifier removes suspended solids, in turn followed by Veolia Hydrotech drum filtering for tertiary treatment. This ensures the total suspended solid (TSS) concentration is less than 150mg/l.”
On commissioning of the facility, a 10-year Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT)agreement comes into force.
“The 10-year BOT contract will enable Veolia full ownership of the plant’s functions for the agreed period. This will ensure an appropriate transition from Veolia’s commissioning teams to its operations team,” says Oosthuizen.
Veolia’s Operations and Maintenance division in the Western Cape will perform all operations and maintenance functions for 10 years.
Veolia is mandated to deliver:
• The specified quality of water;
• Carry out ongoing maintenance;
• Ensure the plant’s operating performance is in accordance with set objectives.
Veolia will treat 1,000m³ of effluent with an organic load of 8.6 tons COD per day. The water that is treated will be discharged to the municipal wastewater works.
The final effluent discharged to the municipality will contain less than 500kg COD per day and the suspended solids concentration will be less than 150mg/l.
Veolia’s operation and maintenance personnel as well as engineers from Biothane in the Netherlands will form part of the commissioning team. The operational personnel will be trained,via on-the-job coaching and theoretical training modules, to take over full plant responsibility.
Veolia Water Technologies South Africa:

There are 2 major types of systems used for wastewater treatment
They are aerobic and anaerobic systems. This particular piece focuses on anaerobic treatment.
Anaerobic treatment is a process where wastewater or material is broken down by microorganisms without
the aid of dissolved oxygen. However, anaerobic bacteria can and will use oxygen that is found in the oxides introduced into the system or they can obtain it from organic material within the wastewater. Anaerobic systems are used in many industrial systems including food production and municipal sewage treatment systems.
Anaerobic digestion is commonly used to treat sludges in the first areas of a wastewater treatment plant. This process is popular because it is able to stabilize the water with little biomass production.
Anaerobic treatment occurs in many different stages. The key microorganisms are methane formers and acid formers.The acid formers are microorganisms that create various acids from the sludge.
Methane formers convert the acids into methane.
The two main anaerobic systems are batch systems and continuous systems. In a batch system, the biomass
is added into a reactor that is sealed for the rest of the digestion process. This is the simplest form of anaerobic treatment but can have odor issues associated with it. As the most simple, it is also one of
the least expensive ways to achieve treatment.
A continuous system has organic matter constantly added to the treatment system. Since it is continuously being fed, there is a need for the byproduct to continuously be removed. The byproduct can result in a constant source of biogas, which can be used as an alternative source for energy. This system is usually more expensive to operate because of the need for constant monitoring and manpower.
Whether it is aerobic or anaerobic treatment, each treatment system has its place in the world today.
They are very different in the process but both are used to achieve maximum degradation, while meeting
the strict regulations set by the environmental agencies that regulate what is released into the air, ground, or water.

Little Green Beverages goes green

As sustainability makes waves in the corporate world, members of the food and beverage industry have begun to follow suit and take the necessary steps to go green. Little Green Beverages (LBG), manufacturers of the carbonated drink line Refreshhh brand, recently did an overhaul of their Isando factory in Johannesburg, in a bid to become completely eco-efficient
Speaking to director Lyle Batchelor, the concept of being eco-efficient has always been on the cards for the manufacturer, it was merely a matter of the right time: “Our main focus for the company was to do the right thing with regards to our overall carbon footprint. In so doing, we were faced with the task of looking at our whole supply chain and seeing where we were able to reduce our carbon footprint. We
started with collaborations with our suppliers, encouraging partnerships that support our sustainability stance and furthermore exploring partnerships that will in turn be mutually beneficial.” LGB furthermore reduced part of their carbon emissions by purchasing a number of new delivery trucks which boast light
weight bodies.
According to Batchelor, LGB found a perfect partner in Extrupet Group (Pty)Ltd, a modern recycling operation, dedicated to the recycling of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles company also based in Johannesburg. Joint managing director at Extrupet, Chandru Wadhwani explains that it is a phenomenal step LGB is taking, “The volume of waste generated was growing faster than the recycling habits in South Africa. On the other hand our landfills are also inadequate and not entirely safe. The ability to recycle post-consumer bottles back into new PET bottles will help ensure the long-term viability of PET plastics recycling in South Africa. The resin will be used in new carbonated soft drink bottles for LGB.”
LGB partnered with a preform manufacture who uses a percentage R-Pet produced by Extrupet in a newly
designed preform for LGB. The preform is reheated in the green oven which is made out of ceramic heaters using less energy. The blower will then work at a lesser pressure resulting in further energy efficiency. This is truly a first of its kind in carbonated drinks; the goal has always been to move from just bottling water to carbonated soft drink with PhoenixPET.
Wadhwani explains further: “PhoenixPET has the capability to provide a level of quality assurance to meet the growing local and regional demand in the bottle and thermoforming industry (the food, beverage and packaging market) for environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging. PhoenixPET is to be viewed
as a bench-mark for other recycled polymers as well as packaging mediums aspiring to attain a cradle-to-cradle solution for sustainable packaging.
Convertors and brand owners can now strengthen their corporate image with a sustainable message in all their products. By using food grade recycled PET, the demand for virgin material is decreased, less energy is used and a huge reduction in net carbon emissions achieved.
Both Batchelor and Wadhwani agree that the aseptic system machinery provided by Italian company SIPA, has
allowed for this revolutionary process to occur without passing the expenditure to consumers and retailers. Says Batchelor, “The investment from LGB, in the form of this highly technologically advanced
equipment, as costly as it was will not directly impact consumers via price changes. As it is a well-known fact,recycled material does cost more but the investment was never driven by returns but rather by carbon costing.”
So committed is LBG to reducing its carbon footprint that in the near future it will be upgrading the existing line to meet the standard of the new aseptic line along with inserting a new reverse osmosis water plant that will enable them to use recycled water for in-house use prior to dumping.
Little Green Beverages: Tel 011-865-2598;;

PhoenixPET plant in Wadeville, Johannesburg was recently relaunched and now includes a state of the art Bottle-2-Bottle recycling plant furnished with Starlinger recycling technology, specially engineered to
fulfil the expectations and standards needed for bottles for carbonatedsoft drink, bottled water and all other forms of PET packaging. The whole expansion is worth R75-million. The plant is ISO 9001:2008 accredited and we use what we call NIR (near infrared) auto sort technology which is a first on the
continent. The system is such that the plastic bottles are automatically sorted by polymer types

SABMiller rejects takeover bid

Market leader Anheuser-Busch InBev NV went public with a takeover proposal for SABMiller PLC that valued the company at up to $104 billion after winning over its biggest shareholder, but the world’s No. 2 brewer said the price was too low.
A combination of the two companies would create a beer behemoth with unrivaled scale and reach, bringing brands like Budweiser and Stella Artois, which have been languishing in key markets, into new corners of the globe.
The deal faces many hurdles, from likely antitrust scrutiny to tensions between SABMiller’s two largest shareholders, which together control 41% of the company.
U.S. tobacco group Altria Group Inc., the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, owns more than 25% of the brewer and has said it would support a deal at or above AB InBev’s proposed price of £42.15 ($64.2) a share—a 44% premium over SABMiller’s Sept. 14 closing price, the day media speculation about a potential takeover began to circulate.
But Altria’s three representatives on SABMiller’s 16-member board were the only ones not rejecting the proposal Wednesday, which the board said “still very substantially undervalues SABMiller, its unique and unmatched footprint, and its stand-alone prospects.” – The Wall Street Journal

Agro Processing Africa Summit 2015

26th & 27th November 2015; Amabhubesi Training Centre, Ferndale, Randburg, Johannesburg

Africa’s dominant agricultural sector makes the continent a prime location for the establishment of agroprocessing industries. Processing of food adds value to agriculture and edible animal products by grading standardization, packing and preserving of produce so that products could be formed in such a way that they can be sold in market of the country and abroad. This is vital since it creates employment and helps in import substitution, foreign currency earnings from exports of processed products coming from agriculture, forestry and fisheries. African governments and the private sectors need to develop concerted efforts and strategies to support agro processing ventures since they convert raw materials into manufactured products and reduce the number of farmers practising at subsistence level. Agro processing in Africa is in the hands of the few conglomerates and this effectively closes doors for aspiring small holder farmers and small business to benefit from the earnings that agro processing has to offer. Agro processing can succeed if farmers and agro processors were able to access the requisite funding to embark on sustainable ventures. Investment, ICT, access to markets as well establishing and enabling environment also play a crucial role in making agro processing a success story. In many developing countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa, communities are largely rural and agriculture is often the sole source of household income. They earn low incomes and unemployment is high. Agro processing offers an opportunity to reduce hunger and fight poverty. South Africa is establishing
Agri Parks across the country. They seek to link production areas to support communities, smallholder farmers and emerging black farmers.
Discover the various funding opportunities which are available for aspiring small enterprises and agro processing ventures. Learn about the Agri Parks which the South African government is establishing in all the nine provinces in a bid to support communities, smallholder farmers and emerging black farmers. Network and mingle with funders, peers and decision makers in Southern Africa and even beyond. Identify and understand the factors which allow agricultural commodity value chains to grow and thrive. Learn about the challenges which face small holder farmers in their quest to market and process their produce. Learn valuable lessons from real life and successful case studies in East and Southern Africa on running viable cooperatives and community projects.
The summit seeks to explore ways in which such programs can be implemented sustainably and improve the standards of living of many who are struggling to make it.
Who Should Attend:
Directors and branch managers for agricultural produce retailing
Food processing companies
Heads for retail finance
Financiers and funding managers
Commodity brokers
Exporters and importers of agricultural produce,
Private sector value chain or multi-stakeholder associations
Farmer organizations and unions
Farming cooperatives members
Commodity group dealers
Civil society organizations actively involved in value chain work and policy makers.

The event will characterized by robust dialogue with leading experts around the challenges and opportunities for linking agriculture, processing and marketing.
Registration contact Micheal Chansa Tel: +27 11 326 0353;

DRDLR awards R235m to emerging farmers

THE Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) approved R235 million for emerging farmers to acquire land to ease congestion in communal and state land across five provinces and boost food security. This is according to the department’s acting chief director:strategic communication, Sivuyile Mangxamba. He says the DRDLR spent an additional R69 million for farm recapitalisation.
According to his statement an estimated 145 permanent jobs are expected to be created from the 13 projects, with an additional 1 114 temporary jobs. Mangxamba says a total of 41 252 hectares were acquired in five provinces across the country under the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS).
The PLAS seeks to acquire strategically-located land for redistribution to emerging farmers.
The acquisition approved will contribute towards achieving the development goals espoused in the National Development Plan. The department acquires farms through the PLAS. The acquisitions approved will contribute towards achieving the development goals as espoused in the National Development Plan.
According to the minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, this will go a long way towards fast-tracking service delivery in rural areas.
The applications indicated that most emerging farmers wanted to pursue livestock farming, crops, vegetables, game and poultry.
Funding applications were also used to purchase machinery, trucks, bulls, pregnant heifers and pack houses among others. – News24

CAMC gives Zimbabwean agriculture a lifeline

China CAMC Engineering has announced plans to revive operations at Arda Mushumbi Pools Estate with a US$200mn investment. According to reports, the estate in Mashonaland Central region will get the money over the next five years, and the funding will be used to develop irrigation. The Chinese company had sealed a deal with Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA) to resuscitate the estate, but the deal is subject to approval by the country’s government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Wang Kailong, country representative for Zimbabwe at China CAMC Engineering, said that his company was committed to helping the revival of agriculture in Zimbabwe, and that it had wanted to build a dam at Arda Mushumbi Pools that would irrigate about 1,000 ha.
He added that China CAMC Engineering would also set up a cotton ginnery and a fruit canning plant at Mushumbi. “We have already signed a contract with ARDA for us to build a dam, a cotton ginnery and a fruit canning plant at Mushumbi Pools,” he added. “The dam that we intend to build will also have the capacity to generate about 15MW of electricity that will provide power to the ginnery and canning plant that we want to set up at Mushumbi Pools.” Kailong added that the company is sourcing money for the project from Chinese banks. China CAMC Engineering has already supplied Zimbabwe with agricultural machinery such as tractors, combine harvesters and other implements worth about US$58mn since 2002.—

Innovation news

The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) has launched an online trading platform for farmers to sell grains through a structured mechanism.
The platform called G-soko, links smallholder farmers to grain buyers and has been developed by the EAGC in partnership with FoodTrade Eastern and Southern Africa, and Virtual City, an IT firm based in Kenya.
According to EAGC, this is through a 5-year trade enhancement and promotion programme that aims to encourage trading in regional staple food markets.
Right now there is urgency to expand regional food trade due to the exponential growth of staple food imports. Linking rural food surplus production zones in Eastern Africa to major deficit urban consumption centres requires a well-functioning regional market. EAGC Executive Director, Mr Gerald Masila says the idea steamed from the need to address the deficiency but also do it in a way that is inclusive and effective, “This is why we developed G-Soko; a market transaction platform that will enhance food trade across borders, and contribute towards making trading more transparent,”
The platform performs a structured trade function that integrates the entire grain trade from farm to market.
Through G-Soko, farmers are able to aggregate their produce through a certified warehouse and also access financial services using their grains as collateral.
For the first time, grain farmers in the region including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will now be able to trade their grain free, competitively and transparently across the region, through the G-Soko platform.
— Daily Nation Kenya

Technology news

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has developed a new, faster, low-cost laboratory-based soil analysis technique. Developed by the African Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project, the new approach measures the light reflected by a soil sample and the resulting information is used to predict a number of properties of the sample, based on calibration databases.
This soil infrared spectroscopy technique cost farmers only US$1, compared to US$100 for other conventional soil testing methods.
Keith Shepherd, principal soil scientist at the Nairobi-based ICRAF, explains further: “This technology has the capability of providing affordable soil testing and advisory services to smallholder farmers and is beginning to be deployed by rural soil testing services.” Adding further that countries can now analyse a large number of soil samples with sufficient sample density per unit area to map soil properties.
With the availability of satellite imagery from space and unmanned aerial vehicles at ever-increasing spatial resolutions, it is becoming possible to make high-resolution soil property maps at low costs. AfSIS recently launched a 250m-resolution soil properties map of Africa.
The private sector and development agents promoting good soil management practices can also afford to monitor organic matter levels in the soil at their field sites.
Soil testing before planting helps farmers to decide the quantity and quality of fertilisers they should apply, thus reducing the risks of crop failure and financial loss. Blenders of fertilisers and agencies designing liming programmes can use the data from soil testing to know acidity levels and micronutrients in the soil in different regions, allowing them to make better products. AfSIS is helping Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania to establish national soil information systems and services based on soil spectroscopy and digital soil-mapping technology. –

Agribusiness news

The European Union (EU) lifted a four-year ban on fresh ostrich meat after South Africa was declared free of bird flu.
Alan Winde, the Western Cape minister for economic opportunities, confirmed: “Resuming exports to the EU will play an important role in increasing the number of jobs in this industry, which currently employs over 50 000. The local ostrich industry is far less dependent on fresh meat as a product than it was in 2011.”
The Western Cape is the country’s main exporter of ostrich meat, chicks, feathers and eggs in an industry that is estimated to be worth more than R1bn.
The EU instituted the ban in April 2011 following an outbreak of the H5N2 substrain of bird flu.
The ostrich industry has taken steps to mitigate the financial risk should avian influenza break out again, said Francois de Wet, chairperson of the Ostrich Business Chamber.
The ostrich sector almost managed to recover after the EU embargo as demand and prices for ostrich leather increased due to fashion trends, Winde said.
Before the ban, SA was slaughtering 230 000 ostriches annually for their meat. When the EU imposed the embargo, this tumbled to 120 000 and then recovered to 190 000 by 2013 because of demand by fashion houses such as Kering SA’s Gucci and Prada SpA. –

Farming news

Tanzania has launched an agricultural development bank with the government pledging to raise US$380mn over the next eight years.
Speaking at the launch, Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Kikwete said the bank will address challenges that have hampered agriculture such as lack of financial packages, “Different financial packages will suit different categories of farmers.”
The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) will receive US$48mn every year for eight years from the government so that its 20-year strategic plan can be implemented.
President Kikwete urged farmers to utilise the loans to be offered by the bank to improve their agricultural productivity. TADB will work with commercial and community banks, savings and credit cooperative societies to extend loans to farmers. Individuals can also access loans directly.
Small and medium farming outfits involved in maize, rice, fruit, sugarcane, horticulture, livestock and fish farming will be given priority. Bee keepers and farmers raising indigenous chicken will also benefit from TADB.
Farming in Tanzania is dominated by smallholder farmers, with the average farm size being between 0.9 ha and three hectares. These smallholder farmers collectively cultivate 5.1mn ha of which 85 per cent is used for growing food crops. Inadequate funding, poor farming methods and over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture has affected productivity, according to
Under-investment in agriculture has limited the area under irrigation. While the country has a potential of one million hectares of irrigable land, only 150,000 ha is currently being utilised. –

Zimbabwean government outsources fertiliser manufacturer

Zimbabwe’s government has taken steps to source fertilisers from Belarus to ensure their sufficient availability in time for the upcoming cropping season. The SADC region nation has chosen Belaruskali, a Belarus-based fertiliser manufacturer, to supply it with the key farming input.
The deal will be financed as a part of a larger US$150mn memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed by Zimbabwe’s vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa and Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich in Minsk earlier this week.
Says Mnangagwa: “We have an agreement that we have signed for an initial US$150mn and from this fund, part of it will go towards purchasing fertiliser. This will go a long way in alleviating fertiliser shortages in our country. I have been amazed by the enormous nature of the operations at the facility and I have never seen such expertise. We are going to take such lessons so that we improve our own agricultural sector,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s minister for agriculture, mechanisation and irrigation development, Dr. Joseph Made, said that his ministry was working with Belaruskali to ensure that the fertiliser deal was finalised ahead of the summer cropping season this year. “We are now at a stage where officials from my ministry are working with staff from the company to conduct soil analysis to see which fertiliser is best for Zimbabwe,” concluded Made.
Belaruskali’s production capacity exceeds 12.5mn tonnes of fertiliser annually and the company does business in more than 70 countries around the world. –

Weetabix to source 50% of its wheat from local farmers

Cereal processor Weetabix East Africa is targeting to cut its wheat imports by 50% and instead start buying the grain from local farmers. The company has been working with a local wheat farmer in Narok who is expected to supply 26,000 bags of 90 kilogrammes, which is slightly higher than half of its requirement. Weetabix has in the past opted for imports because of the high market prices local farmers demand for their produce.
Currently, the firm is paying Sh2, 800 per 90-kg bag on imported wheat while the same quantity is retailing at Sh4, 000 locally.
Jack Fredrick, head of procurement at the firm says talks are already underway: “We are engaging one commercial farmer in Narok whose harvest we anticipate will meet half of our required capacity. As a company, we would want to buy wheat from local farmers, but at a fair price that enables us to be competitive and cushions consumers of our products against price increases.”
The firm has been offering technical support to the farmer, including teaching him best agronomical practices meant to cut production costs, which are often cited for the higher prices. The programme, however, is still at the pilot stage with Weetabix targeting to recruit about 20 farmers.
He added that Weetabix had increased its capacity, which required them to rely on both local and imported wheat for a steady supply of the raw material.
The UK-owned cereal processor invested over Sh200 million in the expansion of its Nairobi factory last year to meet the growing needs of an expanding middle class.
It has so far increased production to 3.6 million kg per year from 1.8 million kg. The demand of the breakfast cereals was 2.8 million kg in 2014 compared to 2.4 million kg in 2013.
Kenya does not produce enough wheat to meet its annual demand as only 350,000 tonnes is produced against a consumption of 900,000 tonnes. – BusinessDailyAfrica

Nakumatt to buy Shoprite’s Uganda stores

Nakumatt Supermarket has announced that it is in the final stages of acquiring two Ugandan stores of South African retail giant Shoprite.
Nakumatt Holdings’ head of strategy and operations Thiagarajan Ramamurthy said that the retail chain will sign the deal in less than two weeks, “We will be signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Shoprite to acquire their outlets in Uganda.”
The South African retailer closed one of its outlets in Kampala last month citing under-performance and poor location. The two stores that Nakumatt intends to buy are in Kampala. Shoprite opened its business in Uganda 15 years ago. While Shoprite Uganda has a workforce of over 500 employees in its two branches, Nakumatt has made its intentions to take over the staff very clear. The buyout will mark the exit of the South African retail giant from the East African market having sold its three Tanzanian outlets to Nakumatt for a reported Sh4 billion.
Nakumatt has eight branches in Uganda. –

SABMiller opens new Namibian brewery

SABMiller has opened a new brewery in Okahandja, Namibia. Construction of the new $33.3-million, 260,000 hectolitre brewery began in mid-2013 and was completed in October 2014. The brewery is located on 7.2 hectares of land outside Okahandja city, 70km north of Windhoek.
Besides supporting the local communities in which it operates, SABMiller is proud of the local job creation at the brewery by employing 184 direct jobs at the new plant and multiple indirect jobs elsewhere in the value chain.
SABMiller says its investments in Namibia, and more broadly across the continent, underline the company’s belief in the region and its ability to drive long-term growth in Africa. Its commitment in Namibia also aligns with the national government’s Vision 2030 of an industrial nation. Cobus Bruwer, MD of SABMiller Namibia, says: “This is a seminal occasion for SABMiller in Namibia and represents the latest investment by the company in the African growth story. Not only will the brewery produce fantastic tasting beers, it will also contribute to the creation of a vibrant local manufacturing sector. This will in turn allow us to accelerate the emergence of small and medium sized Namibian businesses which are so important to the life blood of the economy and help create a growing population of skilled employees by supporting education and providing training.”
SABMiller has a long history in Namibia, having imported beers from South Africa to service the local market for more than two decades. The company has an estimated 22% share of the local beer market, with popular brands including Castle Lager, Carling Black Label and Castle Lite. These are now brewed on the new site in Okahanjda.
SABMiller Namibia is 60% owned by SABMiller and 40% by local Namibian partners comprising 20% Onyewu Investments and 20% by three charitable trusts for the benefit of local communities. –

African Innovations Conference

The maiden African Innovations conference was hosted at the Forum, Johannesburg on the 6 – 7 May 2015.

Enkeldebosch unearths productivity with new super line

Schneider Electric along with an alliance partner Vennic has rooted a complete integrated solution at Enkeldebosch Boerdery’s potato grading, sorting and bagging (PGSB) plant.

Solar power for various applications

When using solar power to run appliances it is important to understand the basics like photovoltaic module which is commonly known as a solar panel.

Drip irrigation advances

Irrigation is the controlled application of water for agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall.

Jam processing

Food Processing Africa provides insight on how Mandy Aucamp,the owner of the Berrynice Berry Company situated in the Eastern Cape produces her speciality Raspberry jam.
Aucamp highlights that the decision to produce raspberry jam is because of her raspberry farm which enables her to reduce
waste of the fruit by preserving it. “The ideal fruits used for jam are those that are overripe. Raspberries are good for
jamming as they contain heaps of natural pectin in their seeds. Other berries such as blueberries and strawberries contain
less natural pectin,” she says.
Pectins are sugar molecules which are found naturally in plant cell walls. Pectins are found in fruits, particularly in the
peels and cores. When jam sets, it is pectin that that plays a vital role.The pectin content of different fruit, varies. Fruits such as apples and blackcurrants have higher levels of pectin than strawberries and raspberries. When a jam is being made from a low pectin fruit, either a higher pectin fruit must be included or commercial pectin must be added. The way to obtain commercial pectin is to utilise the peel of citrus fruits which have naturally high pectin content.
According to Aucamp, when cooking raspberry jam, the fruit is either cooked off the trees or from frozen fruit which has been defrosted.
“It is advisable to let the fruit cook a bit first then use a potato masher to break up the seeds to release as much pectin as possible. Proper jam is preservative free and is preserved by the sugar which is added at a 50/50 ratio,”
Aucamp says. The jam is then cooked in small quantities and during the process a lot of ‘scum’ will rise to the top. She
adds that the ‘scum’ has to be scooped off manually and the pot can therefore, not be covered.
Aucamp further explains that utilising copper cookware ensures that the product has the best colour and taste.She advises that aluminium not be used as it changes the colour of the jam.
“The jam is cooked until it thickens and reaches the correct gel consistency. This can be tested by keeping a side plate in the fridge and then taking a teaspoonful of jam and spreading it thinly on the plate (for it to cool). Then take the back of your spoon and draw a line through the centre – if the line stays, the consistency is thick enough and ready to be filled in a bottle.”
The role of sugar in jam making
Sugar content plays an important part in producing jam. It is vital for the flavour and further plays a role in helping the
jam, set. Aside from sweetening jam, sugar also assists in allowing the pectin to set by enhancing the gel-forming capability and drawing water to itself, decreasing the ability of the pectin to remain in separate chains. The final
sugar content of jam should be between 65 and 69%.
Bottling jam
Aucamp says when storing jam in glass jars, it is important that the jar is sterilised and dry. “The jam needs to be
82 0C.”
She says that once the lid is on, the jar needs to be inverted for a few seconds so that the top of the jar sterilises. Once that is done, the jar is tightly sealed.This procedure of making jam allows that it be kept on shelf for about two
years followed by it being refrigerated for about a month.
Aucamp says that some fruits such as pineapple which has little or no natural pectin can be thickened using powdered pectin. “The recipes do however need to be tried and tested until the correct consistency is achieved.”
She warns that overcooking jam results in the sugar being burnt which alters the colour of the product and once cooled is stringy and sticky.
Sugar-free jams
Sugar free jams can be sweetened using various sugar substitutes like xylitol or stevia. These jams usually need pectin as
there are rules surrounding the ratios as well as the cooking times. In the case of a sugar free jam the fruit content is around 80% of the end product and a preservative has to be used. Aucamp highlights that potassium sorbate is most effective to use in producing sugar-free jams and also provides a two year shelf-life.
Roscherr’s Fine Foods in Montagu, Cape Town
Martin Roscherr, the production and HACCP manager at Roscherr’s Fine Foods reminisces on how the company established its jam manufacturing process.
“As a pre-schooler, I can remember picking apricots from our trees on our Johannesburg residential property. Many of these were eaten from the tree, but there is a limit to how much one can consume before the apricots passes their best before date.”
He says the need to preserve fruit for use at a later time has been around since there were seasons, and cooking the apricots up with sugar and making jam is certainly a tasty option.
“I would ‘help’ my mom stir and taste of course, as we first cooked the apricots soft and later added sugar,” says Roscherr.
He adds that testing whether the jam was of proper consistency and taste entailed it being spread on a saucer, allowed to cool and form a skin. “Once the jam was ready it would be poured into canned fruit glass jars that had been heated in a pot of shallow steaming water.”
He mentions that the process has come a long way in comparison to how it initially was.
“There are still folks that cook the fruit from their own orchards and sell the jams and preserves at farm stalls. On
the other hand, there are mega-factories pumping out tons of jams per day made from fruit pulp.”He says that Roscherr’s Fine Foods finds itself in the middle of the two extremes, or rather, in the fortunate position to have the best of both worlds.
The business started years ago when the owners of a restaurant in Montagu (Western Cape), made jam during quieter trading times. Traditional family recipes were used, and fruit was in abundance.These jams were given as gifts to friends, and according to Roscherr, soon as news spread; a demand for great tasting jam was created. “This is how the jam manufacturing
business came about.”
He says his grandmothers jam recipes are used, to date. The only difference is that there is a benefit to utilising scientific equipment. “The equipment is used to test the jam for consistency and quality.”
‘As we use no preservatives, we rely on a consistent sugar percentage as well as a certain acidity to produce a product
that is unfavourable for the growth of micro-organisms.”
The role of acids in jam production
Acids are important in helping the pectin set. Fruits naturally contain acids. The most well known is citric acid although
malic acid and tartaric acids are also found in a number of fruits. While some acid will be contributed by the fruit from
which the jam is made, this is often not enough to reach the desired PH. For this reason, more will need to be added and
is commonly in the form of lemon juice which contains citric acid and by using powdered forms of acid.
Monitoring of temperatures is also vital; it should be high enough to ensure that micro-organisms are eliminated and also not too high so as to prevent caramelising the product on the pot and causing a burned taste.”
A few greenish-coloured (unripe) apricots are used because of its higher pectin levels which helps the jam set. “Today’s fruit are all ripe and have lower pectin levels and we have to add pectin to certain jams to help them set.”
The company exports “quality” fruit rejected for having the “slightest” mark on it, ones that are slightly under or oversized and unsuitable for market needs.
According to Roscherr the company has the “perfect” staff compliment that inspects all fruit on arrival. He says there are fruits that are rejected during inspection.
Roscherr Fine Foods comprises of more than 20 staff members, four of which have been stayed with the company for more than 20 years and 11 that have been with the company for 10 years.
He maintains that the company’s jams comprise of no less than 65% fruit content.
“Many of our clients want to spread fruit pieces over their bread when buying the product, else they would have purchased canned jam that has a fruit content under 30% and a jelly like texture.”
The company’s jam manufacturing process is subjected to annual audits from internationally accredited food safety bodies. Everything from the ordering, procurement, dispatching, customer safety and quality assurance is checked.
“Through the food safety system we record all aspects of the process and each bottle produced has a batch code printed
on the lid whereby we are able to trace where all the ingredients came from, also to which clients we have dispatched that
batch, expiry dates etc.”
He says that keeping up to date with the ever changing labelling requirements is no small task and exporting has its own
list of challenges.
“In a nutshell: we are small enough to maintain and pass down a tradition of quality jam making and big enough to implement international standards and do private labelling for big brands.”
Roscherr says the key to the company’s success has been tried and trusted recipes, quality fruit, trusted and experienced staff, and utilising science as a means to control and ensure safety and quality and good relationships with both suppliers
and clients.
Montagu Roscherrs Fine Foods: Tel + 27 23 614 1360;
The Berrynice Berry Company: Tel + +27 83 384 6611;; info@berrynice,

Democratic Republic of Congo Swiss dairies model comes to Africa

Alex Kasole, a native of the east DRC has established a cheesery modelled on those in Switzerland. Kasole, whose 285-hectare dairy farm is located near the village of Mushaki, which owns several dozen Swiss Brown and Brown Swiss cows as well as the Friesländer breed adapt to high altitudes better than
African cattle. Says Kasole, “Other dairy farmers in the region produce their cheese in bathtubs standing
in wooden sheds. Proper hygiene is important to me. I have been to cheese factories in Switzerland and regard them as models for his dairy. The cows provide 400 liters of milk a day, which I use to make the popular Masisi Gouda cheese.”

Morocco Innovative idea scores The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015

Researcher Adnane Remmal won the US$100,000 ( R1 187 130.00) grand prize for his antibiotic alternative for livestock farmers. The patented all-natural anti-microbial formula reduces health hazards in livestock and prevents the transmission of multi-resistant bacteria and carcinogens to humans through
consumption of milk, eggs and meat.
“My innovation provides farmers with solutions to improve their production,” said Remmal. “It is cost
effective and can be easily adopted,giving farmers increased benefits without the side effects of antibiotics.”
Kenya’s Alex Mwaura Muriu and South African, Lesley Erica Scott, won US$25,000 (R 296782.50) each, claiming second prize and a special prize for social impact, respectively.
Murui developed the Farm Capital Africa project, which helps farmers to access funding to invest in their
businesses without having to resort to seeking bank loans, while Scott developed a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved calibration method for tuberculosis diagnostic machines.
The IPA 2015 awards ceremony, which was hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) in Skhirat, Morocco, was attended by more than 400 people, including ministers, dignitaries, AIF partners, entrepreneurs and previous IPA winners. –