twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

Organic farming driving change in sub-Saharan Africa

Dr Benoy Berry, chairman, Contec Global, speaks to African Farming about the company's role in transforming agricultural practices through biotechnologies

Dr Benoy BerryDr Benoy Berry is the chairman of Contec Global. (Image source: Contec Global)

Over the next 30 years, half of the world’s population growth will happen in Africa. The implications for African states range from the need to rapidly develop major infrastructure, to the provision of jobs for millions entering the workforce.  One of the greatest challenges presented by this trend relates to food production, as governments are having to consider how to effectively oversee the provision of food for rapidly increasing populations. 

“We know from a recent African Youth Survey that there is a trend of optimism among young people in Africa, with 82 per cent of respondents confident their standard of living will improve in the next two years and 81 per cent predicting technology will be the main driver of their changing fortunes. Technology – and specifically biotechnology – is central to finding a solution to the food supply question. Technologies can help a growing population better afford improved land and resource management, while providing more sustainable livelihoods.”

Ecosystems are under growing threat across the planet, and especially in Africa, where crops continue to be jeopardised by extreme weather, desertification and soil erosion. As a result of industrial farming practices and poor land management, the degradation of the earth’s soil is ubiquitous and too easily overlooked. However, the sustainable management of natural resources very much remains in our hands. 

“As chairman of Continental Transfert Technique Limited (Contec Global), a company that focuses on the sustainable advancement of technology in multiple sectors, I have witnessed first-hand the dramatic economic and sustainable benefits in Africa generated by organic farming deploying biotechnologies.”

Biotechnologies have the potential to address the challenges of diminished natural resources, while diversifying and optimising economic growth in communities that were once obstructed from adopting a sustainable framework.  

At Contec Agro, we have developed organic farming products such as bio-seed, bio-fertiliser and bio-planting to preserve the land and ensure food security. As the realities of climate change manifest themselves, our tissue culture facility in Abuja – whereby tissues or cells are artificially grown (bananas, potatoes) - is one of a kind in its ability to address such realities, notably severe droughts.   

Tissue culture facilities enable the regeneration of rare plants, trees and medicines in a clean, rapid and sustainable manner while providing our Contec Agro employees with unique expertise in crop production and diversification. Delivering high-quality and affordable products for all segments of society remains our priority.  

Technologies driving organic farming are essential if we are to address issues such as low crop production while meeting growing food security challenges across the continent. Modern sustainable practices provide eco-friendly food crops, while encouraging soil rehabilitation and the long-term productivity of existing crops and pastureland.  

Meaningful progress in agricultural production starts with the empowerment of farmers and producers, achieved through providing them with the means and solutions necessary to make the move towards productive organic agricultural practices. Our expanded operations in this sector have afforded many farmers a solid source of income as well as transferable expertise, notably in areas that once solely relied on mining as a major source of employment.  

“That is why the creation of training centres is essential in this process, the benefits of which I have witnessed through our company’s creation of an organic agro facility in Abuja, Nigeria. At Contec Agro, we pride ourselves in our ability to not only provide skilled jobs for key workers, but to equip these workers with skills for life.”

Increase productivity and competitiveness of African agriculture too

Organic farming will not only attract a modern and young workforce but increase the productivity and competitiveness of African agriculture as a collective. While the private sector will play an integral role in driving the required changes, government support is also vital.  

The structural transformation of the agricultural sector with government backing is well underway in Nigeria. The Federal Government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently promised to gradually eliminate all chemical fertilisers in agriculture, with the aim of phasing out the presence of dangerous chemical traces in food.   

Moreover, Uganda is home to the most organic producers in Africa. An estimated 231,157ha of land are managed organically across Uganda, as agriculture is the East African nation’s most important sector in terms of economic return. This explains why it is usually given the utmost importance in government planning.  

Organic farming has already considerably changed the face of rural employment and job security across Africa and will continue to do so in the years to come. It is now time for organic agricultural efforts to be promoted on a global basis as populations continue to grow. By the same token, agribusinesses ought to consider the impact of harsh chemicals on the livelihood of their ecosystems, encouraging the adoption, and access to, sustainable practices.  

LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

Nature-based solutions help farmers in Ghana

Nature-based solutions help farmers in G…

Organic pesticides, waste-based fertilisers and forest regeneration are just a few of the green initiatives being employed in Ghana to boost farming communities’ resilience to the impacts of climate...

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Saharan Africa

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Sa…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is set to fast track an impact-oriented project in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America for digital soil nutrient mapping, after...

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double rice production to curb food insecurity

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double…

President Adama Barrow has received a delegation led by the Korean Ambassador to The Gambia, HE Kim Ji-Joon, at the State House in Banjul to announce the delivery of sample rice...

World Sustainability Organization chooses Zambia as the first African Sustainability Hub

World Sustainability Organization choose…

The World Sustainability Organization and Foundation (WSO&F) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zambian Government, to make Zambia the African Sustainability Hub 

Rallying call to improve African and global cotton production

Rallying call to improve African and glo…

As the business of cotton production continues to attract global attention, there are concerns about how sustainable the practice of growing, harvesting, and production will be, especially for lower income...

Research and farming institution from Zimbabwe wins FAO Award

Research and farming institution from Zi…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) honoured three research and farming institutions, one of which was from Zimbabwe

Prev Next


Syngenta launches Cropwise Seed Selector

Syngenta launches Cropwise Seed Selector

Agriculture company Syngenta and NK Seeds have launched the Cropwise Seed Selector to help farmers select seeds through data-driven recommendations

Central Bank of Zimbabwe issues US$50mn bond for coming agri season

Central Bank of Zimbabwe issues US$50mn …

The Central Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) has issued a US$50mn bond to finance the 2019/2020 agriculture season

Ag Biotechnology tops investors’ wishlist for 2020

Ag Biotechnology tops investors’ wishlis…

New research published by technology incubator Idea2scale and Agri-FoodTech venture capital firm AgFunder has revealed that food and AgTech investors are most excited by startups in the Ag Biotechnology category

Mbeki: agriculture ‘should be main driver of change’

Mbeki: agriculture ‘should be main drive…

Former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, addressed the recent AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin, Germany

Gambian fish market earns nearly US$100,000 million in 2013

Gambian fish market earns nearly US$100,…

The Bakoteh Fish Market and Ice Plant in The Gambia has profited nearly US$100mn from its vendors eight months after it began operations in April last year

Nigerian agriculture minister elected AfDB president

Nigerian agriculture minister elected Af…

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has officially announced the election of its eighth president

Homie Recipes announce JV with West African Stevia Company and Ghanaian KOP Farms

Homie Recipes announce JV with West Afri…

Homie Recipes, Inc, has announced that it has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with the West African Stevia Company and KOP Farms located in Ghana, West Africa

Nigerian firms to produce soil specific fertilisers

Nigerian firms to produce soil specific …

Four indigenous manufacturing companies have partnered to produce fertilisers suitable for Nigerian soils as part of efforts to boost agriculture and ensure food security in the country

Olmix plant care launches commercial activity in Egypt

Olmix plant care launches commercial act…

To expand its plant care ranges internationally, Olmix Group has signed an agreement with MacFertilizers (Al-Sabanel AGro Egypt) to provide the Egyptian market with sustainable and innovative solutions that have...

Zimbabwean farmers advised to take up potato production

Zimbabwean farmers advised to take up po…

Demand for potatoes has risen in Zimbabwe over the past decade and a report from USAID has urged more farmers to start producing the crop

Biomin mycotoxin survey indicates higher mycotoxin risks in corn and feed in 2017

Biomin mycotoxin survey indicates higher…

Mycotoxin-related threats to livestock production have risen in most regions of the world over the first quarter of 2017

South Korea investing US$5mn in Rwandan agriculture

South Korea investing US$5mn in Rwandan …

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is investing US5$mn in Rwanda to support modern farming in Nyaruguru district

Prev Next