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This initiative represents an important milestone in efforts to support local livestock farmers and promote youth employability in the agricultural sector. (Image source: ECOWAS))

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently inaugurated a new drilling project, aimed at improving employment opportunities for youth through improved dairy and fodder production 

Promising to transform the lives of members of the Luumo Kosam Dairy Cooperative in Chukun, Nigeria, the project which was initiated by the Value Chain Foundation with financial support from ECOWAS and the Swiss Cooperation (DDC), is part of the Regional Programme for Support to Farmer Organisations (PRAOP)

The objective of the project is to improve the dairy and fooder production by enhancing local milk production through the establishment of family dairy farms and the management of cows and calves, increasing the availability and accessibility of feed and forage, and facilitating knowledge sharing among dairy farmers and stakeholders. This in turn improves employment opportunities for youth. 

At the end of its implementation, the project is expected to create 22 direct jobs, produce 400 tons of fodder, train 600 youths from 100 households and 10 young individuals, connect 100 households to inputs and services such as feed, forage, medications, veterinary services, and artificial insemination, and link 100 households to governments, development partners, milk supply, with an additional production of 300 liters of raw milk per day and an increase in beneficiaries’ income by about 200%.

The handover of the drilling to the Luumo Kosam Dairy Cooperative and its members, who are primarily composed of livestock farmers, marks a significant step in promoting youth employability and improving the living conditions of cooperative members. The Chukun region, like many other rural areas in Nigeria, faces challenges in accessing clean water, which often hinders agricultural activities and limits development opportunities. 

Therefore, by providing a reliable and essential water source for cooperative members and livestock watering, the project will help improve their main source of livelihood, thus demonstrating ECOWAS’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive development in West Africa.

Dr Eckel's latest generation of the product, Anta Phyt NXT contains a higher quantity of active ingredients and has a broader spectrum of action. (Image source: Dr Eckel)

Dr Eckel has recently introduced the new generation of its phytogentic feed additive, Anta Phyt 

As modern animal production continues to face multiple challenges, it is important to ensure that animal health, sustainable production methods and ecconomic profitability go hand in hand, while also minimising the use of medication without compromising health, growth, performance and product quality.

Prepared with uniquely effective hops as the main substance, Anta Phyt is an antibiotic-free plant-based solution that naturally supports intestinal health, strengthens the immune system and promotes animal performance by  combatting gram-positive bacteria such as clostridia and Strep. suis

Dr Eckel's latest generation of the product, Anta Phyt NXT contains a higher quantity of active ingredients and has a broader spectrum of action, thereby offering even more benefits for animal health and performance at the same dosage. 

Some of the notable benefits of Anta Phyt NXT include:

  • Effectiveness against gram-positive bacteria
  • Supporting intestinal health and immune system
  • Promoting growth and performance
  • Improving feed conversion
  • Reducing medication costs
  • Promoting sustainable and healthy production

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Given their expertise in feed formulation and nutritional testing, the AquaBioTech Group offered assistance to members of AZOFFA in developing their own aquafeeds. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

International consulting company, AquaBioTech Group recently hosted a delegation from the Akosombo Zone Fish Farmers Association (AZOFFA) of Ghana on 18 and 19 April this year

During their visit, AquaBioTech's Research and Development, and Innovation department showcased their projects in East Africa, illustrating how these could be applied in the Ghana and Akosombo zone. Presentations and workshops were conducted by experts to identify research needs for aquaculture in Ghana, while also discussing the challenges facing fish farming in the region. A survey on common Integrated Aquaculture/Agriculture practices in Ghana was also conducted to support the engagement of stakeholders in the PrAEctiCe Project.

On the second day of the visit, members of AquaBioTech's engineering team organised a workshop focused on developing an optimal system design to address the challenges in Tilapia production in Ghana. The aim was to enhance disease control, while also improving fingerling quality, maximising production and ensuring effective utilisation of local materials. Moreover, strategies for localising aquafeed production were also discussed.

Given their expertise in feed formulation and nutritional testing, the AquaBioTech Group offered assistance to members of AZOFFA in developing their own aquafeeds, thereby improving the overall efficiency and sustainability of aquaculture in Ghana. In addition, vocational training programmes were also explored to promote knowledge sharing and skills development for Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS). 

For more information, visit: 

Hill Group is one of the few fully automated poultry plants in East Africa. (Image source: Marel)

The Hill Group processing plant has been operational in Dar es Salaam since July 2023

Boasting a population of around 63 million, Tanzania’s chicken consumption seems to be in line with its rapidly growing population. Since long, the wet market has largely dominated Tanzania. However, these pose numerous health and sanitary risks, making the move towards processed meat essential for maintaining safety and quality.

Standing by his goal to transform Tanzania’s chicken processing industry, entrepreneur Hillary Shoo, who is also the founder of the Tanzania-based feed manufacturing company, Hill Group, had formulated plans to establish a greenfield poultry processing plant in 2014. With the support of food processing solutions company, Marel, Shoo began building the factory from scratch, until it was finally commissioned in July 2023.

Processing capacity at Hill’s greenfield, starts at 3,000 bph. At the start of the process, floor scales connected to Innova weigh incoming live birds. The manual killing process ensures that production is 100% halal. Scalding and plucking are also done using Marel equipment. After the combined VOC vent cutter and opening machine, the automated evisceration line features a Nuova eviscerator with a separate pack line for manual harvesting. After evisceration, products are chilled in a water chiller. This is followed by a Compact Grader, to select the products by weight. Although restaurants are important customers, the project aims to reach all markets and most importantly, at an affordable cost.

Distribution is mainly focused on major urban areas such as Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha, Morogoro and Dodoma.

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Dr Jason Wargent, BioLumic founder and Chief Science Officer, observing rice seedlings under UV light. (Image source: AgriZero)

Public-private partnership AgriZero has announced its investment of around US$3mn in agriculture biotechnology company, BioLumic to utilise ultraviolet (UV) light to develop a low emissions farm pasture with increased productivity gains 

AgriZero’s funding will enable BioLumic to apply its technology to ryegrass, the most common forage pasture on New Zealand farms. The goal is to increase fat content and subsequently reduce methane emissions from animals that consume it.

BioLumic’s founder and Chief Science Officer, Dr Jason Wargent said that the company was targeting wide scale use from 2027, with reduced regulatory barriers expected from the light treatment approach which will support a faster speed to market. Moreover, with this being AgriZero’s sixth major investment, McNee said the joint venture was aiming to have two to three emissions reduction tools in widespread use by 2030.

“Pasture is the foundation of the business for Kiwi farmers, so a pasture solution to curb methane and boost productivity will be an important option in their toolkit to reduce emissions,” said AgriZero chief executive, Wayne McNee. “BioLumic’s work is an exciting prospect to help secure the future of farming in New Zealand with the very thing that makes our agricultural sector unique and drives our competitive edge today - high quality grass.”

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