Burkina Faso approves commercial use of first pear millet hybrid

BURKINA FASO – The National Seed Committee of Burkina Faso, has announced the registration of the country’s first pearl millet hybrid in the National Seed Catalog. Commonly known as Nafagnon, the grain is the first single-cross hybrid to be approved in West and Central Africa, and was developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a not-for-profit international agricultural research organization in Niger. Also identified as, ICRISAT Millet Hybrid (ICMH) 147007, the millet variety was evaluated in Burkina Faso by the Institut de l’Environnement et de…

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Tree house sells ready-to-eat cereal business to Post Holdings for US$85m

US – TreeHouse Foods, a leading multinational food processing company based in the US, has simultaneously signed a definitive agreement and completed the sale of its ready-to-eat cereal business to Post Holdings for $85 million. The deal encompasses the entire ready-to-eat cereal business which includes two manufacturing facilities, in Lancaster, Ohio and Sparks, Nevada. The facilities are reported to have production capabilities spanning batch and extruded products. The transaction also includes a research and development facility in Sauget, Illinois, as well as inventory valued at approximately US$30 million. “This transaction…

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Seed Co to boost production capacity in Tanzania with US$4.3m investment in new seed processing plant

TANZANIA – Seed Co. Tanzania, the subsidiary of regional seed producer Seed-Co Group, is seeking to establish a new seed processing factory in Iringa, Central of Tanzania, worth Tsh 10 billion (US$4.3m). The new processing facility is an addition to the company’s existing factory located in Arusha, established in 2009. It will have a processing capacity of 40 tonnes of maize and other seeds per day, meeting the high demand of quality seeds in the country and serving the rest of the East African Community (EAC) region i.e., Kenya, Uganda,…

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Zimbabwe exempts rice from Value Added Tax, retailers welcome the move

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean retailers have welcomed the government’s directive of scrapping Value Added Tax (VAT) on pre-packed rice. The traders have been pushing for an exemption from paying the tax on rice packages of 25 kilogrammes or less, arguing that the decision was undermining the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra. Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) President Denford Mutashu, welcomed the removal of VAT saying, “The confirmation of the VAT position for rice shows that Government is indeed committed to establishing a private sector-led economy in line with the open…

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Impact investor GBF offers financial, management support to Tanzanian commodity trader Rainbow

TANZANIA – Rainbow Haulage & Commodities Traders Company Limited in Tanzania, has received a US$350,000 investment from global impact investor Grassroots Business Fund (GBF). Established in 2008, Rainbow mainly trades in commodities including maize, soybeans and sorghum, sourced directly from farmers across Tanzania and sold to companies in the country, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. The commodity trader sources the agri-products from farmers and aggregators, and later sorts, cleans and packages them for sale. The strategic investment is aimed to enable Rainbow purchase sufficient stocks to meet demand of its…

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Zambian producer of pre-cooked beans Mushili Beans plans to expand offering

ZAMBIA – Mushili Beans, a Zambian processer and supplier of affordable pre-cooked frozen beans that require 10-15 minutes of cooking, is seeking to expand its product range to introduce more varieties with a longer shelf life. This will be made possible through the support of Prospero Zambia, a UKaid-funded private sector development entity. Mushili sources its beans from small-scale farmers of which the majority are women hence providing a steady market for their produce and provide income opportunities. The expansion will position Mushili as a market leader in the supply…

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KALRO receives digitization equipment to modernize crop breeding, CIMMYT releases 12 new maize lines

KENYA – The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has received digitization equipment from the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding (EiB) platform, aimed to modernize the public agency’s crop breeding programs. KALRO received 23 units of equipment valued at roughly US$85,000, including seed counters, label printers, handheld data collectors, tablets and package printers. These will help the organization speed up and enhance the accuracy of various breeding processes, including seed preparation, data collection and data analysis. They will also support inventory management within KALRO’s maize, wheat, rice, sorghum, bean, soybean…

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Syngenta spearheads agricultural productivity in Nigeria with launch of service hubs

NIGERIA – The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) has launched 13 Farmers’ Hubs to offer support service to 13,000 sorghum and cowpea farmers in Kano and Jigawa States, Nigeria. The hubs are an integral component of the operational strategy of SFSA in Nigeria to boost crop productivity while facilitating linkages with different markets. Further to that, it is part of the implementation of the Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) Project in Nigeria. According to reports by Africa Business Communities, the initiative…

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East Africa’s rice sector slated for growth following collaboration among industry players

EAST AFRICA – Rice demand in East Africa has been on the rise in the recent years, triggered by changing consumer preferences, urbanization, diminishing productivity of regional staples such as maize, and population growth. All the East Africa nations have the capability of producing rice but its local out-put is far below local demand, making the countries turn to imports from India, Pakistan, Thailand, United States and China in a bid to meet the balance. According to reports by USDA, Kenya’s rice production is estimated at 159,000 Metric Tonnes (MT)…

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TBS trains rice stakeholders on recommended standards as production in MY 2020/21 is projected to rise by 13.6%

TANZANIA – Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has embarked on disseminating information pertaining to the organization, better production principles, standards and recommended operation procedures, to the rice stakeholders in the country. To this end, the regulatory body has urged entrepreneurs dealing with processing, packaging and selling of rice to take into account standards, quality and safety of their products as way to increase productivity. The call was made by the TBS Training and Research Manager Hamisi Mwanasala while training entrepreneurs from Mwanza Region. The entrepreneurs were also guided on to…

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