Provimi goes big on feeds

2013-09-26 00:00

“BY 2050, the world’s population is estimated to need 100% more food,” said Gudo Klein Gebbink, business unit director for sub-Sahara Africa at Provimi SSA. “The biggest part of that — 70% — must come from efficiency-improving technology,” he added.

Klein Gebbink was speaking at a presentation in Pietermaritzburg recently that took place after a ceremony to mark the first concrete poured for construction of a new state-of-the-art Provimi SSA premix plant in Willowton.

The new plant will mix vitamin and mineral blends for animal feeds. It is a $20 million (around R197,5 million) investment by Cargill’s animal nutrition business, of which Provimi is a part.

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.

Cargill’s animal nutrition business announced in December last year that it had gained a majority shareholding and assumed managerial control of NuTec Southern Africa, its existing joint venture with integrated Southern African poultry producer Astral Foods.

In April this year, NuTec changed its name and product portfolio to Cargill’s Provimi brand.

Cargill’s building of the new premix and base mix facility at NuTec’s location in Willowton is part of this investment and will expand Cargill’s animal nutrition capabilities in sub-Saharan Africa.

“This investment will give us a leading position in terms of production efficiency and product quality to serve our customers in the sub-Sahara Africa region,” said Klein Gebbink.

The decision to invest here is because Africa is growing fast, said Klein Gebbink.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, GDPs are growing at between five and seven percent, and the feed production sector is growing even faster. This is a very good market to be in for us.”

He explained that GDP growth is known to result in an improvement in diet with a higher consumption of animal proteins like milk, eggs and meat.

Africa had the natural resources to produce these, he said, but feeding and on-farm management of animal production could be better managed.

“Today we are laying the foundation for a new chapter in the effective supply of high-quality, safe feed — and with that, safe food — to producers in the broader sub-Sahara Africa region,” Klein Gebbink said.

He added that they expect exports of products into Africa to increase, and Provimi recently appointed Morné Erasmus as business development manager.

Klein Gebbink said the new plant will not only allow for increased production capacity and flexibility, but will combine all the latest technology into an “ideal premix plant design” that will maximise food safety and quality control, allow for full traceability of all ingredients, and prevent carry-over between products.

The automated tower technology uses a barcode system and will minimise the chance of human error on critical process steps while automatically dosing all critical ingredients.

Three separate, dedicated lines for antibiotic-dosed feed, non-antibiotic mix, and specialised feed mixes will ensure a low cross-contamination risk. A fourth line is available for later expansion.

Sub-Saharan Africa will also benefit from Cargill’s global research and development network, Klein Gebbink said.

“Cargill has made, and continues to make, significant investments in Africa,” said Daniel Schuurman, Saharan regional controller at Cargill.

“Cargill sees a wide range of opportunities in Africa that will create jobs and help nourish the continent.”

“Cargill is a long standing and important strategic partner to Astral,” said Gary Arnold, director of business development at Astral Foods.

“The decision to invest in this new plant displays considerable confidence in the South African livestock industry and Africa, where new markets for Provimi’s products will be sought.”

Local companies involved in the construction of the new Provimi plant include D-Construction, McEwan Plumbing, ETA and Sealcoat under supervision of EVN Africa consulting.

The plant is expected to begin production by the middle of August next year, it was reported.

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