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Improving farmer productivity, profitability

DUPONT PIONEER, one of the world’s leading agricultural businesses, last week opened a new seed warehouse and office facility in Zambia that will increase maize storage capacity and meet farmer demand for both local and export markets to Kenya, Tanzania and other markets in Africa.
Zambia could emerge as the breadbasket for southern Africa provided an enabling agricultural environment is fostered.
DuPont Pioneer’s aim is to improve farmer productivity and profitability while providing a foundation for farming as a sustainable livelihood that meets the needs of people today and for future generations.
Zambia has an average maize yield of about 2.4 metric tonnes per hectare, which is slightly above the average 2 metric tons per hectare of maize yields in Africa and 10 tonnes per hectare in the U.S. Zambia produces excellent seed quality, and the new facility will ensure world class quality standards are maintained in the region.
The latest investment is part of ongoing efforts by DuPont Pioneer to invest in resources and infrastructure in Africa.
The warehouse will allow DuPont Pioneer to develop and produce more seed locally as well as enhance the global competitiveness of the maize industry. Better quality seeds and more advanced farming practices can improve nutrition, the standard of living, and overall agricultural productivity says DuPoint Pioneer.
Dignitaries who attended at the grand opening, included local government officials, the US ambassador and partners participated in a ribbon-cutting and plaque unveiling ceremony. DuPont Pioneer’s administrative office and seed production facilities will move into the facility with immediate effect.
In March 2015, DuPont Pioneer in partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University launched the SoilDoc to promote efficient use of fertiliser, good soil quality management, increase productivity, and soil resilience.
The 2015 Global Food security Index, an annual measure of food security across 109 countries, produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by DuPont recently identified favourable policies and investments in agricultural infrastructure as the major drivers of food-security improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa.
DuPont Pioneer has been working for decades in Africa to help farmers significantly increase agricultural productivity and food production through improved crop yields. In 2014, DuPont expanded its research facility at Delmas, South Africa, that will serve as the core of the DuPont Africa regional technology centre.  Delmas is the central hub of the regional technology centre, which is comprised of a network of existing DuPont Pioneer and PANNAR research facilities and testing locations throughout Africa.
The new facility will increase capacity to get new products into the market.
The author is East and South Central Africa senior business manager of DuPont.