Some of the farmers and millers at the Cargill seminar
Cargill’s recent educational seminars held in Nairobi at the end of February were well attended by those involved in poultry and dairy production industry, who were keen to engage more about animal nutrition, health and management to enhance their feed mills and farms.
Joyce Kibiru, Sales Manager Eastern Africa for Cargill, introduced and welcomed over 50 delegates, ranging from small to medium-sized farmers and feed millers, some of whom had travelled from outlying areas to attend the two day seminar, entitled “Reaching Higher”.
Samantha Govender, Regional Director of Cargill Premix and Nutrition, Sub Saharan Africa said that the objective of the seminars was to increase awareness on practices that can improve productivity and safety, to meet the needs of feed millers and farmers through a holistic approach to animal health, nutrition and management.
“The high level of attendance at the seminar reflects the demand for education and knowledge-sharing in the region and gave us valuable insights. Our team of experts provided helpful practices and nutritional solutions that help our customers advance in the areas of wellbeing and performance so that their livestock thrive. This sustainable approach in turn helps grow their operations in the context of agriculture being key to the economy,” she added.
Topics of interest included ways to improve safety in a feed mill; the challenges and solutions of dealing with mycotoxins in animal feed; the importance of a healthy gut in poultry and ruminants to maximise performance; and useful advice on assisting customers with their health management needs.
Govender also added that farmers running small to medium-sized farms were particularly interested in the “basemix concept”, an all-in-one approach that combines world-class nutrition technology in a “rip-and-tip” bag, and helps to streamline mixing operations. This ready to use mix contains all the necessary vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids, macro minerals and Cargill’s health technologies, to ensure optimum health for livestock, and ensuring peace-of-mind and convenience for the farmer.
Leading experts in their field from Cargill delivered these presentations, which were complemented with practical workshops on the second day, where delegates divided into two interest groups – poultry and ruminants – and discussed common challenges faced by the farmers and solutions that considered their operational needs.
Rajesh Shah, Director of Belfast Millers Ltd, trading as BellMill, commented, “I am glad that I attended today’s seminar as it was very informative and we gained new learnings. We have also benefited from Cargill seminars in the past. Last year, Cargill hosted a farmer’s day for our customers, who were very impressed with the presentation and a lot of them put into practice what they learned and experienced the benefits.
“We have been working with Cargill for the past 4 years. Cargill came at a time when we were undergoing a major change in focus and they were instrumental in the phenomenal growth we experienced in the past two years. They have been very supportive of us and have actually walked us through the various aspects of feed milling,” he added.
Dorcus Mkongo, who manages a broiler farm near Mombasa, said that the seminar was very informative and was well worth attending. “I manage a small farm,” she explained, “which has about 2,000 birds. We have plans to expand to 10,000 birds when we have built additional houses. The information about farm management and nutrition is valuable and will ensure that I don’t make mistakes from the past again.
“It was great to have an interactive session with Cargill experts and learn from their knowledge about poultry feed and common problems and solutions. I look forward to sharing this information with other small farmers, and am keen to attend further seminars in the future to further expand my knowledge,” she said.
Cargill’s animal nutrition business, which has been in operation in Kenya since 2015, works in close collaboration with Cargill’s grain and oilseeds business. This close collaboration enables knowledge and solutions to be leveraged, key inputs such as high-quality ingredients, advisory services and laboratory testing facilities to be utilized to the benefit of Kenya’s growing feed and animal industry.
Govender explained Cargill’s approach, “We look at how animal feed, additives and management techniques can be holistically used to increase farm and animal productivity and improve an animal’s overall well-being – which is ultimately linked to sustainable feed and farming practices.”