Public-Private partnerships yield agricultural research results

AF Saphir ZambiaPartnerships between public sector institutions and private sector can go a long way in producing tangible research results in Africa

German agricultural machinery manufacturer Lemken is part of at least two such partnerships which have recently yielded very interesting trial results. 

In two separate trials a Lemken Saphir 7 mechanical seed drill was used in combination with Zirkon Eight power harrow to drill trial fields. 

The Zambian-German Agricultural Knowledge and Training Centre (AKTC) in Zambia operates on the premises of the GART-research farm north of Lusaka. Here irrigation wheat trials were done to determine the optimal wheat seeding rate for the region; plots were drilled at 25 kg seeding rate intervals ranging from 75 kg/ha to 175 kg/ha. Come harvest time, the plot with the lowest seed rate actually delivered the highest yield at 8.3 t/ha whilst the yield consistently decreased up to 7.4 t/ha. 

Canola (rapeseed) trials done by the German-Moroccan Center of Excellence for Agriculture (CECAMA) in Sidi-Silimane demonstrated the big role that precise seed metering and placement can have on yields. Despite receiving only 353 mm of rain out of the normal 600 mm, a 70ha canola trial field still produced a record-setting yields of 3.85 t/ha.  

What these results display is that less, when applied precisely and timely can truly produce more.

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