TRANSFORMING AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA
with best-in-class operating practices
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Feronia Arable operations are located in the Bas-Congo province of DRC. The Bas-Congo province is located adjacent to the capital, Kinshasa. Its lands extend from the south western extent of the capital city and follow the course of the Congo River to the Atlantic Ocean. This province enjoys the best and most reliable transport infrastructure and communications in the DRC, including the country's two deep-water ports at Boma and Matadi.
To date, approximately 10,000 hectares of prime lands have been acquired in joint ventures. This land is available for immediate or near-term use.
Feronia sees crop rotation in the Congo as an essential management technique to maintain soil productivity and increase long term efficiency. Crop rotation benefits the production system in a number of different ways:
- Weed control with less dependence on herbicides and associated problems of resistance development.
- Reduction in the risk of recurrent plant diseases and insect infestations which require increased fungicide and insecticide applications.
These methods of controlling undesirable plant, fungi and insect species reduce the requirement for environmentally harmful chemicals.
Feronia operates in regions where 2 to 3 crops a year can be grown. It is important to have a fertilization programme in the DRC that takes into account the impact that this has on soils and on the environment:
- Regular and detailed soil analyses are undertaken. Fertilizers are applied according to the soil test results and crop requirements.
- Mapping is done using satellite imagery and integrated into the GPS technology on-board our machinery. This accurately adjusts ground lime and nutrient requirements on a hectare by hectare basis.
- Precise applications minimize potential nitrate run-off and pollution from excessive consumption of imported fertilizers.
Feronia appreciates the importance of soil structure and health in maximizing sustained productivity. Machinery traffic and the associated compaction and damage to soil health is minimized through the operation of a No-Till System in the DRC. The tropical soils on which we operate are highly susceptible to moisture loss and compaction. No-Till conserves the structure, moisture and organic content of the soil. It also reduces the volumes of fossil-fuels burnt while working the land into production. This assists in reducing the carbon emissions of our activities.
Producing grain crops in the tropics presents the issue of harvesting at a moisture content that is too high for long-term storage. Northern Hemisphere producers typically dry grains with gas or oil fired burners. This brings associated costs to their profits and to the environment. Feronia is an advocate of renewable and sustainable energy resources.