March 06, 2017

07/03/2017: Africa intro: the power of science and technology in providing quality crops

by Clifford Spencer, Goodwill Ambassador, NEPAD

I have practically and directly worked with over 60 different species of crops in my lifetime

This has been achieved as a farmer, nucleus seed producer, commercial crop grower, on-farm miller and consumer of these crops either directly or through the farm livestock to which they have been fed.

My farming family’s proud boast is that we provided the Royal Household of HM Queen Elizabeth with a Christmas Turkey when we won the UK national poultry show at Smithfield many, many years ago. We also broke yield and quality records for many of the crops that we grew on our farm.

Our family farm also played host to many African visitors when I was a young boy and this harboured a long-term and growing interest in this huge continent, which is now an area of the world rapidly coming to the fore in global affairs and commercial developments.

Seven of the top 10 performing economies in the world today are within the African continent. When I completed studying agriculture at university, my very first act upon returning to the family farm was to install an on-farm laboratory.

Even in the UK, given it was the very early 1970s, this was an unusual on-farm facility.

The laboratory was equipped for seed germination/vigour testing and grain analysis in terms of protein in cereals and oil content in oilseeds.

So as I excitedly used my specialist Kjeldahl and Soxhlet apparatus I was at that time blissfully unaware in global terms of just how extraordinarily lucky I was in terms of the science and technology at my fingertips.

Read the full article HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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