Omnia actively pursues the science of growing all over the globe, but also in Zambia. The quest for growth and support to farmers were the reasons for Omnia’s presence at the recent Agritech Expo.
“Some of the days were better than others, but in general the Agritech Expo attracted many people. We had a lot of enquiries at our stand,” says Kobus Smith, Marketing Director of Omnia in Zambia.
Omnia in Zambia
Omnia is operating two divisions in Zambia: Omnia Fertilizers Zambia Limited that concentrates on the commercial big-scale farmers; and Omnia Small Scale that renders services and agricultural inputs to small-scale and emerging farmers.
Omnia is also expanding strongly in their retail Cash and Carry outlets. In the Cash and Carry shops they stock Omnia’s granular, water-soluble and foliar feeding fertilisers, seed, agrochemicals and animal feeds. They are even planning to supply day old chicks in the retail shops in collaboration with a chicken producer. “It is quite an exciting project,” Kobus says.
“We presently operate fifteen shops and we plan to expand it to 25 by the end of this year. We distribute all our products through the Omnia retail outlets. It is a whole new concept of marketing for us. Omnia is dedicated to accommodate commercial, smallscale and emerging farmers.
“The government underwrites the e-voucher system. Small-scale farmers contribute ZMW400 and government ZMW1 700 into the E-voucher scheme. The farmer receives an e-voucher card to the value of ZMW2 100. The farmer can use this card to buy agricultural inputs from any agro dealer or Omnia Cash and Carry outlet of his choice.
The E-voucher scheme assists in solving the input financing problem in Zambia,” says Kobus.
Products to boost profits:
Cuan Smith, Agronomist at Omnia, says the big new product they have recently introduced into Zambia is Rhizovator G1. “We are currently targeting commercial farmers as one needs specialised equipment to apply this liquid product into the soil.
“It is a product that you spray on the soil before planting, and it stimulates root growth and development. It is a one stop solution all in one can and you do not need to mix or add any additional micro nutrients to your tank mix. Rhizovator G1 is a K-Humate based product.” K-Humate is a soil conditioner unlocking all fixed plant nutrients in the soil and therefore making them available for the plant.
More good news is that Omnia is working hard at upgrading and improving this product, and expects to introduce the latest version later this year. Omnia’s chemical granulated compounds are world class products. Omnia is currently the only producer of chemical granulated compounds in the sub-Saharan region,” says Cuan.
“We also do precision smart sampling, where we take a sample on every hectare and then we compile chemical maps for the farmer. He can then identify areas with low nutrient levels and rectify those areas.
“The farmer can pinpoint the problem precisely, and we give him a precision recommendation based on the real situation. We can then produce a fertiliser blend for him, or we can recommend a specific product that is high in calcium, magnesium or potassium, or whatever element needed to rectify and balance his soil chemically. He then simply has to apply the product according to the precision recommendations. The farmer saves money because he accurately applies nutrients as and where it’s needed,” adds Cuan.
Zambia also has a big market for liquid fertiliser. “It is something we are looking into, and we may include it in our product range in the future. If the farmers need it, we shall make a plan to provide it,” Cuan says.
“Omnia Zambia is currently sourcing its granulated compounds from our factory in Sasolburg, RSA. We are importing straight products like urea ammonium sulphate, potassium chloride and potassium sulphate from our import facility in Beira, Mozambique. We are also bulk-blending at our Beira facility, but we are currently investigating the viability of a production facility in Zambia.”
Omnia Group is currently the biggest employer of agronomists in Southern Africa and remains committed to their Nutriology approach: “The Science of Growing”. They believe in strong technical support (feet on the farm) and the provision of world class quality products.
For more information contact Kobus Smith at 00260-966-764-351 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Feature photo: Cuan Smith, Agronomist; Obrian Mwanza, Assistant Agronomist; Gert van der Walt, Director Retail development; Phidelis Mubhwe, Assistant Agronomist, and Xander Pieterse from ProAgri at the Omnia stand at the recent Agritech Expo.