KENYA – Andermatt, a leading Swiss biological agricultural product manufacturer, has set up a new office in Kenya as it seeks to spread across Africa with its wide assortment of natural solutions for soil as well as pest and disease management.
According to Capital News, the company has set up a demonstration farm in Naivasha growing Kenya’s most popular crops primarily maize, wheat, sorghum, millet, and sunflower to demonstrate how mass root stimulation and soil conditioning can result in increased productivity with limited investment.
Founded in 1988, Andermantt Group has developed to become a global leader in development, production, and distribution of biological solutions with a defined goal to replace chemical pesticides with good biological alternatives.
The firm provides natural solutions to rejuvenate soils in a regenerative manner and manage pests and diseases with a range of biologically tested solutions. According to Andermatt, the Naivasha facility is a breeding center for beneficial insects.
However, the main insect produced on a mass basis currently is the Phytoseiulus mite, harvested daily for introduction in farms across Kenya to combat the destructive red spider mite, especially in flowers. The facility targets to produce up to 20 million phytoseiulus weekly.
While visiting the firm, Hamish Ker, Andermatt’s Regional Commercial Manager said that the expansion is timely as the world is continually grappling with climate change and food security challenges.
He added that there is a need to revert to regenerative and sustainable agriculture systems to enhance soil and plant health for safe, improved farm productivity.
According to Ker, natural solutions will also improve the efficacy/cost of pest control/plant nutrition and reduce the need to rely only on traditional chemical interventions and salt fertilizers.
“By using nature’s solutions, we can reduce the need for pesticides which in turn reduces pressure on the environment as well as production costs and makes for a more conducive farming environment.”
Ker also emphasized the need to focus on healthy crops by introducing natural/biological stimulants, adding that Healthier crops are less susceptible to attacks from pests and diseases because they have an inbuilt ability to fend off external attacks.
To achieve this, he says “We must first start with roots, by making it possible for a crop to grow a mass of healthy roots and by doing so make it possible for the plant to take up more nutrients from the soil efficiently.”
In detail, Ker elaborated that useful fungi and bacteria occur naturally in the environment, they only need to be applied intensively to the seed/roots with our specially selected root health product range so they grow and overcome/control the disease-carrying bacteria/fungi strains that can devastate a farmer’s crop.
The current champion Andermatt seed/root treatment is made up of Bacillus (Rhizo Vital) and Trichoderma (Eco T) along with V12 Initiate to provide the farmer with an all-in-one microbe/macro/micro starter nutrient starter pack.