Sep 10, 2014
PotatoEurope 2014: African delegation visited the K+S KALI GmbH stand
The PotatoEurope was held on September 3rd & 4th at the manor of Bockerode near Hanover, Germany with 220 exhibitors from 13 countries. Around 10,000 visitors from more than 60 countries visited the international potato fair. Every third visitor was from abroad. Most of them came from countries such as The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland and Great Britain. There were, however, also specialists from Asia, North and South America as well as Africa.
K+S KALI GmbH offered extensive information on potato fertilisation. The combined fertilisers containing potash and magnesium significantly improve the water use efficiency of plants also in potato cultivation and minimise the risk of yield loss during drought stress. Especially potassium has, as well as nitrogen, a decisive influence on yield formation and the quality of potatoes.
Exhibition stand of the K+S KALI GmbH at the PotatoEurope 2014. The „floating“ water tap in the foreground represented the topic of water use efficiency. (Photo: K+S KALI GmbH/Jost)
Dr. Thomas Popp (on the right), Applied Research and Advisory Service Agro of K+S KALI GmbH, in a conversation with interested visitors. During many discussions the quality assurance of drought stress was an important aspect. (Photo: K+S KALI GmbH/Jost)
Potato plants with different nutrient deficiency symptoms illustrate how essential it is for a good harvest to provide an appropriate and balanced supply of nutrients. From the left: Dr. Daniel Musa Lenka, National Root Crop Research Institute, Nigeria; Jackson Muchoki, National Coordinator GFP/PIA, Kenya; Richard Olakanmi Olafare, Savannah Seed and Livestock Limited, Nigeria; Folarin Ranson Oguntolu, National Coordinator GFP/PIA, Nigeria; Oren Shaked, Agricultural Service Training Center and Marketing Ltd, Nigeria. (Photo: K+S KALI GmbH/Straub)
Dr. Hans-Peter König (on the right) explains to the delegates how drought tolerance of cultivated plants can be improved by the nutrients potassium and magnesium. (Photo: K+S KALI GmbH/Straub)
Friedhelm Mester, Corporate Communications at K+S KALI GmbH (rechts), in conversation with Folarin Ranson Oguntolu, National Coordinator GFP/PIA, Nigeria. (Photo: K+S KALI GmbH/Straub)
Daniel Waithaka Mwangi, Governor of the province of Nyandarua in Kenya, explains the meaning of exchanging expertise in cooperation with international companies. (Photo: K+S KALI GmbH/Straub)
The potato in focus of a delegation from Nigeria and Kenya
Thirteen Kenyan and six Nigerian representatives from agricultural ministries, research institutes, the agricultural sector and other companies, travelled to Germany for a week in order to obtain information from local companies and from the PotatoEurope fair about current developments and trends around the potato value chain. The visit, as part of the project Potato Initiative Africa, which was organised by the German Food Partnership (GFP) produced a particularly positive response of the African policy makers.
K+S KALI GmbH, as a partner company of the GFP, used the opportunity at the PotatoEurope to talk with the delegates from Nigeria and Kenya about sustainable fertilisation methods in potato cultivation. Dr. Hans-Peter König, Applied Research and Advisory Service Agro of the K+S KALI GmbH, gave an insight into the research activities of the company and demonstrated how potassium and magnesium improve the drought tolerance of cultivated plants. These aspects of fertilisation attracted great interest of the African potato experts. K+S KALI GmbH focuses on agricultural consultancy, the recommendations for plant nutrition are based on an intensive expertise in testing. „The agronomists of K+S KALI GmbH have, in this way, gained experience and expertise worldwide for many years and this is made readily available also to the international development cooperation,“ Dr. König emphasised.
The visitors intensively devoted their time to the potato plants that served as a demonstration for nutrient deficiency symptoms. They could examine the effects of an undersupply of potassium, magnesium, boron or other trace nutrients on the plants. The brochure "Deficiency Symptoms ABC" with helpful hints for the diagnosis and elimination of nutrient deficiency was very popular. Likewise, the crisps made of potatoes which had been fertilised with Patentkali® also found many admirers. The seasoning of these crisps consisted in part of KaliSel® which replaced a certain amount of common salt (NaCl).
Alongside the GFP partner companies there were around 30 additional European companies with their stands using the opportunity to exchange information during a two-hour international business meeting („Match & Meet“), which was organised by the exhibition organiser DLG. They entered into talks with the delegates on topics such as harvest processing and storage, potato breeding, fertilisation and crop protection as well as technology of potato processing. The great interest on both sides is explained by Daniel Waithaka Mwangi, Governor of the Province Nyandarua in Kenya: „The potato yields in Kenya are four to five times lower than in Europe. We urgently need international companies that are willing to share their knowhow with us and to invest in our markets. We have already established some contacts with manufacturers of planting material, fertilisers and crop protection products on the potato fair and during our journey. Only if we cooperate with these companies we can manage to move forward.“
Dr. Daniel Musa Lenka, responsible for the improvement of potato production at the National Root Crop Research Institute in Nigeria, also expressed his opinion and summarised his impressions as follows: "We need the expertise of experienced companies in order to establish new crops for the consumption at home. We would also like to gain expertise on efficient cultivation and harvesting methods, storage and processing. We would therefore like to cooperate with international companies that share their innovations and their experience with us and invest in our country. The German Food Partnership is opening that door to us.“