Better Crops, Better for the Environment
Greenbelt imports raw materials from around the world, blends these materials to meet client farmer’s specific soil and crop requirements to help them maximise yield and minimize costs in their farming operations.
Incorporated in 2004 as a fertiliser blending and marketing company, Greenbelt offers agronomic services to farmers to determine accurate crop and soil specific fertiliser requirements for the commercial farming sector.
As the business became established, sales into the sugar industry became Greenbelt’s largest business segment. In 2006, they relocated their blending plant to Mazabuka, Zambia to focus on agronomic advice, diverse product range and marketing. Greenbelt has since, established a strong competitive position in the market.
Greenbelt Fertilisers has established three fully operational Fertiliser Blending factories. These ‘state of the art’ blending plants are each capable of blending an excess of 200,000 tons of NPK blends with up to 13 ingredients in each including micro nutrients, coatings and colourings.
“The plants have six macro nutrient bins, five micro nutrient bins and two coating / impregnation units for individual ingredients and a colouring / sticker coating unit for the whole blend” says David Bradshaw, General Manager at Greenbelt Fertilisers. “The coatings and impregnations are applied to individual ingredients to enhance their availability to the crop or to provide sustained release and reduce volatility or leachability of the ingredient.”
An exceptional approach to agriculture
Greenbelt holds the exclusive agencies for the premium coatings for nitrogen and phosphate raw ingredients. Exclusive agencies for marketing specialised third generation foliar nutrients and crop enhancing products are also part of Greenbelts inventory. “We are also agents for precision farming applications and machines utilising GPS mapping and computerised programs” says Bradshaw. “Greenbelt has ventured into marketing agro chemicals to compliment our crop nutrition programs and we hold an exclusive agency with the largest generic agro chemical producer in the sub-Saharan region.”
Construction of additional warehousing and state of the art facilities designed to improve handling and other efficiencies have been ongoing throughout the last year. Two of Greenbelt Fertilisers blending plants are the latest technology utilising declining weight technology. The factory facilities also include fertiliser conditioning units, bagging units for big and small bags, printing machines for labeling bags and computerised weighbridges. The location of the three factories provides easy access to the countries where Greenbelt has established marketing, agronomy, storage and sales units.
“The Beira factory services the marketing operations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The facilities in Beira are being improved to enable handling and storage of bulk and bagged raw materials up to 20,000 tons” says Bradshaw.
The Kapiri Mposhi Factory is situated at the junction of the Tazara rail link from Dar es Salaam and the Zambian National Rail system so serves the farming areas North of Lusaka and the developments taking place in the Copperbelt and Southern DRC. “The facilities in Kapiri Mposhi are currently being improved with storage and state of the art warehousing suitably designed for bulk handling and capable of storing 10,000 tons of raw materials” says Bradshaw.
The Mazabuka factory facility improvements are nearing completion and will be capable of storing up to 12,000 tons of raw materials. This factory serves the farmers around Lusaka and in Southern and Western Zambia.
“These factories produced and the marketing divisions in the countries where we operate and sold 90,000 tons of fertilisers during the 2013 seasons” says Bradshaw. “Greenbelt customers are generally enlightened farmers who appreciate the benefits of prescribed fertilisers, which will build their soils and provide them with sustainable crop production. Quality, yield and profitability attained through applying only what is needed by the crop and not waste money on over supply or unbalanced application of nutrients through use of standard nutrient fertiliser mixes.”
The company also has storage warehousing in Lusaka, Chipata and Mkushi in Zambia. The company is a shareholder in warehousing in Choma, Mumbwa and Kabwe towns.
Trials in co-operation with the TFRA (Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority) are underway to establish registrations for Greenbelts prescription blends. Once these have been approved, the blending plant in Dar es Salaam will be established so that marketing and production can completed for Tanzania.
Argitech and Zambian Agriculture
Greenbelt is taking part in the Agritech expo at GART farm in Chisamba Zambia. “We have planted up a plot rented with-in the main Expo area and have under taken our usual demonstration plots to show off our products” says Bradshaw.
The company is members of ZNFU, ZFEA and has shares in Farmarama. “We play an active part in lobbying government on matters affecting agricultural viability and success” says Bradshaw.
Greenbelt is intending to expand operations into granulation of their own ingredients such as lime and gypsum and is likely to also embark on granulation of raw materials imported in powder form. The company will complete the construction programs undertaken during the last year and build warehousing in two new locations; one in Northern Mozambique and one in Zambia.
Greenbelt aims to establish itself as the first port of call for all discerning agricultural projects and operations in the countries they are operating in. The goal is to offer crop farming operations viable, modern and effective inputs at the best possible price.
“We hope to develop a program which can be accessed by each customer and will offer their nutrition history per field and build scientific recommendations for future crops based on soil and leaf sampling” says Bradshaw. “We assist the customer in building their soils to maximise quality, yield and profit.”
Greenbelt Fertilisers are not focused on the marketing of general straight fertilisers or standard NPK compounds because these are traded by many competitors. “We would rather market these as enhanced products which might be coated or impregnated with innovative products, or coated with a micro nutrient like molybdenum or boron or zinc using a sticker, or perhaps, by mixing the nutrients in ratios as will be determines from soil and leaf samples” says Bradshaw.
Much energy is used in the manufacture and transportation of fertilisers. Manufacturers, distributors and farmers can minimise these environmental costs by using energy efficient production systems and moving nutrients. Greenbelt continues to support the farmer with recent advances in coating technology to reduce these losses. Their products not only produce better crops but they are better for the environment.