Dutch seed technology comes to Pietermaritzburg

Dutch seed technology company Incotec recently opened a R13 million purpose-built plant in Pietermaritzburg, after having identified the KwaZulu-Natal capital as being ideally located to launch its expansion into sub-Saharan Africa.

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Incotec currently operates an encrusting and pelleting operation in Pietermaritzburg as well as an analytical testing facility, and plans to spend a further R4 million on technologies to further enhance the viability and germination of seed, such as film coating and the application of additives.

Incotec CEO JanWillem Breukink said the Netherlands-based company was determined to play a leading role in food security in the face of climate change and various challenges facing the world. Breukink said there was a close correlation between food security and the protection of bio-diversity, and the challenge lay in balancing conflicting needs. “Bio-diversity plays a critical role in the study of genetics, and we believe that precision agriculture will help mitigate the impact of food production,” he said.
Incotec’s director for global research and development, Bob Legro said a mind shift was taking root across the world.

“Scientists and researchers are starting to shun wasteful practices, such as blanket spraying of crops rather than precision treatment of a seed, to achieve the same effect,” he said. Agricultural consul to the Netherlands embassy in South Africa, Niek Schelling, said the Dutch government was supportive of Incotec’s investment in SA. Schelling said the Netherlands was keen to share its agro-processing capabilities with other nations.

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