“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future…It offers a framework to generate growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance”Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General 2007-2016
Some of the greatest challenges facing humanity today are a rapidly growing population and climate change, with agriculture being of vital importance to both. This is particularly relevant in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the population is estimated to double to 1.5-2 billion by 2050, and where some 30 percent of inhabitants suffer from undernourishment. To counter this, the key will be to increase productivity through sustainable farming and efficiently incorporating many of the 33 million smallholders in the region which account for 80 percent of all farmland.
At Obtala, we insist on sustainable farming, adopting precision farming- and climate-smart agricultural- principles where possible. Our Outgrower programme is a priority for us: it is expanding and inclusive of many smallholders in the surrounding areas.
To maximise quality yield and minimise waste, we have invested in critical upgrades to the existing packhouse, cold storage and cold chain. Degradation in just one hour in the heat of the sun is the same as several days in appropriate storage. Further improvements will follow, with schematics for a new state-of-the-art modular packhouse, to accommodate Obtala’s long-term expansion plans, at an advanced stage.
We have adopted systems with a focus on preserving biodiversity, natural resource management and soil fertility improvement based on sound ecological principles. Production has been enhanced without the use of industrially produced chemical fertilizers and tilling, which leads to soil erosion.
Water resources and usage is key to sustainable farming and we are working to optimise irrigation and management, ensuring adequate drainage.
Our ethos is to be profitable and efficient in the short term, while ensuring the land remains fertile and productive for future generations.