New low-cost potash mining in Africa
Ethiopia is fast becoming the focal point for a renaissance in African agricultural development.
Allana Potash is one company that wants to be in the forefront of this change and is working toward starting up the first potash mine in Africa by 2017. This is very different from what has happened in the past as Allana Potash (a Canadian junior mining company) becomes part of the solution in solving the African hunger crisis.
The focus of this mining project is the Danakhil Depression around Ethiopia's Dallol area. It will provide potassium salt as fertilizer to feed Africans first.
Here in the land of ancient salt miners where rivers dry up under a merciless sun never to reach the Indian Ocean, Allana Potash Corp. has established a strategic alliance with Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL), the world's sixth largest potash producer, to develop a potash mine. Potassium chloride, referred to as potash, is a key ingredient in fertilizer that can replenish soil nutrients to provide higher crop yields and increase plant development.
The government of Ethiopia and a number of international organizations including Allana are also focusing on introducing progressive technologies and improving infrastructure to reverse the demise of agricultural productivity.
Among these improved technologies include, better crop management of the unique native tef crop, public/private partnerships to fund development, the establishment of agricultural cooperatives to affect orderly and competitive pricing of inputs and marketing of farm products, and creating a robust Soil Information System as a basis for improving soil health and fertility.
Allana Potash has also committed annual financial assistance to the government of Ethiopia's Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) to support its country-wide program of on-farm balanced fertilizer demonstration trials. These trials show local farmers that proper nutrient supply applied in conjunction with other improved crop management techniques can increase economic opportunities.
The trials will also help create a soil fertility database and the information required for calibrating fertilizer nutrient requirements to achieve yield goals.
"Through combined, sustained initiatives such as this, the African paradigm can shift from a general lack of available food to becoming a large exporter of agricultural products, like Ethiopia is today," said Richard Kelertas, vice-president of corporate development at Allana.
"Allana and Ethiopia are strategically located to serve the rapidly growing African demand for potash, where typically potash consumption has been low," said Farhad Abasov, president and CEO of Allana Potash Corp.
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