LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY, AND LUSAKA, ZAMBIA, - In time for the Zambian corn and soybean season, BASF Crop Protection division today opened a new representative office in Lusaka, Zambia. This is the company's fourth office opening in Africa this year, after Kenya, the Ivory Coast and Mali. BASF is serving these markets through local partners with several new product innovations as part of its plans to triple Crop Protection sales on the continent in the next three years.
"Like many African countries, Zambia has huge untapped potential in agriculture. But no two countries are alike. To assist local farmers with sustainable solutions we need to better understand their needs, which is why we are investing in local offices and staff," said Gabor Mehn, in charge of BASF Crop Protection business in Africa.
In Zambia, where BASF plans to focus on corn, soybeans and wheat, the regulatory authorities this year have greenlighted two of BASF´s latest product innovations: Abacus(R) fungicide and Stellar(R) herbicide. Field trials show that wheat growers averaged 15-20% additional yield with Abacus. Initial surveys of corn and soybean fields treated with Abacus are also promising. Reduced moisture content, for example, resulted in improved marketable quality. Stellar, the company's new post-emergent herbicide, will complement the pre-emergence herbicides Frontier Optima(R) and Prowl CS(R) in Zambian corn programs. Stellar controls a broad range of grasses and weeds, including some that are hard to control such as weeping love grass, or common finger grass.
In the first three quarters of 2010, sales of BASF Crop Protection in the sub-region Africa and the Middle East increased by 30%, with focus countries such as Kenya, the Ivory Coast and Mali all making major contributions.