Madumbi Open Day for Sustainable Agriculture
A Swiss-produced biopesticide containing a virus targeting the African bollworm is currently on trial in South Africa – and is proving remarkably effective. Because the bollworm has a habit of entering the fruit or vegetable it makes normal control very difficult. A virus, which is contained in a Swiss product not yet commercially available here, is set to offer effective treatment for South African farmers. A South African company has applied for registration of the product.
Plant Health Products is a producer of easy-to-use, effective biological control products.
PHP is a leader of the green revolution in crop protection and crop growth enhancement.
Our products contain environmentally-friendly living organisms (fungi, bacteria or viruses), the naturally-occurring enemies of crop diseases and pests.
These products, the result of extensive, in-depth research, are suitable for both conventional and organic farming. Our unique production and formulation methods ensure that our products are always of the highest quality.
Plant Health Products is a relatively small company specializing in producing biological control products. It is based near Nottingham Road in the scenic Midlands region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The company's products are currently being sold in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana, with trials being conducted world-wide.
Vision and Mission
Vision: To create, produce and market biological control agents and probiotics for crop production, which are effective, easy-to-use and can be marketed globally.
Mission: To provide the clients with well researched and developed biological solutions for agricultural challenges. To create and market easy-to-use, effective biological control agents and plant probiotics, based on sound science, comprehensive testing and meticulous quality control. The products will have a global market, with a primary base in the South African market.
The concept of Plant Health Products was initiated in 1998 by Professor Mark Laing and Dr Mike Morris. It was a union of the knowledge and expertise of these two experienced scientists that led to the formation of the company. Mark Laing, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, had conducted 10 years of research on biological control of crop diseases using the fungus Trichoderma harzianum and had reached a stage where a product was ready to be commercialized. Mike Morris had worked for 25 years leading the government research programme on biological control of invasive plants using fungal agents. He already had experience in producing and registering two fungal based products and became the Managing Director of PHP.
Government research funding was accessed through the Innovation Fund of the Department of Science and Technology enabling the company to register its first two products for plant disease control, Eco-T and Eco-77. A second government grant later led to the development of three potential products for insect pest control.
A pilot production plant was built at Nottingham Road and was gradually expanded to its current form. This plant comprises a well-equipped laboratory, numerous temperature controlled rooms and growth chambers for producing the fungi and other agents, autoclave facilities for sterilization of equipment, drying facilities, plus storage space and offices. Production techniques are designed to follow the particular organism's natural growing conditions as closely as possible. In this way optimal vigour and shelf life of the organisms are attained.
The company reached a point where the mass production processes were running like clockwork and then set its sights on more active marketing. Michelle Paterson, who has a background in Plant Pathology and agricultural marketing, is handling the marketing side, promoting the products in South Africa and various other countries around the world. In South Africa, Plant Health Products has a marketing and disctribution agreement with Madumbi Sustainable Agriculture (www.madumbi.co.za).
Madumbi Sustainable Agriculture is a Marketing and Distribution company specialising in providing solutions for Sustainable Agriculture. We believe in a holistic approach, providing and assisting in solutions from seed to fork. We aim to collect the latest developments in agricultural technology both locally and globally and successfully bring them to market to improve agricultural practices for the grower, the consumer and for the future.
- To help farmers build life, structure and balance in their soils
- To help farmers pro actively care for the vitality of their crops and livestock
- To help farmers avoid drastic chemical control measures
- To ensue the delivery of toxicity free, nutrient dense food to our markets and our tables and assist in the responsible care of our nations soil, food and health for future generations.