The Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) has entered into a joint venture with the University of Pretoria (UP) signing of a R50 million MoA on December 11, 2018 to launch Africa’s first research and training feed mill. The center will be located at the UP’s Miertjie le Roux Experimental Farm, near Bronkhorstspruit in South Africa.
The core objective of the joint project is to the establish a research and training feed mill to “close the gap” that currently exists in the skill set of most animal nutrition students finishing university or tertiary education. This skill set is only developed after being employed in the formal feed industry and can take up to three to four years of inhouse training before the employer really starts reaping the benefits of the investment made in this human capital (students).
The reason for the “gap” stems mainly from the fact that students finishing their degree or post-graduate studies have little to no practical experience in the actual feed milling environment. Post-graduate students, furthermore, don’t have a practical feed milling environment to conduct proper, practical and innovative research and development. Due to the lack of physical infrastructure and means to give shape to the practical side of the theory in the past, tertiary academic institutions couldn’t include this in their under-graduate or post-graduate curriculums.
According to the MoA between UP and AFMA, AFMA will, via its members and industry role players, contribute toward the research and training feed mill and the laboratory, as well as other equipment necessary for the establishment and ongoing operations on the principle of “for the industry, by the industry”. UP will contribute the site and infrastructure, as well as the final operation of the mill assisted by AFMA specialists.
Companies operating across the whole feed manufacturing supply chain – from the procurement of raw material to the delivery of the final product – are invited to join AFMA and UP at the launch, and to step up and make a contribution towards realizing the full potential of this research and training feed mill, the first on the African continent.
The research and training feed mill will be launched at the AFMA Forum 2020, Africa’s largest feed and animal nutrition conference that will be held at Sun City from March 3-5. For more information about AFMA Forum, visit www.afmaforum.co.za.