Interview with Madumbi Sustainable Agriculture
Sias Leipoldt: Madumbi Business Development Lead
What in your view is one of the greatest challenges growers face currently?
The 2020 consumer dictates. Now, more than ever there is a renewed focus on healthy food, that is delicious, nutritious and most importantly ‘safe’. Governments and markets, especially on imported crops have responded with legislation limiting maximum residue limits (MRL’s). This impacts directly on every grower looking to access that particular market.
Madumbi has always ‘championed’ and lead the biological conversation in South Africa. Do you believe ‘biologicals’ offer a solution to the MRL challenge?
The short answer to this question is ‘Yes’, but this will never be achieved in isolation. All ‘future-orientated’ 2020 growers recognise the critical importance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. At Madumbi, we believe biologicals have a more critical role to play in these programs.
South Africa’s warmer climate results in greater pest pressure, which is different and unique to Europe and other markets. Quite simply, our growers need to manage a wider range of pests and diseases. Due to legislation, the chemical control options are getting fewer and resistance management is a key concern. Bio-pesticides offer real solutions to effectively manage and meet the MRL constraints.
What future challenges should growers be ‘on the lookout’ for?
The reality is that chemical solutions are becoming fewer and more far between. Growers (and most people) are typically resistant to change, but change is upon us and it’s here to stay.
Awareness, acceptance and a greater understanding of biological solutions is a ‘natural progression’. The results speak for themselves and the benefits can no longer be overlooked. In addition to meeting MRL limits, other key benefits include:
- Different modes of action are ideal for resistance management
- Application focussed at different lifecycle stages increases IPM usage
- When combined effectively with other products, the lifespan of chemical pesticides can ultimately be extended
- Enhanced focus on soil and root health contributes to effective IPM programs
How can farmers integrate biologicals into their existing operations?
Biological products have and continue to evolve at an alarming rate. Shelf life is continually improving, compatibility is a key focus and most solutions can largely be implemented at farm level without the need for any specific equipment or complicated application procedures.
What is the best way to get more information on how to access Madumbi and Madumbi products?
Madumbi loves to connect in person whenever possible. As such, we encourage and welcome growers to contact our team directly and have a ‘team of experts’ designated to specific crops and regions.
Initial contact is probably easiest via:
Your final ‘take home message’
The combined focus of both the chemical and biological industry should be to provide solutions that are effective, add value and promotes sustainability at grower level.
Solutions should not be ‘one or the other’ – but rather ‘together’.
Madumbi Sustainable Agriculture : Business Development Lead
Sias obtained a MSc in Entomology from the University of the Free State and has more than 15 years’ experience with the development and commercialisation of biological solutions in South Africa. Sias is passionate about the Biological Industry and the incorporation of biological solutions into Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. Sias leads the Madumbi Sustainable Agriculture sales team and is based in Bloemfontein, Free State.