Biocontrol company Koppert Biological Systems is expanding their reach on the African continent by opening of a new subsidiary for West Africa in Cote d’Ivoire.
The Dutch based company already has a foothold in North Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.
“Having successfully registered a range of Koppert’s biocontrol products in Cote d’Ivoire, we can now proceed to position ourselves in the market, test, and introduce products to growers in West Africa,” said Business Unit Manager for the Middle East and Africa Yosef Ouhlous.
According to Ouhlous they will initially focus on large tropical fruit producers, but will eventually extend to smallholders, “to help them increase their yields and provide food security”.
Ouhlous said the biggest challenge for the company would be to encourage growers to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilisers by providing them with biological solutions and biostimulants.
“While in Europe, it is often the consumers themselves who demand residue free products and safe food, in African countries it is usually the authorities who feel the need to promote biological alternatives for crop protection. It is very much from the top down in this part of the world.”
The company has already done some groundwork in the region the past 3 years to explore the West African market. Their products will initially be distributed by local distributors.
Koppert will also partner with other companies and local universities and institutes to gain more insight to provide solutions for the tropical fruit industry, a relatively new market for the company. “The consumption of tropical fruit, both locally and for the export market, is increasing rapidly, which makes it a very interesting sector for Koppert to work in.”
Koppert Biological Systems provides biological control solutions to farmers in several countries worldwide. Their integrated solutions allow farmers to decrease their reliance on chemical pesticides and artificial fertilisers to produce food that is more in tune with nature. Their solutions include pest and disease control, pollination, resilient cultivation as well as research and development in the biocontrol solutions.