Rural agricultural development in Africa

A photo of an irrigation system on a farm in Africa

As an equipment manufacturer and supplier, ABC Hansen Africa, based in Pretoria South Africa with subsidiaries in Zambia and Namibia and dealers throughout the continent, strives to contribute to the mechanisation part of the African agricultural renaissance through:

  • Irrigation: With only 4% of African crops under irrigation, this represents a vast area for advancement and improvement of yields and offering a lower risk for the indispensable providers of credit. Low delivery technology combined with high control technology and with solar applications are designed supplied at low cost for irrigation of fields of 1-10 hectares.
  • Provision of affordable power and technology to augment the human power currently employed in virtually every aspect of the pre-harvesting effort. At present Chinese Jiang Dong diesel engines are the most affordable, dependable, easiest serviceable and operational engines available provided a servicing network exists. This ABC Hansen offers in training local dealers in these maintenance functions. These engines are used in powering various types of equipment produced by the company in areas where electrical power supply is not sufficient or non-existent such as for:
    • No-till planters
    • Sprayers for herbicides
    • Universal harvesters (shellers) for maize, wheat, sorghum, rice, soy beans and other beans, sunflower etc. allowing the crop to get to market faster, fresher and before it is damaged.
  • Brand new high kilowatt tractors are not going to do the trick at this inception stage and at the scale of traditional agriculture units. It’s simply not affordable and can’t be paid back on the yields of a 10 hectare parcel of land, much less on a 1 or 2 acre plot. Needless to mention its running cost and maintenance. On the other hand manual planting is a disaster because of uneven spacing, uneven planting depth, overgrowth, irregular fertilizer application, etc.
  • Post harvesting activities that include storage, drying and cleaning of grain. These basic activities, if done correctly and viably, would increase the crop percentage reaching the market by some 20% and again allow financing to become a reality. Options for mass storage in converted unseaworthy shipping containers, regular steel silos, grain dams, silo bags and flat storage in converted sheds and other options are available to the small scale farmer over and above the costly and inefficient bagging system currently followed.
  • The further processing of grain and oil seeds such as milling of maize, sorghum etc. for human and animal / aquaculture consumption and further processing including oil expelling, extruding, pelleting, fermenting, roasting, flavouring and colouring, packaging and bringing final products to market for integration into the value chain and feeding the ever expanding mega cities.
  • The creation of food hubs where maize, wheat / sorghum / millet and feed mills, oil seeds processing, bakeries, vegetable and fruit processing, meat processing from farms supplied with feedstocks, all takes place under one roof and where these products are made available for retail sale together with a restaurant where hot meals can be served at low cost to ordinary working people.
Sorgum grains


Not only do these actions retain value in rural areas, and enhance the possibilities for credit to be extended, it also employs and empowers small farmers and others, fosters entrepreneurship and allows a secondary, industrial renaissance to take place, built on this first, agricultural turnaround. Less workers on the farm producing higher total and per capita output for the now productively employed urbanites engaged in commerce and industry is what has been the key in the development on continents to the east and west of Africa.

ABC Hansen Africa is not a development consultant and neither a NGO or policy influencing organisation, all playing a very important role in the march towards the African agricultural renaissance. It is a private engineering company able to get things done that needs to get done through design of appropriate equipment, incorporation of existing equipment in new products and installation, commissioning and servicing projects in the agricultural landscape, with a mission to chip away at obstacles to advancement in our continent.

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