Businessafrica.net Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108
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AFRICABIZ VOL 1- ISSUE : 24
APRIL 15 - MAY 14, 2001
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR


Dear visitor and international investor,


We warmly welcome you, if this is your first visit to Africabiz Online - The ultimate newsletter on trading and investing in 49 sub-Saharan African countries. If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.
If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

CONTINENTAL COVERAGE

With this issue, AFRICABIZ ONLINE achieved continental coverage. A page of dynamic headlines on news and events on North Africa had been added. It is available here.

A BONANZA TOOL FOR THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF A COUNTRY

A further discussion on Kenaf plantation as "economic catalyst" for the sustained economic development of an African country is available below for your review.

Kenaf Industries' establishment is a tremendous economic development opportunity for any country searching for a performing and dynamic "tool" to boost up its economy. Kenaf Industries' settlement will help the country - which takes necessary steps to implement it - establish a strong, powerful and high profit making industrial base intertwined with a strong cash crop agriculture.

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Many thanks for dropping by and see you here next month.

Dr. B.M. Quenum

Editor of AFRICABIZ
Contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA


Continuation: A MULTI PURPOSE PLANT AS INCOME BUILDING POWER FOR AN AFRICAN COMMUNITY: KENAF

On the promotion board of ISSUE N° 23 - Click here for more - we made an introduction to a "niche" operation based on A MULTI PURPOSE PLANT: Kenaf which could be used as "economic catalyst" and launching pad for the economic development of an African country's regional territory. Issues N° 20; 21 and 22 consider other kinds of "niche" operations.


Agroindustrial development of Kenaf includes the following:

      • Livestock feed
      • Substitution for wood as raw material / pulp for paper industry
      • Substitution for wood in building materials
      • Fiber for cloth, pets litter, oil absorbent, carpet, tar-saturated roofing
      • Fertilizer and many more.

- This month we are considering two of the above listed economic aspects of Kenaf cultivation: Livestock feed and Pulp / Paper industry.

As shown on pictures available here Kenaf grows quickly, into a forest of narrow poles -12 to 14 feet (3.7 to 4.6 meters) - and leaf-colored branches.

A kenaf's plantation produces a fiber similar to that made from wood, but within a very short span of times of 150 days - compared to minimum 5 to 10 years needed for classical pine-trees and other wood species.

KENAF PLANTATION'S YIELDS AND STALK COMPOSITION

Depending on which Kenaf specie / seed is planted average recorded harvest yields in tropical areas are in the range of 13 to 17.5 dry metric tons / ha (6 to 8 dry metric tons / acre) of Kenaf stalks.

Kenaf stalk is composed of two kinds of fibers. The "bast" which is the outer fiber and represents up to 40% of the stalk dry weight. The "core" inner fiber which accounts for up to 50% of the stalk dry weight. The up to 10% balance representing fine particles / powder or "fines" produced during the separation process of the bast and the core.

Based on the yields above mentioned 1 ha of plantation gives the following:

      • 1- 5.20 to 7 metric tons of bast.
      • 2- 6.50 to 8.75 metric tons of core
      • 3- 1.3 to 1.75 metric tons of powder / fine particles.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Graham
Kenaf Plantation - Courtesy of Dr. Graham
Photo courtesy of Dr. Graham
Kenaf seeds - Courtesy of Dr. Graham

UTILIZATION OF VARIOUS COMPONENTS

      • a- Bast is a suitable substitute raw material / pulp for newsprint / paper industry. Another possibility is biocomposites are made from kenaf bast fiber and resins (polypropylene) to form a panel, which can be molded, into interior car parts, such as doors and headliners.

      • b- Core is good for cloth, pets litter, oil absorbent, carpet, tar-saturated roofing. For instance oil absorbent made from Kenaf core has a high percentage of oil absorption and is used to cleanse water polluted by petroleum / oil spills. There is a huge market worldwide for such absorbent material.

      • c- Fines are used directly as livestock feed or as blending component for various kinds of animal feeds

The fast growing potential of Kenaf represents an opportunity to obtain wood-like fiber and establish high profit making agro-industrial operations in regional territory of African countries.

There are two tremendous markets available right now for Kenaf based industries in Africa: 1- The printing paper industry and 2- The animal breeding / feeding industry.

-1- A pulp mill industry based on Kenaf stalks as raw material to produce printing paper has a ready market to service in all African regions. Something in the range of 5,500,000 metric tons of printing paper per year - globally - for the 48 sub-Saharan African countries.

Indeed, apart from the Republic of South Africa, none of the other 47 sub-Saharan African countries features a pulp / paper mill industry. Which means that huge quantities of printing paper are imported year upon year by African countries.

-2- Kenaf is also very suitable for tropical livestock feed.


Herders used to walk thousand of kilometers - with emaciated flock - from dried northern region of most sub-Saharan African countries to the rainy southern region; wandering through cultivated areas (particularly in the Saharan region from Senegal / Mauritania in the West to Ethiopia / Kenya in the Horn of Africa) in search for greener pastures.

Growing Kenaf in African countries will help not only solving the recurrent bloody conflicts between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers but also establish a powerful livestock / meat industry.


For the 48 sub-Saharan African countries, there is (on a conservatory estimation basis of 300,000 metric tons per country) a market in the range of 14,400,000 metric tons per year for animal feed.


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