Customers at the Heart of Ross Expansion in Africa19 May 2014
ZAMBIA - Ross Africa, based in Zambia and the Ross distributor for Zambia and surrounding countries, recently hosted their first Customer Focus Team meeting in Lusaka.
The four day event covered presentations to both Parent Stock (PS) farmers and broiler growers. Supported by the Ross technical and sales team, the meeting attracted senior poultry managers from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This was the first meeting for Ross customers in sub-Saharan Africa and provided focused bird management advice based on local conditions, including talks on respiratory diseases and nutrition based on local ingredients. The group was also updated on the Ross R&D programme and global market developments. Interactive case studies were also provided, allowing the audience to break into smaller groups to investigate and report back on actual customer issues.
The second day featured a visit to Ross Africa facilities to practise ‘hands on’ the materials learned in the classroom the previous day. The group was split into four to visit the PS rearing and laying houses, the post-mortem area and to enjoy an office session to review benchmarking and statistics.
Managing Director of Ross Africa Colin Lindsay said: "The length of time that Ross Africa has been in business should tell you everything you need to know about the qualities of the Ross bird in this market. This is a growing industry and, with a brand new broiler hatchery just opened and another Grandparent facility due to begin construction soon, the breed is going from strength to strength in Africa and events like this are an important part of that continued success."
The new Ross Africa broiler hatchery at Chainda, which opened in April, formed an important part of the event with everyone getting a guided tour of the state-of-the-art facility. Eventual capacity is intended to be over one million chicks per week. This is being complemented by new GP farms and a hatchery at Mazabuka which will increase overall capacity by 40 per cent.
Mr Lindsay continued: "The new farms and hatcheries are part of a wider $17m expansion plan from Ross Africa. However, all the work being undertaken is for the benefit of customers. Quality and capacity are all being increased and this event is a great chance to meet key customers and industry leaders from across Africa to not only pass information to them about the latest techniques but to gather information from them about their needs and concerns so we can ensure that we are fulfilling their requirements."
The broiler session took place on the final day and covered optimising chick performance, nutrition and administering vaccines when needed. As always a social element was included, the notable event being "Braai at Dam" literally "Barbeque at the Dam" which marks the boundary of the Chainda Farm.
Aviagen’s Regional Technical Manager for the Middle East and Africa Neil Clark commented: "This was a very successful event and showed the support for Ross products in a market that is expanding at a huge rate. We saw a lot of interest from Zambia in our website too following the event, demonstrating that people appreciate the wealth of information available on www.aviagen.com."
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