Largest Cobb Technical Seminar for Africa13 June 2014
ZIMBABWE - More than 100 customers representing 13 African countries attended the largest Cobb Africa technical seminar so far. The school was run on Irvine’s Zimbabwe premises so practical sessions could be carried out in the commercial environment while clients were accommodated at the lovely Cresta Lodge in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The seminar is held every second year and this fourth event attracted delegates from as far as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa as well as Zimbabwe.
Director of Cobb Africa, Patrick Murphy, said Cobb is making great strides in the African market, showing tremendous sales growth over recent years — as indicated by a market share exceeding 50 percent across the Sub Saharan territory. "This increase is thanks to the growth of Cobb Africa's current clients as well as new entrants into the market," he said.
The programme covered breeders, hatcheries, broilers, nutrition and poultry health matters, and included a talk by Yum Foods (KFC Africa) on supplying chicken to the restaurant trade in Africa.
Specialist speakers from Europe, Brazil and South Africa gave presentations on biosecurity, sampling techniques, problem solving on breeder farms, male management and recent Cobb incubation trials – all structured to offer solutions to the particular challenges experienced in Africa.
The presentations were followed by practical demonstrations on house preparation and brooding setup, dark out and mechanically ventilated houses, tours of a hatchery and processing plant, and instruction on performing post mortems.
During the seminar an awards evening and dinner was held to reward customers for improved performance and achieving top results. Awards went to Agrocam, Cameroon, for most eggs per hen housed, Novos Horizontes, Mozambique, for most improved farm and Euro Poultry, Tanzania, for best newcomer.
David Irvine, chief executive of the Irvine's Group, welcomed all the delegates while Pieter Oosthuysen, Cobb regional technical manager for Africa, spoke on the value of keeping records and submitting data to Cobb Europe for analysis, interpretation and benchmarking.
Craig Irvine, director of Irvine's Africa, talked about the value of upgrading pullet rearing housing to blackout with mechanical ventilation - necessary to enable African producers to be more efficient and compete with imported chicken meat from Brazil and elsewhere.
Among the comments from participants were:
'It was an eye opener on Cobb's potential in turning around our company.'
'A very enriching and worthwhile event.'
'It was a wonderful week spent with people who know their job thoroughly. I'm sure we will benefit from all the little tricks of the business which we were given to understand and to implement.
My thanks go to each and everybody who contributed to make our stay pleasant.'
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