THE KLEIN KAROO is an ideal region for cultivating vegetable seed. For this reason, clients all over the world approach KLEIN KAROO Seed for their seed multiplication needs. The mother seed, which comes from the client, is given to seed producers who then multiply the seed strictly in accordance with contractual requirements.
It is extremely important, however, that the mother seed is constantly monitored to ensure that no mixing takes place and that the multiplied seed is always derived from the same mother seed furnished by the specific client.
Mixing of seed is one of the greatest risks in the industry and could ultimately, after a very expensive process, undo the good work of bees, growers, advisors and management.
Traceability is therefore critical to ensure that the client receives a pure crop of the same genetic material he has provided.
The tracing system of Agro Business Solutions (ABS) offers KLEIN KAROO a competitive edge, which benefits both the Group and its members.
“Tracing and record keeping start when the mother seed is received from the client. The identification of a seed producer, every visit to the farm and recommendations and findings during the growing process are carefully recorded,” says Riaan van der Westhuizen of KLEIN KAROO Seed: Distribution.
“When the seed is delivered to the seed cleaning plant, particulars of each bulk sack, the grower, the machine operator, as well as the relevant machinery, are placed on record according to the ABS system.
“Before the seed is cleaned, representative samples are taken and analysed. After the seed has been cleaned, the moisture, purity and germinating capacity are tested under controlled laboratory conditions for final approval.
“The system is updated at every point in the process where the seed is handled by man or machine. The container in which the seed is stored, is allocated a number and barcode.
“When this number is typed into the ABS computer system, you can trace the entire process from the date of receipt in the mother seed store, through the stages of storage, production and processing, storage and movement information, until the export date,” says Riaan. According to Riaan, all contracts with both the client and the grower are registered and managed on the system.
Seed tracing forms part of KLEIN KAROO’s quality control. All data gathered and recorded serve as a source of useful information. According to Riaan the system is well known in the international seed industry, and seed dealers and production companies know exactly what it entails.
“The human factor is indispensable and can never be replaced by a system or machine,” says Riaan. However, according to him “the ABS system serves as an ever present control system to eliminate mistakes as far as possible.”