Central Africa

Overcoming challenging conditions with boron

Farming is one of the main economic activities in Central Africa, though a lack of arable land, water shortages, and poor soil quality make it impossible for most countries to fulfill all the dietary needs of the population. An estimated 40% of the population in the eastern and northern parts of Central Africa regularly experience severe food shortages and poverty as a result of low agricultural production.

In the Central African Republic and Republic of Congo, export crops such as cotton, coffee, and tobacco are produced largely on small landholdings while sugarcane and palm oil are grown on larger mechanized plantations.

Agriculture in the Congo is mostly at a subsistence level and the country has yet to achieve self-sufficiency in food production. Most of the country is covered in tropical forest while the rest has poor sandy soils, making cultivation extremely challenging. Food crops consist mainly of cassava, plantains, bananas, rice, yams, and beans.

Featured Crops

Oil palm
Oil palm removes significant amounts of boron from the soil each year. And, boron is the most often deficient micronutrient in oil palm cultivation.
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The characteristic symptoms of boron deficiency are short internodes and dieback of the apical meristem.
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University research found yield increases ranging from 9-37 bushels of corn per acre where boron was added. Corn requires high levels of all nutrients to ensure maximum economic yields.
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Improve Soil Conditions with Boron Supplementation

Growers in Central Africa can benefit from refined boron application on principal crops such as cassava, cotton, coffee, tobacco, bananas and oil palm. Boron deficiencies in oil palm, for example, show up as hook leaf, poor seed set, deformed leaves, and stunted plants with areas of necrosis. Replacing the boron leached from sandy soils also ensures healthier reproduction and crop yields.

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U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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