From humble beginnings: LegumeTechnology UK Ltd.

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Following on from a visit by Dr Mahamadhi Dianda (IITA) to LegumeTechnology in June this year to learn about quality control methods, I met with Dr Bruce Knight at his factory near Nottingham in the UK to discuss his involvement in Phase II of N2Africa. LegumeTechnology manufactures high quality, zero contamination inoculants for markets throughout the world, and consistently achieves the N2Africa AA standard. Part of our discussions focused on the next generation of equipment to produce top quality inoculants in small packets.

LegumeTechnology UK have agreed to continue supplying N2Africa with inoculants on demand. Further, Bruce has agreed to supply bespoke orders of high quality inoculants of specified strains for experimental purposes, and to provide sterile packets so that N2Africa scientists can make these as required. This will facilitate the testing of elite strains against each other to ensure they are delivered onto the seed in the most effective way to ensure that strain tests are not compromised by using different inoculant formulations.


Photo: Liam Cooper operating the injection machine

In addition to visiting the new factory that LegumeTechnology moved into last year, we stopped at the first premises where the company started out. Bruce started out with a strong vision in 2000, with very simple equipment such as a small pressure cooker for sterilization. His whole operation was at first housed in a small room situated in some semi-derelict farm buildings (see photo) from which he built up his company which now sells more than 120 tonnes of top-quality inoculant each year. Hopefully this can provide inspiration for investors to start up similar inoculant production companies in Africa.

Left: Dr Bruce Knight in front of LegumeTechnology’s new factory

Right: The original room where Bruce Knight started up LegumeTechnology in 2000

Ken Giller