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IZA Zinc fertilizer programme proves the importance of zinc in Malawi

The United Nations Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) project has proven the importance of adding zinc to fertilizers in terms of maize crop yields in Malawi. The program started at the beginning of the 2011/2012 growing season and rural farmers are now convinced of the benefits of zinc additions in terms of overall yield and the size of the cobs. The project was coordinated by the Chitedze Agricultural Research Station under the guidance of the Director of Agricultural Research services, Dr Wilkson Makumbe. The results of the study were presented at a conclusion workshop attended by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, government agronomists and other interested parties. Malawi now has a zinc containing fertilizer as part of its overall fertilizer subsidy program.

New business development important for zinc market

IZASA has worked for over a decade with key stakeholders in new business development. The establishment of the Base Metals Incubator Lepharo in 2006 has enabled the realisation of the goals of supporting new business development in base metals. IZASA was instrumental in the early feasibility studies and Lepharo is now supported by the South African Department of Trade and Industry and importantly, by a growing number of large industrial companies. Fully operational since 2010, Lepharo, as a non-profit organisation provides for SMME business support and mentorship across a wide range of disciplines. For further information visit

Zinc coated thread generates electricity

Zn stabilizes cyclic organics

UK chemists have developed reagents that can metallate cyclic ethers and ethene at room temperature without them disintegrating. Using combinations of zinc and alkali metals the team made stable, crystalline complexes with carbon zinc bonds that can then be used in further reactions.

Cyclic ethers such as tetrahydrofuran decompose very readily when reacted with lithium reagents, and organozinc compounds are not strong enough bases to metallate such compounds directly. However, combining them with alkali metal reagents greatly increases their metallating power. By metallating with a bimetallic base system, the team formed stable, crystalline molecules with strong Zn-C bonds. The alkali metal also plays a supporting role in stabilising the complexes. (Chemistry World/Dec 2009 p5)



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