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Master of Agribusiness

Business Continuity Management for an Agribusiness Company: A Case Study from West Africa

Tene Mouphtaou Toure, Windsor Mill, Maryland, defended her thesis, “Business Continuity Management for an Agribusiness Company: A Case Study from West Africa,” on April 14, 2014.  She is a spring graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

Livestock Co. was established in 1963, shortly after the independence of Côte d'Ivoire, and was the first animal feed company of the city of Abidjan. It currently produces between 150,000-200,000 tons of feed grain. In April 2010, a grain silo at Livestock Co. burst spilling 850 tons of feed grain. Luckily, there were no injuries or damage to any of the other silos, but if it had been more extensive, the accident could have disrupted the company’s milling activities.

“Companies like Livestock Co. need a business continuity management (BCM) plan to minimize the adverse effects of any disruption to an organization’s activities and to ensure a rapid return to normalcy of operations.  A BCM plan will help local management know exactly what is needed to be done to safeguard employees, secure buildings, and protect customer information in the event of a catastrophic incident. Customers will be reassured and their confidence in the company’s ability to meet their needs are protected,” Toure said.

Toure studied Livestock Co.’s documentation on disaster management and recovery to develop a framework to enhance the ability to recover from two types of specific disasters that may have serious effects on operations.

Natural disasters considered were fires, accidents and political upheavals.  Technical disasters examined included labor crises, problems with infrastructure, and grain dust explosions.  Unlike natural disasters that are often uncertain, technical disasters can be predicted based on careful assessment of the environment or the assets. Toure’s research evaluated the process for developing a BCM plan and offered an implementation process to ensure smooth execution. 

Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Toure’s thesis advisor, said, “It is easy to overlook the low-probability high-consequence events that can significantly disrupt operations and cost the loss of resources. Tene’s work highlights the importance of business leaders embracing the process of business continuity management. This is particularly important for food and agribusinesses in Africa, which do not have a lot of slack in their operations.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/17339.