In recent posts, we shared our vision for the AGCO Future Farm concept, and in May we celebrated the official opening of our first Future Farm in Lusaka, Zambia. Today, we’d like to introduce one of the team members making this project successful: Farm Manager Richard Chapple.
Originally from the UK, Richard came to Zambia in November 2008 to visit family, but he was offered a job running a flight charter company and stayed. With a background as an agricultural contractor in the UK and experience sub-contracting combines in Zambia on behalf of a company called African Harvesters, he was a natural fit for AGCO and joined the Future Farm team in 2012.
Although every day on the farm is different, a typical morning for Richard starts at 7:30 a.m., when he has a meeting with his team of 32 workers. They allocate jobs based on what is planned for the day, from spraying programs to planting a variety of crops around the farm.
The Zambia Future Farm includes a state-of-the art facility designed to accommodate both small-scale and large commercial farmers, as well as education and training programs to provide hands-on experience with technology and utilize Africa’s agricultural resources more effectively. Chapple says this is reassuring to local farmers. “No matter what tractor you’re driving, it’s all about the support you’re receiving.”
Chapple has been involved with the Future Farm project since its inception in 2012, and he said the team experienced a great sense of achievement at the official launch on May 27. “In a small space of time, we’ve done a huge amount of work,” he said. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle and all the pieces came together.”
What does Chapple find most rewarding about his job? “For me, it’s development, and not just of the farm itself,” he said. “When we took over the farm, we also took over the workforce that was here already. It’s the personal development of the workforce on the farm, the capacity building, and getting better relationships. I’ve learned a fair bit, as well.”
Zambia has huge potential in terms of resources to be tapped, and Chapple appreciates the opportunity to play a role the development of agriculture in the country. “I’m very excited and happy to be a part of it.”
We have a vision to change the future of farming. In 2013, we planted the seed for a Future Farm and training center to empower the world’s farmers with education, training and technology. This month, the first AGCO Future Farm officially opens in Zambia. The state-of-the-art facility includes a mechanized solutions center, a grain and poultry learning center, and training programs focused on products, machines, business management and farming best practices.
AGCO has a strong commitment to agriculture in Africa. The Republic of Zambia is landlocked, bordered by eight neighboring countries. Its central location coupled with an economic focus on farming (agriculture accounts for 21.5 percent of the nation’s GDP) makes Zambia an ideal place for AGCO’s Future Farm prototype.
The Future Farm concept will develop a sustainable food production system that is able to increase farm output by utilizing Africa’s agricultural resources more efficiently. The Zambia center will facilitate agricultural support services to enable knowledge and increase food production on other area farms.
And Future Farm Zambia is more than just a training facility—it’s also a working farm. In 2015, 70.22 hectares were planted with maize, soybeans, sunflowers, sun hemp and other crops. The farm’s expected yields this year include 7.5 tonnes/hectare of maize and 1.4 tonnes/hectare of soybeans.
In addition to area farmers, local organizations will benefit from the Future Farm as well. AGCO Zambia has supported the Chikumbuso Women and Orphans Project in Lusaka, which provides free education for children, adult training and community building programs. The Future Farm donates soybeans and maize to help the project’s feeding program and kitchen enterprise.
In addition, AGCO Zambia supports the Chalimbana Youth project in partnership with the Africa 4H Council and Future Farm Partners. As part of this project, younger children learn agricultural practices and grow food for their families through an Enterprise Garden, and older participants learn to start and sustain small agro-enterprises through an entrepreneurship group.
The AGCO Future Farm project has the potential to have a significant impact through a range of agricultural solutions, such as crop protection, precision farming, seeding and fertilizing, and strong partnerships will be key to its success. Additional Future Farms partners include AquaCheck, Bayer Crop Science, Harper Adams University, Musika, GCS Water Management, Seedco, University of Zambia, Valley and Yara.
“I believe we have a unique opportunity to develop a new vision for how small, medium, and large-scale farmers can develop not just in Zambia, but throughout the region,” said Mark Briggs, director of Precision Decisions Zambia Limited and also Co-Chair for the Future Farm Partners Steering Committee. “The idea of having a group of experts, not just from the manufacturing sector but also service sectors, engaged in developing products and services, offering training to farm workers, managers and, indeed, individuals working in the broader agricultural arena, is very exciting.”
What does the future hold for the Future Farm? Stay tuned to our blog or follow @AGCOcorp on Twitter for updates from Zambia and other AGCO initiatives around the world.
As unidades de Canoas, Santa Rosa, Ibirubá e Mogi das Cruzes acolheram as novas turmas do Projeto Pescar 2015 e seus familiares para a aula inaugural. As duas primeiras unidades realizaram o evento em 2/3 e as duas seguintes no dia 9/3. Durante o evento, eles conheceram os voluntários, receberam as boas vindas das lideranças e realizaram uma visita guiada pela área fabril.
Durante o ano, eles participarão de aulas sobre cidadania, ética e solidariedade, bem como desenvolver competências importantes para o crescimento profissional, preparando-os também para contribuir com a sociedade de forma integral. Tudo isso com a participação comprometida dos voluntários.
A AGCO já formou 424 jovens, ao longos dos últimos 11 anos do projeto e se propõe a oportunizar o acesso à iniciação profissional de jovens em situação de vulnerabilidade social.
AGCO performs inaugural class of Pescar 2015
The unit of Canoas, Santa Rosa, Ibirubá and Mogi das Cruzes welcomed the new group of Projeto Pescar 2015 and their families for the inaugural class. The first two units performed the event on March 2nd and the two following on March 9th. In the event, they met the volunteers, were welcomed by the leaders and held a guided tour of the factory area.
During the year, they will participate in lessons of citizenship, ethics and solidarity and to develop important skills for professional growth, preparing them also to contribute to society in full. All of this with the committed participation of volunteers employees.
AGCO has graduated 424 young people over the last 11 years of the project that has the aims to provide the opportunity for access to professional initiation of young people in social vulnerability.
This year’s SIMA Paris International Agri Business Show was a triumph for AGCO’s core brands. Massey Ferguson debuted two new tractors and showcased the MF 5610 tractor that journeyed to the South Pole. Challenger’s MT775E was the winner of the “Machine of the Year XXL” award. The new Fendt 300 Vario was named “Machine of the Year” in the category for tractors below 150 hp. And the new Valtra T Series won the “Machine of the Year” award in the 180–280 hp category.
SIMA is one of the largest indoor agricultural industry shows in the world. This year, the event focused on a theme of “Innovation First!” and brought together 1,700 companies from 42 countries with an emphasis on three key topics: people and territories, equipment and crops.
AGCO embraced innovations in communication by sharing this year’s SIMA experience through social media. Those who weren’t able to attend the show could follow the #AGCO25 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, and additional news and videos can be found on the company’s social media portal created specifically for the event.
AGCO, now in its 25th year as a global leader in the agriculture industry, had a powerful presence at SIMA as an exhibitor. The company is living the “Innovation First!” concept through its cutting-edge Fuse™ Technologies — a platform that brings together machines, technology products, support, training and dealer services to ensure that farmers’ operations are optimized, coordinated and seamlessly connected through all phases of the crop cycle.
AGCO commenced celebrating its 25th year this week at the SIMA Paris International Agri-Business Show, where visitors learned not only about the company’s past achievements, but also the principles that will help shape the equipment industry for the next 25 years.
“As a company focused entirely on agriculture, and as a global business selling and supporting products in more than 140 countries, we’re acutely aware of our responsibility to help farmers everywhere meet the productivity challenges of the future,” said Gary L. Collar, senior vice president, general manager of Asia Pacific.
AGCO is deliberately evolving from being a provider of machines and structures to being a provider of total solutions. Total farming solutions that provide more productivity, efficiency and analytical insight are achieved by using the power of modern technology to create networks in systems that in the past were collections of separate components.
“We plan to be the best in the industry at helping farmers meet the food needs of a growing population,” said Dr. Rob Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Increased grain production is a very large part of this. Also very important is the long-lasting and widespread shift toward more protein-heavy diets containing more meat, milk and eggs.”
AGCO is uniquely equipped to serve the world’s farmers. AGCO can plant and harvest grains with its well-known tractors, harvesters and implements. And AGCO can help preserve and protect the grain worldwide in GSI storage and handling systems. AGCO products also assist in the harvest of hay, forages and other livestock feed crops necessary to produce the additional meat, milk and eggs global consumers are demanding. And through GSI, AGCO provides the feeding, watering and livestock production systems needed to produce the desired protein much more efficiently.
During its first 25 years, AGCO was not content to compete primarily in the most developed markets and, therefore, has become an aggressive leader in emerging markets.
For additional coverage on AGCO’s presence at SIMA, please visit sima.agcocorp.com.