The AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin in January came and went by very quickly but not so fast as to deny me of memorable moments. First of all I would like to thank AGCO for granting me this great opportunity as their Africa Ambassador 2013. It was overwhelming to be chosen via the video contest from more than 30 applicants and it was a great experience to host such a top-class international conference.
As was to be expected, the high profile representatives from industry and government from within and outside Africa left indelible impressions on me with their varying perspectives about agriculture. Agriculture plays a major role in Africa’s future and the world’s food security. It was not a surprise that the final keynote speech by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, was potent enough to make any businessman, who may have never considered becoming a farmer, to entertain thoughts of serious involvement in ‘agri-business’.
Meeting and interacting with experts of various nationalities and cultures who all have Africa in common one way or another was indeed an experience of high value. It was a particular delight and also a deep honor to announce the speeches of Former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuour (Ghana) and Horst Koehler (Germany).
I cherish the memories of each distinguished speaker that I had the honor of presenting but there is certainly one that stands out much more than any of the others in my mind. Laetitia Mukungu started her entrepreneurial journey at a very young age and indeed at the time of the conference she was 16 or 17 years old. Her delivery of the story of how she started her foray into rabbit farming in Kenya was as remarkable as the content of the story itself. It is no wonder that she is a 2012 Anzisha Fellow, one of several laurels that I expect this young dynamic woman to win. (She has also most recently won the Diana Prize, March 2012.)
Laetitia spoke very clearly about how and why she started rabbit farming, an initiative that would grow into an excellent example of social entrepreneurship with her Women Rabbit’s Association and My Idea Rabbit Center. Her presentation about why she chose rabbits over other livestock was so compelling that I have begun to ponder why I should not start my very own rabbit farm in Nigeria.
The AGCO Africa Summit, Agriculture in Africa – From Vision to Action, served as a call to action for all involved; policy makers, farmers, financiers and entrepreneurs. Participants got insight into the peculiarities of the African agribusiness landscape with the incredible opportunities available through sustainable agriculture.
I am certainly pleased to have been involved and I am grateful to AGCO’s leadership and very talented international team for the opportunity. It was a great honor to meet and interact closely with Martin Richenhagen , Nuradin Osman and several other inspiring leaders of this leading global agricultural equipment manufacturer.
This report would be incomplete without mentioning the delight of experiencing Germany for the first time: the food, the people and the architecture that had me take pictures and video clips enough for a mini documentary. Visiting Berlin in the dead of winter was indeed as cold as expected but the allure of the city could not be overcome by the snow and chill. The sophistication of the city and its rich history is hard to go unnoticed while looking through the windows of your taxi or while going on foot down any Strasse.
I look forward to another trip to Berlin, but more importantly I envision the many great and innovative actions that AGCO, its partners, customers, suppliers and you and I will take on in the coming years for agriculture in Africa. Thank you AGCO for your commitment in Africa and thanks to all the participants for moving last year‘s conversation forward – I am glad to be a part of this and I am happy to be your AGCO Africa Ambassador in 2013.
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AGCO announced the availability of AGCO’s latest global mobile application built to serve agriculture professionals on-the-go, allowing them to manage their operation from anywhere, anytime. “AGCO’s industry-leading telemetry service, AGCOMMAND, has gone mobile. Building on the capabilities of our existing AGCOMMAND wireless information solution, it’s exciting to deliver an app designed for the increasing demands of professional farmers and the dealer network that supports them,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO. “Professional farmers and agriculture enterprises can increase their productivity through this new, wireless agriculture management tool that focuses on fleet management, vehicle health and overall machine uptime.”
AGCOMMAND is a complete end-to-end wireless information solution that provides actionable machine information for professional farmers and their dealers to support improved operations. With more than 13 new features in the core telemetry service*, including new baler-specific functions that benefit hay and forage farmers, the enhanced fleet management capabilities allow users to more productively manage their operation. AGCOMMAND telemetry service for remote machine monitoring is available as an option on Challenger, Massey Ferguson and Valtra tractors, harvesting and application equipment as well as fleet vehicles.Features of the AGCOMMAND app include:
- Unique, integrated radar feature tells you the weather conditions where your machines are located**
- Turn-by-turn directions to machines, from your current location
- History of machine status and machine data
- Ability to compare the performance of multiple machines
- User-defined alerts from vehicles and machines
The new AGCOMMAND app is available as a free download in the Apple App Store. The simple, yet powerful iOS application for both iPhone and iPad is easy to use and is available in 15 languages worldwide. To learn more about the AGCOMMAND telemetry solution, please visit http://www.agcotechnologies.com/naen/AGCOMMAND.htm. Visit the Apple App Store to download the AGCOMMAND app today.
* Cellular service coverage may vary by region.** Radar functionality currently available in North America, Australia and New Zealand only.
The new tractors feature a brand new design which significantly improves agility and visibility from the cab. As a result the new models offer increased safety and are also easy to use. The new clean three-cylinder AGCO Power engine is economical and provides reliable power.
As with all other Valtra tractors, the N93 and N103 models can be tailored for specific uses and sporting one of eight different colours.
To find out more visit http://www.valtra.com/NewN
In 1979, the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations (FAO) proclaimed October 16th as World Food Day.
Today is a global observance designed to raise awareness and understanding of different approaches to ending hunger. Food is a wonderful thing, and thanks to new technology and innovation in farming practices, farmers today are able feed around seven billion people globally! However, because our population is growing at such a fast pace, there are still roughly a billion people around the world that do not get enough food. This means that almost 1 in 7 people go to bed hungry every night. As our population has grown, hunger has become an increasingly prevalent issue. World Food Day seeks to remind us of this challenge, and also spotlight the different ways in which we can help the farmers tasked with overcoming it. Every year, World Food Day is accompanied with a theme. Last year, the theme was “Food prices- from crisis to stability.” This year, the theme is “Agricultural Cooperatives- key to feeding the world.” As many farmers know, an agricultural cooperative is a member owned organization which allows farmers to pool all of their resources into different areas of activity. According to the FAO, agricultural Co-ops are fundamental in providing solutions to the hunger problem because they allow smallholder farms to negotiate better prices for resources such as seed, fertilizer, and equipment. Take for example one of AGCO’s customers, Agrifirm. Agrifirm is a Dutch cooperative that serves over 17,000 Dutch farmers and horticulturists. They offer “maximum purchasing advantage of high quality products like animal feeds, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.” In addition to product purchasing power, Agrifirm also offers knowledge and sustainable solutions to its members. Cooperatives such as Agrifirm allow farmers to access to knowledge and equipment that will help boost farm productivity at a lower cost. The more that small scale farms are able to produce, the better they will be able to support their local regions. This is why the U.N believes agricultural cooperatives to be a key element in providing for our world. It is no secret that farmers are faced with a huge task in supplying food, fiber and fuel for a rapidly growing population. It will not be easy—but with the proper resources, continued advances in technology, and widespread participation—it will be possible. Learn more about world food day, and see how you can help make a difference!