Posts Tagged ‘africa’
By Nyasha Mudukuti, AGCO Africa Ambassador 2016
Under the theme “Vision of the Future” AGCO held a farm mechanisation event between the 6th and 8th of April 2016 at its Future Farm in Zambia. l had the opportunity to take part – and when I arrived l thought for a moment l was not in Africa. It was the most majestic agricultural place l have ever been to and it reminded me of the farms l once saw in Iowa, USA. For me, to see this farm in Africa was like a wakeup call to the African agriculture sector. In short, it’s just a state of the art farming center.
AGCO Africa and Middle East Management team celebrated the handing over of the keys to the eagerly anticipated AGCO Future Farm Africa mechanization training centre in a ceremony with local staff in Lusaka last week. “AGCO’s new state-of-the-art regional mechanization training centre will promote best practice in modern farming technology” said Steve Clarke, Vice President, Strategic Marketing & Brand Governance EAME, “Standing in the building today, I have seen how far we have come to maintain AGCO’s global training centre standards. This centre is the first of its kind in Africa and it will help us to boost the standards of our distribution network across the continent”.
The construction of AGCO’s Training Centre in Zambia at the AGCO Future Farm, was completed mid November 2015. The new training center is strategically located in the capital city Lusaka and is close to the International Airport, making it easily accessible for the whole East and Southern African region. “It is a milestone for AGCO to have the regional training center building completed,” explained Nuradin Osman, AGCO Director of Operations, Africa & Middle East, “Overall this is a huge achievement for the Africa Strategy. We set out to do something a little different in Africa and being able to have this infrastructure will help us build capacity of the highest global standards within the region, it is beyond amazing!
Massey Ferguson is introducing a new range of 50hp-85hp tractors for selected African and Middle East markets.
This latest move will further strengthen its product offering in the lower horsepower tractor sector in these territories and offer a broader choice to farmers looking for a rugged and reliable multi-purpose machine. In addition, to complement these new MF 300 Series tractors, a new line of Massey Ferguson-branded implements is also being unveiled for the region.
“Simple, yet powerful, the MF 300 Series tractors are tried and tested, with a strong reputation for straightforward operation and robust dependability – they are ideally-equipped to meet the tough challenges of African and Middle East agriculture,” says Thierry Lhotte, Massey Ferguson Vice-President Marketing, Europe/Africa/Middle East. “More than 1.5 million units based on this renowned design are already at work in the world.”
Affordable and economical to run, these entry-level ‘do anything’ tractors will have strong appeal as the main power source for smallholder farmers or local community groups looking to mechanise or upgrade their agricultural operations. The models can also be a valuable addition to a machinery fleet on larger farms or estates requiring a cost-effective workhorse.
Initially, a choice of six Massey Ferguson matched implements, covering cultivation, planting and transport, will be available for the MF 300 Series.
“As true multi-taskers, the MF 300 Series are equally adept at cultivation, planting, transport or yard duties, working across a wide range of farm sectors including arable, livestock and horticulture,” explains Thierry Lhotte. “Low cost of ownership, easy servicing and maintenance plus expert support from the Massey Ferguson local Distributor ensure a fully-sustainable and inclusive farm mechanisation package.”
Consisting of six models in total, three MF 300 Series models are set for release in early 2016 – the 50hp MF 345 two-wheel-drive (2WD), 75hp MF 375 (2WD) and 85hp MF 385 (2WD and 4WD). The longer wheelbase 50hp MF 350 (2WD), 60hp MF 355 (2WD) and 60hp MF 360 (2WD) will follow later in the year.
Earlier this month, we introduced you to Richard Chapple, Farm Manager at the AGCO Future Farm in Zambia. Today, we’d like to give you another glimpse into daily life at the farm by introducing Martha Chishala, Training Centre Coordinator.
Martha plays an integral part in keeping things running smoothly at the Zambia Future Farm. Her role includes organizing training events and ensuring everything related to training is in order—from updating trainer schedules, to ordering supplies, to coordinating work visas.
She was on hand at the official launch of the Future Farm on May 27. “The official opening event was exciting, as there were so many great presentations and demonstrations of what AGCO plans to do in Africa and change the way of farming and agriculture,” she says. “It encouraged us all to embrace mechanised farming.”
Martha joined the AGCO Future Farm team in May of 2015, but she has already seen the impact it has had on the community. “The farm has created jobs for the local community and supports projects such as Chikumbuso Women and Orphans project, and it teaches children at a young age about the values of agriculture,” she says.
The farm faces many challenges, such as the area’s low water table, which can only sustain one winter crop per year. But Martha finds it rewarding to be part of this new age of farming, and she is learning that there is more to agriculture than just putting seed in the ground.
“I see a generation of farmers and changed mindset in regards to agriculture,” she says. “Growing up in Zambia we believed farming was for the uneducated, rural based-based older folk—something people do after retirement. I never considered a career prospect, but with empowerment through knowledge, all that is changing.”
A visit to Kenya prompts the production of a video to demonstrate the merits of buying genuine AGCO filters and how to spot counterfeit parts.
In March 2014 Jeff Challis, Business Manager, Parts Sales, Africa and Middle East and Pete Winterbottom, Manager, Aftersales Marketing, EAME visited Kenya to meet with our Massey Ferguson distributor FMD and visit some of their key customers. These customers varied from important municipal customers such as Nairobi Airport to owners of large tea and sugar plantations. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the virtues of genuine parts. Jeff demonstrated this by dismantling a genuine filter and comparing key features with a popular spurious filter. From the outside both filters looked the same but Jeff quickly highlighted that underneath this veneer there were some significant differences. Jeff’s demo had such a positive impact that FMD said they wanted to train and equip their own staff to do the same demo when on the road visiting customers. To assist with this, the EAME Aftersales Marketing team produced some practical demo kits including genuine and spurious filters along with flip chart slides. Jeff took the kits back to Kenya and also Sudan in early 2015 to train the local field sales teams to use themselves.
As an aide memoire for the local teams, we filmed Jeff at the Stoneleigh training centre conducting the demo. A group of UK service technicians that were on a training course in an adjacent workshop at time of filming stopped what they were doing because they too were so intrigued to see and hear what Jeff had to say. So much so that we decided to publish the resultant videos on YouTube for all to see.
We’ve created 2 versions of the demo; a 3 minute and 15 minute version which can be watched on YouTube or downloaded from asset bank. We’re now considering the possibility of creating different language versions in order to spread this key message: – When it comes to Parts ‘The Genuine Choice’ is the only choice!’
To learn more about AGCO Parts please visit: http://www.agcocorp.com/parts-service.html.