Posts Tagged ‘africa’
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.
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.”
A Massey Ferguson tractor refurbished by students attending the AGCO agricultural engineering apprenticeship scheme at the UK’s Moreton Morrell College in Warwickshire is set for work in the village of Tunguli, Morogoro in Tanzania.
The tractor gift project is being spearheaded by the Diocese of Worcester which has a friendship link with the Diocese of Morogoro.. Prior to being shipped to Tanzania, the MF 265 tractor was blessed at a special ceremony at Moreton Morrell College performed by The Right Reverend Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester. Also in attendance at the ceremony was Steve Wood, Chairman of the College Board of Governors.
“The fully-reconditioned tractor will make an enormous difference to the lives of people in Tunguli,” said Bishop John. “We would like to thank AGCO, its student apprentices and the College for their help with this great project.”
AGCO, Massey Ferguson’s parent company, has been running its Dealer apprenticeship training scheme in partnership with Moreton Morrell College since 1999. Over the last 18 months, AGCO student apprentices have been rebuilding the MF 265 as part of their course work, transforming the 30-year-old model into a good-as-new tractor, ready for use.
“We were delighted to donate the major parts for the refurbishment and for our apprentices to test out their skills and knowledge in overhauling the tractor for this very worthy cause,” comments Tony Linfield, AGCO Training Development Manager.
The AGCO Apprentice Scheme is open to young agricultural engineers aiming to progress into positions within AGCO farm machinery Dealerships across the UK. Course lengths range from 15 months to two years with 12-24 weeks’ block release at Moreton Morrell College. On successfully completing the courses, students receive Work-Based Diplomas in Land Based Service Engineering.
Written by: Jean Kaahwa, AGCO Africa Ambassador 2015
On the night of 16th January 2015, I said warm goodbyes to my immediate family and they wished me all the best in Berlin, Germany. As I set off to the airport I kept having flashbacks of my journey in the agriculture sector from the time when I was dreaming of turning that idle swamp into a productive fish farm, how the dream materialized, my growth in the agribusiness sector and eventually heading to Berlin as AGCO‘s Africa Ambassador for 2015.
I travelled from Uganda via Istanbul and was received warmly by a gentleman in Berlin. I was amazed at the beauty and scenery of the city that met me. At the hotel I bumped into Sue Musunga Chuzu, who was AGCO‘s first Africa Ambassador in 2012, and I immediately felt at home.
I later met the warm and friendly AGCO team and AGCO Africa Ambassador 2014, Joy Jelimo Chelagat as well. Joy and I toured Berlin together the next day and also visited the Africa Summit venue.
On the morning of the 4th AGCO Africa Summit I was nervous. However, I received some encouraging words from Mr. Nuradin Osman, Managing Director Africa and Middle East of AGCO, and Dr. Amrita Cheema, one of the moderators of the conference, just before the program started.
Looking at the conference agenda made me feel like I had to listen to every word spoken as I found the topics and presentations practical, applicable and contextual for the smallholder farmers like me in Africa. Read the rest of this entry »