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Cultivating Farms of the Future

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 MF4708 with GSI Unit_ Zambia-7333_81990best practices.

Why Zambia?

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.

Better Together

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.

Massey Ferguson Wins Award for Long Standing Contribution to Zambia’s Development

Massey Ferguson has been recognised by the government of Zambia for its enduring contribution to the country’s commercial development.

Vice President, Guy Scott presented the farm machinery manufacturer with the Award for Long Standing Brand at Zambia’s 50th Anniversary Independence Ball in Lusaka.

Sue Chuzu, Marketing and Communications Manager, AGCO Zambia receives the Award for long standing Brand

Sue Chuzu, Marketing and Communications Manager, AGCO Zambia receives the Award for long standing Brand

Massey Ferguson tractors, harvesting machinery and farm equipment have been helping to develop the country’s agriculture for over 60 years. Today, the brand and its familiar red-liveried machines continue to play a major role in Zambian farming.

MF tractors are the country’s top selling models with an estimated 20% market share.  Massey Ferguson is also an integral part of AGCO’s Future Farm and Training Centre initiative based at Chalimbana near Lusaka.

“This Award Ball gives the government an opportunity to congratulate individuals, families, companies and brands on their impact on the economic, social, historical and financial development of our country,” commented Vice President Scott. He said that the government wished to recognise and commend those who have demonstrated “prolonged existence and performance within the areas of commerce, trade and industry and, specifically, those who have maintained excellence and continuity over the years.”

Receiving the award on behalf of Massey Ferguson, Sue Chuzu, Marketing and Communications Manager, AGCO Zambia said: “It’s a great honour and privilege for us to receive the award. We would like to thank the farmers who have supported Massey Ferguson throughout its long presence in Zambia and also the Zambian government for creating a conducive environment which has helped agriculture to thrive.”

Massey Ferguson was one of only four organisations to receive the Long Standing Brand Award

AGCO Partners with USAID to Introduce New Technologies to Zambia

Louisa Parker from AGCO kicks off first Bag2Bulk roadshow with the Mkushi District Commissioner Mr Luka Mwamba and Mabvuto Chisi from Musika.

Louisa Parker from AGCO kicks off first Bag2Bulk roadshow with the Mkushi District Commissioner Mr Luka Mwamba and Mabvuto Chisi from Musika.

AGCO is pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with USAID on a project  in Africa. USAID’s Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative which supports country-driven approaches to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. Through this Presidential initiative, the United States is helping countries transform their own agricultural sectors to grow enough food to sustainably feed their people. The idea is to take new technology into new markets. In this project, called Bag2Bulk, AGCO will be introducing GSI Africa (our local GSI distributor) to mid-sized grain traders in Zambia.

To complement AGCO’s current long-term vision in Zambia, over the next 18 months, AGCO and our partners will hold select activities at the AGCO Future Farm in Lusaka. These events will provide education and demonstrate the benefits of our GSI storage technology. Additionally, topics by our partners will cover grain marketing best practices, financing and more. The goal is to sell a minimum of 40 metal grain silos to grain traders in Zambia which will benefit some 12,000 smallholder farmers who represent 80% of the maize production in the country. Since current on-farm storage options and off farm facilities are sub-optimal resulting in annual post-harvest losses of over 30% from insect, rodent and rot, the grain quality of will not only improve overall trade prices, but will allow traders to handle cereal crops more effectively, store for longer periods of time and sell when prices are optimal.

AGCO’s project partners are:

  • Musika is a Zambian non-profit company that works to stimulate private sector investment in the smallholder market.
  • Sierk Ybema Grain Services is a grain management training and development provider.
  • GSI Africa, our local GSI distributor.

Look for updates following these exciting events from Louisa Parker, Manager External Affairs, Africa & Middle East.

Introducing #AG4Good: Powering the Future

AGCO has proudly partnered with the Zambia 4-H project to help prepare Africa’s children to meet urgent global needs, including hunger, sustainable livelihoods and food security. By 2015, 4-H will equip 250,000 young people in Sub-Saharan Africa with the knowledge and skills needed for improved, sustainable livelihoods. Click here to learn more about the #AG4Good initiative on our Facebook page.
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