The AGCO Agribusiness Qualification’s Work Placement Program
As the AGCO Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ) program comes to the end of a fast paced and exciting first year, the students are participating in work placements across different AGCO offices in Africa and the U.S.
The AGCO Agribusiness Qualification’s Work Placement ProgramAs the AGCO Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ) program comes to the end of a fast paced and exciting first year, the students are participating in work placements across different AGCO offices in Africa and the U.S.
The AGCO Agribusiness Qualification program (AAQ) is a unique program unlike anything that is offered in Africa currently. This AGCO initiative is a collaboration with Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom to design the curriculum, Strathmore University to facilitate the learning, and The Bridge Africa to facilitate the work readiness of all the 20 students in the first cohort.
The AAQ program is part of the AGCO Africa strategy focused on advancing farming know-how and improving distribution networks for Africa. As the program comes to the end of a fast paced and exciting first year, we participate in work placements across different AGCO offices in Africa and the Headquarters in the United States.
The AGCO Agribusiness Qualification Work Placement Program Instills Core Competencies & Develops Business Acumen
The work placement module, being the last module of the year, looks to instil the AGCO core competencies and provide a more thorough understanding of the business. The AAQ placements are challenged with work based projects that will add value to an aspect of AGCO’s value chain and to acquire a professional work ethic over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. Of the 20 students, 4 are based in the AGCO global headquarters in Duluth, Georgia, U.S. A further 12 students are based at the AGCO office in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the remaining 4 are at the Future Farm in Lusaka, Zambia.
The work placement element of the AAQ provides a fantastic platform to learn firsthand how the business operates and to find ways to add value as well as customize processes that can help Africa feed itself, and soon enough the world.
To gain first-hand insights into the program, each of the AGCO Agribusiness Qualification students gave us their feedback:
AGCO Global Headquarters – Duluth, Georgia, U.S.:
Human Resource and Global Business
“Working in the HR department has been quite an experience seeing how the work place is a puzzle and everything fits together globally and regionally to form the successful organization we know as AGCO. The work culture is what gets me every time. The company is made up of the best team of people that I have had the privilege to work with.”
Strategy and Integration
“As a trainee in the Strategy and Integration function, I am privileged to be a part of a team that works to ensure that AGCO is strategically placed to provide high tech solutions to farmers all over the world while ensuring profitable growth. AGCO, through the AAQ program, has not only built my competence in agribusiness but also given me the opportunity to effectively revolutionize agriculture, in particular Africa’s agricultural sector. Through this program I have been contributing towards achieving food security in Africa in line with the UN’s second sustainable development goal; Zero Hunger.”
Sales Product Training
“It is a great pleasure learning about the rich history of the company and its guiding philosophies. I am excited and honored to meet some of AGCO’s great leaders to learn from and discuss their experiences that have led to their successes. I am looking to leverage the knowledge I received on the SalesForce system and my team to create a new “training community”. This will include product knowledge, quality and assurance capabilities to replace a legacy tool, and create new collaboration platforms between product training and the field.”
Industrial Finance and Analysis
“I have always believed that technology can, and should be leveraged to solve humanity’s problems; like food insecurity. I therefore share AGCO’s vision of high tech solutions for farmers feeding the world and the commitment to farmers and the people working for them.”
AGCO Africa Headquarters – Johannesburg, South Africa
Wallace Thoya Baya
Business Intelligence, Marketing
“The placement opportunity in the Johannesburg office has been a great experience so far and an incredible platform for exposure to practical farm activities. In the first four days of placement, my colleagues and I had a tangible experience in operating Massey Ferguson tractors during cultivation at the Kestell training center. Driving the Massey Ferguson global series was both a fun activity and a learning opportunity. I look forward to more eye opening experiences in the coming days.”
“I am excited about the AGCO Agribusiness Qualification Programme’s Work Placement Module because the hands-on experience it offers is something that enhances our understanding of the agricultural mechanization business in Africa. The training offered in farms, the wealth of knowledge provided by the Managers and the stories shared during dinners are encouragements that Africa’s food potential is just a tractor away from being unlocked.”
“AGCO has a great plan for Africa and it will be seen by the success of the AGCO Future Farm project which will offer training on mechanization and precision farming to African farmers. Thinking about how futuristic the future farm should be and how people will be able to get the best technology, training and support wherever they are is the most efficient thing a farmer would need.”
Vendor Management, Finance
“It’s been such a memorable week and I feel honored to be given the opportunity to experience working in such an amazing company. A company that recognizes the one commonly absent component of transformation readiness which is support for transformation leadership. Transformations depend on talented people spurring them, with access to the right tools and AGCO has been super supportive on this. I feel really privileged to be working with such inspiring people and an amazing team.”
Project Management, Strategy and Integration
“It has been an exciting session of holistic learning in the office environment and on the farm. I have learned to drive tractors and operate a few implements like ploughs and harrows. I have also learned a great deal about the agricultural machinery business by interacting with experienced colleagues working for AGCO in South Africa.”
“The placement has given me an opportunity to put theory into practice. I am excited to work with a diverse group of people to add and gain value.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to work with AGCO Africa in Johannesburg. My highlight so far was the visit to Kestell Training center, I got a chance to drive the MF 8700 series and operate the implements. I now have a better understanding of the sales operations and various product models offered by AGCO. I look forward to learning more as I work with the sales team to provide mechanization solutions for farmers.”
Strategy and Integration
“Africa is ensuring the advancement of knowledge through classroom learning experience and exploration of industrial approaches to providing solutions to world biggest problem; food security. The six weeks at AGCO Africa looks promising in that, it is creating the opportunity to learn from the industry experts and be part of the AGCO team creating innovations around agricultural transformation using technology to provide efficient, effective and sustainable solutions across the agricultural sector.”
“I am excited to learn more and get a broader perspective of AGCO operations in a Finance role as well as other departments. I am also excited to understand how AGCO is helping to ensure a food secure Africa through the provision of turnkey mechanization solutions in agriculture.”
“It has been an amazing experience so far interacting with a wonderful After Sales department under our manager Richard Heald. Got to practice driving tractors and using various implements such as harrowing, zone till and ploughing.”
“Learning is a process and the placement in Johannesburg has already proved it by giving me an opportunity to increase my knowledge and skills with an amazing team. The placement kicked off with a great induction from my supervisors. The training on product knowledge at the AGCO training center in Kestell was significant in laying a good starting point for practical farm experience. This will certainly be an experience to remember.”
“It is humbling for a company to partner with other institutions to invest in youths. It is a vision, a long term plan for a food secure continent with a structured industry process for the future of humanity. The work placement is exciting as it puts learning into practice by embracing the diversity of cultures from supporting supervisors, who double up as mentors and coaches.”
AGCO Africa Future Farm – Lusaka, Zambia
Farm in a Box
“I am excited to work on the machinery contracting side of the Farm in a Box project. I believe this project holds the key to mechanizing smallholder farms in Africa and getting African youth involved in agriculture.”
Farm in a Box
“I am excited about being part of the team that will actualize the next biggest initiative by AGCO that is the Farm in a Box. This concept will help empower middle-class emerging farmers and small-scale farmers with the necessary farm resources needed to improve production and increase crop yields. This will contribute to the overall agenda of securing the future by ensuring that everyone is food secure.”
Farm in a Box
“The work placement at the AGCO Africa Future Farm is instrumental in complementing what we learnt in class as we will have an on-site experience on the various integrated agricultural solutions. I expect to have exposure to the best farming practices that incorporates mechanization to make food production profitable and sustainable.”
Farm in a Box
“My work placement at the AGCO Afica Future Farm in Zambia has started well and my experience has been amazing. So far, I have gained practical skills on how to operate a tractor and do various farm operations like ripping and mowing. I am looking forward to getting more practical experience to enrich my knowledge on the agricultural value chain in crop production (Agronomy and mechanization), the use of FUSE technology, and GSI on grain handling to attain sustainable and environmentally friendly food production. Additionally, I am passionate to learn more about the Farm in a Box concept and customize the system in other regions.”
In conclusion, as the program continues into its second year, we are looking to learn more and build capacity for Africa to serve Africa from Africa.
Written by: AAQ student Ivy Kimani