Summit aims to introduce African farmers to mechanized operations

With a goal of helping farmers throughout the continent of Africa mechanize their operations, representatives from U.S. farm equipment company AGCO are attending the 10th Biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The package is built around Massey Ferguson's MF Series tractors and has been developed with farmers new to mechanization in mind.

“To be sustainable, farm mechanization needs to be environmentally compatible, economically-viable, affordable and adapted to local conditions,” Rob Smith, AGCO senior vice president and general manager for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said. “The Massey Ferguson Farm Mechanization Package -- you could call it a ‘farm in a box’ -- is designed to make staying on the land, or indeed, returning to the land a viable choice. It's especially designed to encourage more young people to get involved in agribusiness."

AGCO officials have been assisting African farmers with transformation by introducing them to inclusive and sustainable mechanization methods. AGCO has partnered with non-profit Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) in an effort to speed up mechanization and boost productivity and security of Africa's farms.

Massey Ferguson's new line of equipment includes harrows, ploughs, subsoilers, planters, trailers and transport boxes. AGCO and CNFA's joint efforts will include giving African farmers access to CNFA’s Farm Service Centres and Agricultural Dealers.

“Among one of CNFA’s flagship approaches is the development of privately operated agricultural dealer outlets and Farm Service Centres across Africa to improve smallholder farmers’ access to high-quality agricultural inputs and services,” CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy said. “In conjunction with better access to inputs, agricultural mechanization is also a critical element in making Africa more food secure. Through this partnership with Massey Ferguson, CNFA will be able to reach more farmers and demonstrate on the ground how this machinery and technology can significantly increase crop yields, thereby generating higher incomes for both their families and communities.”

Massey Ferguson Vice President of Marketing for Europe, Africa and the Middle East Thierry Lhotte agreed.

“Massey Ferguson is committed to providing high-quality machinery and appropriate technology to suit all types of farm operations all over the world,” he said. "We are a true full-line supplier of farm equipment, providing solutions to farmers no matter what their farm size or type of operation.”

The U.S.-Africa Business Summit ends on Thursday.

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