Enabling Farmers to Improve Agricultural Prosperity in Africa
Berlin, January 23 2017
The AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata was today a keynote speaker at the sixth annual AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin, Germany. Other keynote speakers at the event included Christian Schmidt, Germany’s Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum and Christian Wulff, Former Federal President of Germany.
A joint initiative of AGCO (a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment), Bayer CropScience, Rabobank, De Lage Landen, Trelleborg and Fuse Connected Services, this year’s Summit focused on ‘Organizing Farmers of the Future.’
Hosted by Gary Collar, AGCO Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Africa and Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa, the summit brought together hundreds of actors in the African agricultural landscape.
Dr. Kalibata emphasized that the adoption and use of appropriate farming tools and machines at all levels of the value chain has the potential to transform the lives of smallholder farmers through increased productivity, expansion of the area under cultivation and reduction of costs. It also eliminates the hard farm labour associated with agricultural production and creates an opportunity for youth engagement.
“All farmers can afford mechanization. However, not all farmers can afford a tractor. Those are two different things. AGCO and other companies they brought together here today are leading critical efforts to identify technologies and business models that will enable even the smallest scale farmers in Africa to improve the way they farm and do better for their families,” she said.
“Co-operation among farmers has proven advantages in the advancement of agriculture,” said Gary Collar, AGCO Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Africa. “As well as giving farmers a voice and pushing for beneficial policies from the grassroots, collaboration can help achieve economies of scale and facilitate access to inputs, credit and markets. Today, technology, particularly through the proliferation of mobile phones and social media in Africa, is providing one of the greatest-ever opportunities for groups to organize themselves into powerful, influential bodies.”
Through presentations and panel discussions, the Summit explored how agribusiness and farmer-based organizations can be aligned as co-creators of rural wealth; how youth and Information and Communication Technology (ITC) can catalyze the organization of farmers in the future, and how maximum ‘value’ can be secured from the value chains for the farmers who participate in them.
Among the panelists were figures from farmer organizations in Africa and Europe including Dr. Theo de Jager, President Pan African Farmers’ Organization, Joachim Rukwied, President German Farmers’ Association, Ishmael Sunga, CEO Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions and Jehiel Oliver, CEO and Founder of Hello Tractor, an innovative shared-economy platform that makes tractor usage affordable to marginalized farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
“AGCO is investing significantly in Africa and growing its local presence there by providing African farmers and African agribusinesses with comprehensive agricultural solutions,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa. “The Company is committed to the transformation of African agriculture based on a strategy of inclusive and sustainable farm mechanization. In 2017, we will be retaining a strong focus and investment in small-scale agriculture, as well as leading the way in high-tech solutions for commercial farmers on the continent.”
Since its premiere in 2012, this AGCO Africa Summit has established itself as an important institution for discussing critical issues impacting Africa’s agricultural development. The Summit has a strong focus on private sector-driven agricultural growth, promoting the idea of agriculture as a business and not a development agenda. The focus of panel topics, discussions and workshops engage with practical real-life examples of leading edge projects and initiatives. The international conference attracts CEOs, industry experts and political leaders with a common interest to accelerate the development of African agriculture.
About the AGCO Africa Summit
Since its premiere in 2012, this AGCO Africa Summit has established itself as an important institution for discussing critical issues impacting Africa’s agricultural development. What sets the AGCO Africa Summit apart from other agricultural conferences is that it has a strong focus on private sector driven agricultural growth, promoting the idea of agriculture as a business and not a development agenda.
The focus of panel topics, discussions and workshops engage with practical real-life examples of leading edge projects and initiatives that are already making an impact which others can learn from. It is a conference of international character, which attracts CEOs, industry experts and political leaders with a common interest to accelerate the development of African agriculture with a strong focus on networking, information exchange and an emphasis on building lasting business partnerships.
The overall aims of the AGCO Africa Summit are:
- Actively engage and lead the international dialogue on the development of the agricultural sector in Africa within the industry and beyond;
- Raise international awareness for the needs of the agricultural sector in Africa with a strong focus on commercial agriculture, as well as on specific interests of key players throughout the value chain including producers, suppliers, manufacturers, processors and the market;
- Highlight concrete solutions and opportunities for engaging in sustainable agricultural development in Africa and by doing so, encourage other companies to do the same;
- Support the spirit of global partnerships and local cooperation, knowledge transfer and sustainability.
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions and supports more productive farming through its full line of equipment and related services. AGCO products are sold through five core brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® precision technologies and farm optimization services, and are distributed globally through a combination of approximately 3,000 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2015, AGCO had net sales of $7.5 billion. For more information, visit http://www.AGCOcorp.com. For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.
Manager External Affairs, Africa
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