AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, welcomed delegates from 11 countries attending the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions’ (SACAU) Young Agripreneurs Forum to its Future Farm in Zambia for an in-depth three-day programme covering farm mechanization and the business of agriculture.
SACAU is committed to a transformative agenda for agricultural development which is growth-oriented and enterprise-development focused. A key emphasis is working with young farmers and, since 2014, SACAU has run an annual regional young farmers’ forum. The aim of the forums is to create a positive image for agriculture among the next generation and develop role models from within the sector.
While with AGCO, the young agripreneurs spent time in the classroom, workshop and on the farm. Among the topics covered were the role of mechanization in primary production, how technology is changing the face of farming, plus business and entrepreneurship skills.
Delegates were able to get familiar with AGCO’s leading brands of agricultural machinery including Challenger, Fendt, Massey and Valtra, together with the Company’s products and services aimed specifically at supporting African agriculture. A highlight was practical, hands-on experience with the range of Massey Ferguson equipment which includes tractors, harvesting machinery, hay & forage tools, implements and materials handlers.
The AGCO Future farm is based just outside Lusaka. A 150ha working farm, it demonstrates the value of mechanisation, technology systems and best agronomic practices through real-life experience. It is a centre for developing leading-edge agriculture for Africa.
“We were delighted to host the Youth Forum at our AGCO Future Farm,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa. “This is exactly the kind of educational role the farm was set up for. Now more than ever, it is vital to encourage the new generation of farmers in Africa who are crucial to the future and advancement of agriculture. Mechanisation and technology touch farmers no matter where they are in terms of development. It applies to those who are just starting to mechanize for the first time, to professional agribusiness seeking to raise their game and to entrepreneurs wanting to develop farmer services like mechanized contracting.”
Ishmael Sunga, CEO of SACAU commented: “Young people are setting a new pace in driving agricultural transformation in Africa. The young champions that we work with really are leaders in their communities, challenging the negative public perceptions about farming and showing that agriculture is a dynamic and, most importantly, a profitable career to pursue.”