Zimbabwean Agro Scientist Appreciated in AGCO Berlin Summit
The Summit Promotes Transforming Agriculture on the African ContinentFebruary 04th, 2016
At the summit, AGCO signed a memorandum of understanding with CNFA (Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture), a non-profit based in Washington, to jointly promote agricultural mechanization within the continent as a way to improve productivity and food security, primarily among the owners of small farms. AGCO also announced the results of its “Africa Ambassador Contest 2016” concerning the innovative ideas and business concepts for the improvement of the continent’s agricultural sector that were submitted by the African youth who participated.
This year’s summit honored as its “2016 Ambassador” Nyasha Mudukuti, an agro scientist from Zimbabwe, who is a member of the Global Farmers Network and has participated in a number of conferences dealing with food security both in Africa and the U.S. Ms. Mudukui is an honors graduate in biotechnology from Chinhoyi University of Technology. In addition to her professional career as a researcher, she is growing sorghum on a family farm in rural Chikombedzi in Zimbabwe. As the summit’s ambassador, Ms. Mudukuti is obliged to report bi-weekly about trends and developments in African agriculture as well as AGCO’s activities in Africa on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in posts, uploads and video messages during the one year contract period. She also received a $10,000 cash award and is to be reimbursed for all reasonable traveling expenses related to participation as the AGCO Africa ambassador.
Rob Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Europe, Africa and Middle East, said in a news release that the corporation aims to ensure women farmers, young farmers and small-holder fame families can participate and benefit from mechanization. AGCO’s Massey Ferguson brand has launched an “Emerging Farmers’ Mechanization Package” that provides farmers access to modern equipment at an affordable price, according to the release. The package includes a Massey Fergusson tractor and accompanying implements such as a harrow, plough and planter. Since its launch in 2012, the summit has addressed issues such as challenges due to decreased agricultural land, increasing populations demand, and has promoted the idea that farming is a business and not a development agenda.
According to the release, there are some 60 million farms in Africa and of these 77% are manned by subsistence farmers, who farm by hand. Nineteen percent are ‘small-holder’ or ‘emerging farmers’ using a small amount of mechanization and the remainder, around 4%, are mid-sized or large-scale commercial farmers. The summit is a joint initiative with Bayer Crop Science, Rabobank and De Lage Landen and attracts an estimated 200 attendees including senior executives and African officials. AGCO products are distributed globally through a combination of approximately 3,100 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries.
References and Links
Maurycy Barański, Berlin Global