[PROMOTIONAL] This announcement is being made in conjunction with the company’s sponsorship of the US-Africa Business Summit being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during February.
The first element of S.M.A.R.T. is the Small Farmer Solutions that John Deere has developed and introduced over the past five years which allow a customer to have a one stop shopping experience.
“John Deere has previously introduced a complete line of tractors and implements that have the features and affordability required for smaller African customers,” says Lafras Cronje, Marketing Manager for Sub Saharan Africa. “Mechanising for Higher Yields, the second part of S.M.A.R.T., leverages the Small Farmer Solutions to put more income in the farmer’s pocket,” says Cronje.
Yield increases of three or more times are possible as farmers adopt mechanisation and integrate new farming practices. Getting higher yield from the same amount of land is what makes mechanisation a key element of a sustainable approach to food security and improving incomes for small farmers and contractors.
Access to Financing is critical for small farmers and contractors. “We recognized quickly that our customers needed to be able to work with banks that understood agriculture, understood mechanisation, and could relate to these customers who would soon have higher yields and new income from offering contracting services,” says Jason Brantley, Managing Director for Sub Saharan Africa. As a result John Deere Finance has partnered with local banks in many African countries to offer special finance solutions.
Reliability for Lower Costs and Technology Education complete the S.M.A.R.T. campaign elements. John Deere products are designed to be reliable, and they are backed with servicing dealers and spare parts support that can make them lower cost to own and operate over time.
Technology Education is a key element, with John Deere already having trained thousands of farmers and contractors in Africa on how to leverage mechanisation to improve yields and increase profits. Additional sessions are planned in East and West Africa in 2016. “We realized that we had to take the training to the farmer because they valued that more than traveling long distances to training centers,” according to Brantley.
“This approach has been especially important for improving access to training for women, which is a key goal for us.” With a mix of mobile training units, regional Outpost Days, and sessions at existing facilities in Africa, John Deere is ensuring that more small farmers and contractors have an opportunity for education and development.
“Africa has been an important market to John Deere for many years and we are proud to have a focus on both smaller and larger farmers. We have company offices in Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Accra as well as independent dealers across the continent that back up that focus with investment,” says Brantley. “We believe the progress of the last few years clearly shows the way forward, which is why we’re committed to helping even more farmers in Africa raise productivity and prosper the S.M.A.R.T. way.”
John Deere (www.JohnDeere.com) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure.for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure.