John Deere, an American Corporation that manufactures agricultural, construction, and forestry machinery will tomorrow announce major steps that they are taking to change Uganda and Africa’s agricultural sector in 2019.
The announcements will be made at the 11th edition of the Information Communication and Technology for Development Conference (ICT4D) which kicks off tomorrow at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
In an exclusive interview with Geoff Andersen, Deere’s Regional Director for Agricultural Strategic Planning, he revealed that, “Deere is incredibly proud to promote this year’s conference as validation of our ongoing investments in smallholder agriculture on the African continent,” Andersen revealed.
He added that, “These investments are concentrated in sustainable mechanization, accessible finance, integrated technologies and citizenship support of rural smallholder farming communities.”
Smallholder farmers are increasing production, improving soil health, raising incomes and livelihoods through their investments in John Deere’s program. The program provides a comprehensive suite of mechanization, finance, technology and services to deliver sustainable solutions to smallholder farmers.
The program also supports the introduction of Conservation Agriculture like the use of rippers instead of disc ploughing, improving soil structure & reducing moisture loss.
Technology solutions enabling contract farming between smallholder farmers and mechanization service providers are essential to the advancement of agriculture across the African continent.
Deere has partnered with Hello Tractor to connect tractor owners to farmers through an Internet-of-Things (IoT)-enabled digital solution that bridges the gap between manual and mechanized farming. The service enables farmers to request affordable tractor services, while providing enhanced security to tractor owners through remote asset tracking and virtual monitoring. Through technology, the company is creating sustainable business opportunities for compact tractor owners, while ensuring smallholder farmers have affordable and convenient access to mechanization services.
“There is no doubt agricultural mechanization will have a positive impact on Africa’s agricultural productivity in the future. The magnitude of that impact – and how quickly tractors can benefit society – will largely depend on the private sector, government and the public working together.” Andersen said.
The collaboration between John Deere and banking institutions like Opportunity Bank in Uganda, equipment dealer partners like Mascor in Uganda, and technology innovators like Hello Tractor mark a significant step toward bringing this positive impact to the region.
The John Deere Foundation is also supporting smallholder farmers in Africa through a $5million grant to the One Acre Fund over 5-years for activities in 7 countries including Uganda.