Farmers from all over once again had an excellent look and feel opportunity of prime equipment during the recent AFGRI Farmers’ day in Mkushi.
This yearly event, which has been running for the past three years, brings agricultural equipment suppliers into one arena to showcase and demonstrate their machines. Farmers came from far and wide to see how the latest technologically advanced machines, as well as stalwart workhorses, do their thing.
“It was a day of sharing knowledge, and I believe our farmers were able to walk away with a lot of information to make well-informed purchase decisions next season,” Katuna Sinyangwe, AFGRI Sales and Marketing Manager: Equipment, in Zambia says. “It was also a practical day. It helped farmers to see how our equipment works in real farming conditions.”
AFGRI demonstrated the latest technology in their 8R series of tractors and the new SF3 guidance accuracy. For the first time in Zambia, they also revealed the new 730 Flexible Draper combine header that tremendously cuts back the amount of header loss when harvesting soya beans. Their equipment specialists from Orthman, LEMKEN, John Deere Financial and RovicLeers Africa flew up from South Africa to attend this special day and assist in any questions the farmers had.
Katuna stated that he is glad farmers asked the experts who manufacture these machines many questions. “It will give them many advantages above the rest, since questions concerning the benefits as well as the efficiency of these products are crucial in making the right decisions,” he says. “I believe by now all the farmers know that we are the dealers of John Deere in Zambia and therefore we can offer tractors catering for every possible application for every possible farmer. Now we also offer the multipurpose 5E Utility tractor series with a kilowatt range from 37,4 to 74,6.”
The event was well-attended by commercial farmers and the sizes of the machines displayed were right up their alley. Even John Deere’s huge and latest 7-series combine harvester was shining with pride. But although it was largely a commercial field day, AFGRI also presented tractors for smaller farmers.
To show their willingness and ability to support the small-scale farming sector, AFGRI also demonstrated equipment suitable for small farmers. AFGRI showed that they are equipped to help them to grow their businesses over time, getting to be more profitable and efficient in their farming practice. Wimpie Bothma, AGRI Equipment Branch Manager in Mkushi, emphasised that events of this nature are very important for the smaller farmers to gain real experience. “We don’t just speak about equipment and try to sell it. We get into the fields with the farmer, let them have the feel and have an experience. If a tractor passes through with an implement, they can get behind it, dig into the soil and see the results for themselves.”
The other equipment suppliers also did a great job displaying the best that they have to offer to make farming ventures more profitable. Stara Zambia displayed some of their equipment, ranging from their variable lime spreader to drawn sprayers, and Agricon displayed and demonstrated their top of the range Case and Kuhn equipment. But agriculture can go nowhere without including the whole product spectrum, and equipment is useless without input suppliers.
“The last two years the annual field day just included the agricultural equipment suppliers in Mkushi, but this year we decided to do it a bit different, involving all our local Mkushi agricultural input suppliers that were interested to join,” Wimpie says. “In total we had 15 suppliers participating on the day, he says. “They ranged from well-known chemical suppliers like Agri-Wes, ATS, Syngenta, Amiran and E and G Agri Services, to the irrigation specialists, Aqua Aura and Agrico.
The seed company, SeedCo, was also there to display their products. Our local feed and animal care supplier, Raptors, did not disappoint. Financial institutions, Stanbic and Zanaco, were also present to offer expert advice to the farmers on how they can help them to expand their business. The lively one-on-one interaction between farmers and suppliers proved to be beneficial for everyone and contributed to a very successful day.”
“A day like this is important, because this is the point when farmers are about to harvest their wheat. This is the good time to show them what sort of equipment is available especially for them to plan for next season,” Katuna says.
He disclosed that during the demo field day John Deere did not exhibit any new tractor models, but farmers should be on the look-out for new models that are to be unveiled within the next few months. “Most of the new equipment, especially on the John Deere tractor side, will be launched soon.”
Although farmers’ belts have been tightened over the past few years due to the drought and unfavourable political conditions, the attendance was very good. “I for one believe that the agricultural sector of Zambia is at long last beginning to turn for the better,” Katuna says. The overall outcome of the day was very positive, and it indicates that next year’s event will only be better!
AFGRI caters for every farmer in Zambia, including you. Contact Katuna Sinyangwe at +260-762-172-412 or email@example.com for more information.