The small and medium-scale farming sector is growing steadily in Zambia. These farmers’ needs are growing and one of the big steps forward is the purchase of a tractor. Saro Agro positioned themselves very well in the smaller tractor market, as could be seen when they showcased their wide variety of tractor models and ranges at Agritech.
Calvin Salah, Saro Agro’s Marketing Manager says: “We’ve been here from the first Agritech and we always felt that we have to take part in every successive one. We can’t afford not to be here. This is a good platform for people in the agricultural sector to get together and see what all the stakeholders are offering. Saro Agro is a bit of an exception to most of the other players with our wide range of products for small to commercial farmers.”
Herman Rohm is in charge of Saro Agro’s tractor division. “We offer three brands of tractors – Tafe from India, Kubota from Japan and Landini from Italy,” he says.
“Our Landini tractors range from 20 hp to 350 hp (14,7 to 257 kW), the two Kubota-models we offer deliver 85 hp and 95 hp (62,5 and 70 kW), and the Tafe-range stretches from 35 hp up to 100 hp (26 to 73,5 kW). Our biggest seller is Tafe, which is quite big in the emerging and small-scale market. Some financing is available for small- and medium-scale farmers through Agleaseco.”
Saro Agro also serves the councils who use a large number of Tafe tractors with trailers for refuse removal, and they regularly tender for government departments. According to Herman, this is also a secure and growing market. Without a sufficient, prompt supply of spare parts, even the best tractor becomes a piece of useless metal.
Therefore, Saro Agro carefully maintains proper stock levels to keep all the tractors they supply running at all times. “Spare parts are expensive to keep in stock, but we are compelled to have them ready to supply our farmers. That is what the customer needs. His tractor has to be fully operational at all times,” Herman says.
Saro Agro’s sufficient spare parts go with their capable and well-equipped field service teams. “Unlike a motor car, you can’t drive your tractor in for a service. We have four service teams working from Lusaka, and one each in Mkushi and Kitwe, so we don’t have to cover these areas from Lusaka. We are planning to expand this service, especially for our smaller farms,” he says.
Combination sales are a well-received concept in Zambia. Even for the emerging and small-scale farmers, sales packages are very popular. At Saro Agro, the customer can buy his tractor in combination with a plough, sprayer, ripper, planter, or even more of the implements. Commercial farmers would generally buy a new tractor that requires a new implement with it. “Sometimes we sell a tractor with a generator. There is always need for something from our huge variety of products,” Herman says.
Japhet Mwaijibe is an engineer and Deputy Works Manager at Saro Agro, involved in marketing and manufacturing. He says: “We manufacture trailers designed to be drawn by tractors. We build different sizes, from one to sixteen tonnes, in flatbed, drop-side or tipping configurations. A customer can also order a custom-made trailer where we will do the design, or get the specifications from him.”
Saro Agro’s tractors, trailers and wide variety of other products are also available at their branch outlets in Lusaka, Livingstone, Chipata, Mpongwe,Kitwe and Mkushi, and they also have sub-dealers that market their tractors.
Visit Saro’s website at www.sarozambia.com, contact Calvin Salah at +26 (0)97-571-4426 or +26 (0)21-138-7000-9/241477 or send him an e-mail to email@example.com to find out more.