AFRICA – Accelerating Investments for an Agricultural Revolution

  AFRICA – Accelerating Investments for an Agricultural Revolution

        AGCO’s Third Africa Summit Focuses on Innovation in the Field

Business Wire

DULUTH, Ga. -- January 20, 2014

AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE: AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and
distributor of agricultural equipment, today held its third annual AGCO Africa
Summit in Berlin, Germany. The Summit is a joint initiative of AGCO, Bayer
CropScience, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft,
Rabobank, De Lage Landen, and the John A. Kufuor Foundation. This year’s
Summit focused on innovation – the application of technology and science to
tackle and overcome the challenges inherent in Africa’s agriculture, and to
exploit the opportunities to raise Africa’s agricultural productivity levels
for all farmers. “Africa lies at the heart of what promises to be a new
agricultural revolution,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and
Chief Executive Officer of AGCO. “A new roadmap for ensuring a sustainable
food supply has to be developed – harnessing the expertise of the private
industry sector, and the knowledge of local communities and farmers.”

Rob Smith, AGCO Senior Vice President & General Manager Europe, Africa and
Middle East, John Agyekum ...

Rob Smith, AGCO Senior Vice President & General Manager Europe, Africa and
Middle East, John Agyekum Kufuor, Former President of Ghana & Chairman of The
John A. Kufuor Foundation and Martin Richenhagen, AGCO Chairman, President &
CEO at the AGCO Africa Summit 2014. (Photo: Business Wire)

A key element in Africa’s agricultural revolution is intensification and
suitable mechanization. Currently, the majority of power for farming in Africa
is provided by draught animals or human hands. This not only severely limits
productivity but the hard work for so little return also makes agriculture an
unattractive occupation. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) farm power (from human, animal and engine driven sources)
is a crucial input in the agricultural production process. Mechanization of
farming has allowed an increase to the area that can be planted and has
contributed toward increased yields.

The FAO study 'Contribution of Farm Power to Smallholder Livelihoods in
sub-Saharan Africa' states that there are significant economic and social
benefits to be reaped from farm-power mechanization:

  *economic: increasing the efficiency of labor, reducing costs, increasing
    the area cultivated, undertaking more timely production, improving the
    quality of cultivation, increasing yields, adopting new crops, reducing
    harvest and post-harvest losses, and earning a rental income through
    hiring farm-power services to others.
  *social: reducing drudgery and workloads, improving safety, gaining
    prestige, and encouraging younger and more innovative people to remain in
    rural areas and work on the land.

“In the last decades, sub-Saharan Africa has faced significant challenges in
reducing hunger, food security and poverty,” said Rob Smith, AGCO Senior Vice
President and General Manager for Europe, Africa & Middle East. “However,
Africa has a huge growth potential in the agricultural sector because nowhere
else in the world is there such an abundance of untapped resources. That is a
major driver for AGCO to be engaged in the World Economic Forum’s Grow Africa
Initiative and why we are committed to the New Alliance for Food Security and
Nutrition of the G8.” 15% of the world’s arable land lies in Africa, of which
more than 80% remains uncultivated. Pre-1960, Africa provided 10% of the
world’s food, that figure is less than 1% today. After decades of decline, the
sub-Saharan agricultural sector – 80% of which consists of smallholder farmers
– finally started to grow over the last few years.

“Innovation and investment has driven agricultural productivity to new highs
in developed countries, and now these resources should be redirected towards a
continent that has the means and potential to feed the world,” explained Mr.
Richenhagen. AGCO continues to be engaged in Africa and has developed a
strategy that focuses on investment in human capital to improve farming
know-how, improvement of distribution and expansion of AGCO products and
services.

AGCO plans to continue to collaborate on establishing further demonstration
farms and training centers in different African countries. These facilities
will allow local farmers and dealers to be trained on new farming technology.
Currently, Zambia has an AGCO Future Farm and Training Center already
operating, and it has yielded its first harvest of maize and soybeans in the
last year. A key component to the success at Zambia’s Chalimbana Farm and
Training Center are the strong partnerships that have been forged. The purpose
of these partnerships is to bring together subject matter experts from various
backgrounds that can create a roadmap to educate and train farmers on how to
increase their agricultural productivity.

Through its global tractor brand, Massey Ferguson, AGCO has more than 50 years
of experience in African agriculture. During this time African farmers have
come to rely on the quality, reliability and support provided by Massey
Ferguson, which was a major player in the power farming revolution,
mechanizing and increasing farming efficiency across the continent. Recently,
AGCO started a joint venture with companies owned by the Algerian government
to locally produce Massey Ferguson tractors. This venture will continue to
build on innovation in the field, and mechanization as well as encouraging
farmers how to become more productive.

This year’s AGCO Africa Summit turnout was exceptional, and AGCO is proud and
excited at the success of the journey started together three years ago.

ABOUT AGCO

AGCO, Your Agriculture Company, (NYSE: AGCO), is a global leader focused on
the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery. AGCO
supports more productive farming through a full line of tractors, combines,
hay tools, sprayers, forage equipment, tillage, implements, grain storage and
protein production systems, as well as related replacement parts. AGCO
products are sold through five core machinery brands, Challenger®, Fendt®,
GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra® and are distributed globally through 3,150
independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2012, AGCO had
net sales of $10 billion.www.AGCOcorp.com

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Contact:

AGCO
Rebecca Fabian, +1.646.415.8518
rf@stockheim-media.com
 
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