John Deere shows faith in SA’s agri sector with big presence at NAMPO


Visitors to the world’s largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment John Deere’s trade show stand at the South African Agricultural Trade Show (NAMPO) can expect to be delighted at the expansive floor space it will occupy at this year’s event. At 3000 sqm, it is its largest showing at NAMPO with John Deere adding  a new VIP area for its guests as well as a new merchandise store opposite the main stand.

The stand is located at the north of the NAMPO park in proximity of the livestock centre Caltex Hall and within walking distance of the NAMPO Hall, the epicentre of NAMPO. The stand will have the capacity to welcome more than 300 guests at a time. 2019 also marks the 53rd year of John Deere’s association with the trade show.

Jacques Taylor, MD, John Deere Sub-Saharan Africa says, “Agriculture is all about committed relationships and is evident from our presence at NAMPO for over half a century. We remain passionate about helping farmers in Africa and we will continue to work with them and invest our resources to ensure they are more productive and make agriculture more sustainable.”

“The agri sector has shown weak performance over the past few years battling droughts and a sluggish economy. That said, NAMPO is an important platform to showcase the potential of the sector and one of the reasons why we as John Deere continue to support it fully.”

John Deere will launch a slew of new products at this year’s event amongst them, the 4240 Universal Display – a portable screen suited to open station tractor-driven field operations – which allows for satellite farming and site-specific crop management, traceable on the Precision Ag application.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the world population is estimated to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, and to feed that number of people, global food production will need to grow by over 70%. For Africa, which is projected to be home to about 2 billion people by then, farm productivity must accelerate at a faster rate than the global average to prevent food insecurity.

Already, farmers in Africa are being sensitised on the internet of things and are conversely using these technologies to better their production and distribution capabilities.

According to Taylor, innovation has been at the heart of agriculture, from invention of ploughs to the introduction of tractors, the world of farming has adopted technologies much quicker than it is given credit for.

For example, the 4240 Universal Display, an affordable and portable way to put Precision Ag into practice allowing farmers to manage crop growth in real time. While it is still early to evaluate the impacts of digitalisation on food security, in terms of productivity, tangible benefits are there for all to see.

The display can be used in conjunction with another new offering from John Deere – the AutoTrac Universal 300 (ATU 300) steering kit. The kit is a mobile guidance solution that adds more productivity to farming operations throughout the growing season. The benefits of the ATU 300 over its predecessor include an improved on-track line performance, a faster line acquisition capability, improved diagnostics and easy-to-use calibration that allows for a quicker setup.

The John Deere stand will also offer a glimpse into its More Tools option, an online platform on its Operations Centre platform that enables farmers to seamlessly share its data with other partners in its operations to help with timeous decision making.

Additionally, the factory-fitted track system on John Deere’s S700 series of combine harvesters – which cut and thresh a variety of grain crops – will also be launched at this year’s NAMPO, the M4000 series self-propelled sprayers, as well as the first to-market intelligence package for vineyard and orchard sprayers.

“NAMPO provides John Deere with a unique opportunity to speak to farmers and demonstrate how they can use our products to better respond to the challenges. This new philosophy also underpins our new brand strategy – Believe in Greater, together we believe we can usher in a new dawn in agriculture technology on the continent,” says Taylor in conclusion.

“Technology pry’s open untapped potential for farmers to improve food production. From precision farming to an efficient food supply chain, technology could bring major economic and social benefits.”