AGCO Corp., a Duluth-based tractor manufacturer, has launched a 371-acre farm in Zambia that will help local farmers understand how to use its equipment.
The AGCO Global Learning Centre, near the capital city of Lusaka, will provide courses on basic agronomy and general mechanization for small-scale farmers, while commercial farmers will have the chance to test out AGCO’s tractors and combines.
The facility will also offer information on grain storage techniques.
AGCO is planning to invest $100 million in Africa over the next few years, positioning itself for a wave of mechanization driven by population growth and the need for greater agricultural efficiency across the continent.
During a May 31 conference call, U.S. Ambassador Mark Storella said AGCO’s facility represented Zambia’s opportunities.
With about 13 million people in an area larger than Texas, Zambia is basically flat with abundant water resources and very little cultivated land, Mr. Storella said.
It’s also a stable democracy on a continent known for turbulence, he said.
To AGCO, the country’s business climate made it attractive.
““The centrality of Zambia’s location and sound investment policies will make this institution well positioned to effectively serve the local farmers and the rest of the surrounding region,” said Nuradin Osman, AGCO’s director for Africa and the Middle East, in a news release.
Visit www.agcocorp.com for more information.
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