Practical, hands-on experience of a range of Massey Ferguson equipment was one of the highlights for delegates from 11 countries who attended the SACAU Young Agripreneurs Forum hosted by AGCO Africa at its Future Farm in Zambia.
The packed three-day programme focused on farm mechanization and the business of agriculture.
SACAU (Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions) is committed to a transformative agenda for agricultural development. A key emphasis is working with young farmers and, since 2014, SACAU has run an annual regional young farmers’ forum. The aim of the forums is to create a positive image for agriculture among the next generation and develop role models from within the sector.
While at the AGCO Future Farm, the young agripreneurs spent time in the classroom, workshop and on the farm itself. As well as the chance to drive MF equipment, among the topics covered over the three days were the role of mechanization in primary production, how technology is changing the face of farming, plus business and entrepreneurship skills.
“We were delighted to host the Youth Forum,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa. “This is exactly the kind of educational role the farm was set up for. Now more than ever, it is vital to encourage the new generation of farmers in Africa who are crucial to the future and advancement of agriculture.”
Ishmael Sunga, CEO of SACAU commented: “Young people are setting a new pace in driving agricultural transformation in Africa. The young champions that we work with really are leaders in their communities, challenging the negative public perceptions about farming and showing that agriculture is a dynamic and, most importantly, a profitable career to pursue.”
The AGCO Future farm is based just outside Lusaka. A 150ha working farm, it demonstrates the value of mechanisation, technology systems and best agronomic practices through real-life experience. It is a centre for developing leading-edge agriculture for Africa.