Govt to access affordable farm machinery

Counties Development Editor's Pick Nairobi

The government’s push for mechanising agriculture in the country has received a boost with CNH Industrial, the manufacturer of New Holland tractors, announcing plans to work with the government to ensure the availability and accessibility of affordable farm machinery.

The CNH Industrial President for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia (EMEA) region, Mr. Carlo Alberto Sisto, said that they are in talks with the government to work together to bring into the country the latest agricultural technologies, which include precision farming.

Speaking yesterday at a Nairobi hotel during the launch of their safety training camp, Sisto said that the government is very active and supportive of their work in the country.

The government’s long-term plan for the agriculture sector, as contained in the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS), indicates that mechanisation in Kenya is only at 30 per cent, and in the next five to 10 years, the government plans to increase the percentage of mechanisation of land to over 50 percent.

Sisto said that they are working with the government to see that they expand their footprint in the country, which will go in line with the government’s aspiration to increase agricultural mechanisation.

He added that they have partnered with CMC Motors to provide 1,000 free safety kits across East Africa, ensuring the well-being of farmers as they work tirelessly to feed growing populations.

“Safety is one of our most important values, as it goes together with innovation and sustainability, and we are partnering with CMC on the safety kits since we would like our farmers to be safe when they are spraying their farms,” said Sisto.

He explained that New Holland has a full line, from low-horsepower tractors to high-horsepower ones and combined harvesters, and they have organised the training to explain to the farmers the advancements in the new technologies which they have produced.

CMC Motors Managing Director (MD), Mr. Sakib Eltaff, said that they have partnered with a local bank which is offering farmers loans at a cheaper interest rate, thus enabling the farmers to access the latest agriculture machinery at a cheaper price.

Mr. Eltaff said that the training camp represents a unique and meaningful opportunity to advance the understanding of modern agriculture and New Holland’s cutting-edge equipment.

“CMC Motors has partnered with organisations like the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Food to Market Alliance (FTMA). This collaboration aims to provide farmers with the latest agricultural technology and knowledge, empowering them to maximise the potential of their land and contribute to food security and economic development,” said Mr. Eltaff.

He explained that CMC Motors and New Holland are committed to addressing global food security challenges through climate-smart agriculture, including greenhouse gas reduction, water resource conservation, and biodiversity preservation through innovative agricultural solutions.

“Africa’s vast arable land, young population, and favourable climate provide a unique opportunity for agricultural growth, but a lack of technical knowledge and resources has hindered this potential,” said Mr. Eltaff.

He highlighted that CMC Motors is committed to addressing these challenges and providing essential training and empowerment to emerging and medium-scale farmers.

“Specific objectives of this initiative include doubling farm yield production in the next 10 years, providing information to reverse the trend of declining farm yields, promoting sustainable income for farmers, and offering service clinics for optimal equipment life. The company aims to demonstrate the value of mechanised conservation agriculture, emphasising minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, water conservation, and more,” he said.

CMC Motors gave their strategic direction as they officially announced their exit from the passenger vehicle market, emphasising their unwavering focus on tractors and agriculture-related initiatives.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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