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SA, German companies to supply Africa agro-kit

A SOUTH African company and a German firm intend to set up a joint venture which will supply agricultural equipment to Zambia and other sub-Saharan Africa.
The partnership between Barloworld of South Africa and BayWa of Germany will help provide region-specific resources and solutions to the agricultural value chain in Africa.
The establishment of the joint venture will allow each partner hold a 50 percent shareholding which is still subject to approval by the competition authorities.
According to a statement on Creamer media website, the firms anticipate to start operations in Zambia by July this year.
Some of the services to be offered by the two companies include consulting, sales and services for the Allis-Gleaner Company (Agco) brands Challenger and Massey-Ferguson.
Barloworld handling chief executive officer John Blackbeard said the company is optimistic that BayWa’s many years of successful operations in agricultural business and its expertise in agro-equipment are a positive investment.
“In addition, we are able to leverage natural synergies with established Barloworld businesses in Africa, such as the equipment and logistics divisions, to further strengthen our reach,” Mr Blackbeard said.
Commenting on the same, Barloworld chief executive officer Clive Thomson said, “It is estimated that [Africa] has more than 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land required to feed nine billion people globally by 2050.”
Similarly, BayWa board of management member for agricultural equipment business unit Roland Schuler said the partnership will help farmers acquire equipment, parts, service, repair, advice on crop production techniques and the use of operating resources.
“The use of modern agricultural technology, geared towards the needs of a market, could be instrumental in improving productivity in less technically advanced markets such as Zambia, where agricultural operations are heterogeneous,” he said.