CASABLANCA, MOROCCO — AGCO opened an office in the northeast of Casablanca, Morocco, that will serve as its regional sales office for West and North Africa.
This follows the launch of a head office in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2017.
Morocco’s suitability as a home for AGCO is both its geographical location on the North-West of the continent as well as its key socio-economic role in the region since its return to the African Union in 2016 and support toward advancing economic integration of African countries.
Agriculture is a key contributor to Morocco’s economy, accounting for about 15% of GDP while generating nearly 40% of employment. The Kingdom’s national agricultural policy has played a key role in guiding sector development of the agri-food industry and emphasizing agricultural machinery to upgrade farm equipment.
“The continent is home to 60% of the world’s arable land and is thus expected to play a major role in future, global food security,” said Nuradin Osman, AGCO vice-president and general manager Africa. “Opening the Casablanca office not only builds on our presence at a sub-regional level but also underlines AGCO’s vision and strategy for advancing African agricultural prosperity.”
According to a recent study by the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), boosting productivity, fostering competitiveness and ensuring that small-scale farmers have greater access to markets are key to West Africa realizing its full agricultural potential. The region presents a great opportunity for the expansion of Agri Parks, an AGCO initiative to develop integrated agricultural centers in Africa, to support the transfer of farming techniques and provide training, advice, equipment, crop storage, processing and logistics to the farming community.
“The Casablanca office will also serve as the headquarters for Agri-Parks, which represent a significantly fresh approach for agricultural production and rural transformation,” Osman said. “The innovation of Agri-Parks is in developing infrastructure and community through agricultural mechanization.”
Agri-Parks take a holistic approach to farm production, crop storage and processing by grouping together key activities in one location. Highlighting the broad scope of AGCO’s product and services offering — from a full range of farm machinery to grain processing and protein production systems — the company’s role is to provide the required technology, equipment and expertise for this networked approach.
Alongside food security, a key goal of an Agri-Park is to help create high-value jobs and encourage the initialization of satellite industries including agricultural machinery workshops and farm supplies’ outlets. The objective is to focus on the establishment of an integrated value chain from farm to fork instead of selling low-value crops. A further aim is for the development of services such as agricultural contracting businesses to assist small-scale farmers in gaining access to modern machinery and technologies.
“The opening of the Casablanca office demonstrates AGCO’s strong commitment to ‘Run Africa from Africa,” Osman said.