CNH Industrial supports agricultural development of African countries
The first Italy-Africa ministerial conference saw CNH Industrial present its strategy and contributions in terms of products, services and technologies for the evolution of agriculture on the African continent
Today, in Rome, CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI) was invited to represent the agricultural machinery sector at the first Italy-Africa ministerial conference. During the conference, Carlo Lambro, a member of the Company’s Group Executive Council and Brand President of New Holland Agriculture, had the opportunity to explain how CNH Industrial is contributing towards the modernisation of African agriculture.
The conference was held at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. After a welcome speech by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, the day's programme included the participation of Italian and international authorities, such as Moussa Faki Mahamat, current holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the African Union, Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, ministers from more than 40 African nations and representatives of Africa’s major regional organisations. A closing speech was given by the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.
In his speech, Carlo Lambro pointed out how CNH Industrial, already today in particular through New Holland Agriculture, is playing an important role in the agricultural development of Africa. The brand operates in 34 African countries, with 24 distributors and 265 sales outlets, delivering some 5,000 tractors every year. The machines are customised to meet the multiple needs of African agriculture. They are able to resist the often extreme climatic conditions, are easy to use and service, efficient from a consumption point of view, produce low-levels of pollution, all while remaining very productive. Over the past three years, CNH Industrial has invested more than USD $50 million in the development of these products.
Africa's need to increase its level of agricultural mechanisation in a short period of time can be seen in the data, for example with regards to tractors. In Europe, there are, on average, 653 tractors for every 100 square kilometres of arable land; in Africa there are 46, less than 10%. A similar situation can be found with regard to the size of the farms, which in Africa are mainly family farms targeted towards self-consumption, with sizes equal to 1.3 hectares, in comparison to 14.7 in Europe, 50.7 in Latin America and 186 hectares in North America. In this context, CNH Industrial is able, with its brands, to transfer advanced and efficient technologies to local communities, improving the productive use of land through a more rational use of the available resources and a drastic decrease in waste.
“Supporting and cooperating with the local communities is a fundamental pillar of our action in Africa,” emphasises Carlo Lambro. “In this regard, I want to mention a cooperation agreement we signed recently with FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), relative to a sustainable water management project in the governorship of Kebili in Tunisia, one of the driest areas in the country. For three years, we will contribute towards the construction and repair of traditional water collection systems, the creation of vegetable gardens for the families, the improvement of pastoral activities and the creation of orchards and new wooded areas”.
The mechanisation of agriculture in Africa is one of the most crucial challenges of our time and CNH Industrial intends to offer its full support to meet it. “This means not only guaranteeing food self-sufficiency, but also a future that guarantees work, peace and development for millions of people”, concludes Carlo Lambro.
London, May 19, 2016
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