7 August 2014. SACAU considers mechanization as a key driver of agricultural development and the organisation is exploring various options to enhance production methods of smallholder farmers. To this effect the organisation is looking into the adoption of the concept of machinery rings by its members which has proven to be a cost-saver for farmers in Germany. Could this be the answer to resource challenged smallholders in southern Africa?
A SACAU delegation of eight undertook a study tour to Hanover in Germany to learn first-hand about the concept of machinery rings which has enabled German farmers to purchase the latest available farming equipment together, which individual farmers could not afford on their own.
According to Johnson Bungu, SACAU Marketing Advisor who was part of the delegation in May 2014, the idea of machinery rings starts with the realization that there is a need to increase efficiencies and to bring economies of scale to operations.
Negotiations with different stakeholders will form part of the responsibilities of the machinery ring office. During the agricultural seasons the machinery ring office should be busy working on supporting the farmers and may be open for long hours.