Sharing our expertise with emerging markets

AGCO helps Chinese agriculture experts apply the latest harvesting technology to crops that range from flood-irrigated rice in the south to corn and wheat fields in the north.

China's agricultural output is the largest in the world, yet only about 15% of its total land area can be cultivated. Put another way, China's arable land, which represents 10% of the total arable land in the world, supports over 20% of the world's population.

At the same time, China's agricultural methods are not keeping pace with its technological prowess. As a result, the country imports much of its food supply, to the concern of leaders who are looking out for the nation's long term security and stability.

For this reason, increasing agricultural productivity is crucial to China's long-term success. Adding to this challenge are the increasing needs of industry and cities which compete with agriculture for prime land.

"It's pure survival, basically, so the government has no other choice but to invest in mechanization because China is already very dependent in terms of grain imports and wants to become less dependent... and more self-sustaining," explains Hubertus M. Mühlhäuser,  AGCO Senior Vice President.

For this reason, AGCO has been supporting China's efforts to improve agricultural efficiency through the development and implementation of technologies that are relevant for the region, including self-propelled combines. The country produces an extremely wide variety of crops, from flood-irrigated rice in the south to corn and wheat in the north.

To support China's needs, AGCO organized equipment assessment activities for combines and small balers at multiple locations, including "voice of customer" reviews with owners, operators and dealers at its Changzhou facility. Evaluation of existing global product platforms in strategic markets like China is key to AGCO's role in the rapid mechanization of developing countries.

Two Class 4 Massey Ferguson combines were shipped to Heilongjiang for field operation tests and evaluation. In addition, a team of engineers and quality control specialists from Brazil and Italy traveled to China to share their expertise with the development team.

"AGCO is seeking more exposure to emerging markets like China and India," explains AGCO's Muhlhauser. The company has already captured more than half the market in South America. In Africa, the "Massey," short for AGCO's Massey Ferguson brand, is "synonymous with tractor," he added.

"We're investing in places where this [experience with Western companies] isn't in place yet, but we are determined to go there and we will go there, and we're leveraging our local staff and our local knowledge," said Mr. Muhlhauser.