American agricultural equipment manufacturer, AGCO, has opened a new office in the north-east of Casablanca, Morocco. The new premises will serve as the company’s regional sales office for West and North Africa. This follows the launch of the Africa Head Office in South Africa’s robust economic hub, Johannesburg 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 towards advancing economic integration of African countries,” the company said in a recent statement.
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,” explained AGCO Vice President and General Manager for Africa, Nuradin Osman.
“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,” he continued.
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. The innovation of Agri-Parks is in developing infrastructure and community through agricultural mechanization,” added Osman.
Agri-Parks take a holistic approach to farm production, crop storage and processing by grouping together key activities in one location.
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.
“The opening of the Casablanca office demonstrates AGCO’s strong commitment to ‘Run Africa from Africa,” Osman concluded.