A&T Division President of John Deere, Dave Everitt, met with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila earlier this summer during a visit to sub-Sahara Africa. Everitt also was on hand for the signing of a contract with our dealer Demimpex to deliver 1,500 tractors to the DRC government during the next three years.

A highlight of the trip was a meeting with a Malawi chief and small-holder cotton farmers. Len Brand, director Region 1 sales – Africa said, “The small-holder customer segment is the key to John Deere being successful in sub-Saharan Africa and helping this continent have food security.” “John Deere can make a real difference in Africa not only in terms of business, but in helping millions of Africans improve their lives.”

John Deere recently completed a pilot project in the region that offered small-holder cotton farmers a mechanization package. This package will now be offered broadly through a partnership with a local bank, a cotton gin, the local dealer and John Deere. The package includes a 75 hp tractor produced in our Pune, India factory; matching implements; and a John Deere Water irrigation package suited to small-holder farmers needs. Farmers will also be invited to attend an education program developed by John Deere on cash flow management, farming practices, the impact of mechanization on farming practices, machinery operation, and the maintenance of the machines. The program will conclude with a module on growing cotton more effectively and utilizing irrigation.

During the visit in Africa, Everitt and other senior leaders also attended the opening of the LonAgro dealership branch in Catete, Angola. The Minister of Agriculture, Afonso Pedro Canga, officially opened the new building, and was covered by national television stations.