Most farmers dream of having the perfect fleet of vehicles and a storeroom full of the best equipment. Jeremia Mathebula, who started out with only 10 cows, now manages a big farm, having grown to become a successful commercial farmer. To him, precision farming is part of his success story. He was excited to show Lindiwe Sithole, host of African Farming Season 2, what he managed to achieve.
One way to invest in precision is to look at the latest technologies on the market, but to make the best of such an expensive investment and gain all the benefits, farmers should find a good dealership.
Admire Mutsvairo, Manager of Projects and Strategic Planning at John Deere Africa and Middle East, says having a fleet of the most suitable equipment is a process and takes long-term planning. “Establishing a trust relationship with a dealership is the first step in successfully investing in mechanisation,” he says.
Mutsvairo believes a good dealership relationship is based on much more than selling a product to a farmer. “If it is done right, such a partnership can be a lifelong one.” He says a dealer can help a farmer to build his dream fleet over time. “Buying the most efficient line of equipment is not a once-off investment – it takes time and should be done gradually.”
According to him, a good dealership can help a farmer to buy the best possible solutions for his farm. “A farmer first needs to understand his farming operations and the challenges he has, and plan for the growth he wants to achieve. This way he won’t overspend in buying the right equipment at the right time. The idea is that every new machine a farmer invests in has to add value to the current fleet.”
He adds that a good dealership will also help a farmer to understand how to use the equipment optimally by providing training. “Getting the best training and enjoying the benefits of good after-parts services will enable a farmer to reduce downtime and increase uptime.”