One of the barriers to entry in the commercial agriculture sector is the perception that the mechanized equipment needed to boost yields and profitability can be prohibitively expensive. However, John Deere is shattering that belief with a new price campaign that enables both new-age and smaller farmers to acquire a brand new tractor for roughly the cost of a second-hand bakkie. In addition, for those individuals not being able to purchase a tractor, John Deere has the solution to assist these individuals get access to mechanisation through its S.M.A.R.T. program.
In an effort to break down the barriers, the global equipment giant is offering customers the opportunity to purchase a brand new 5055E utility tractor for R229,999 including VAT while the more powerful 5075E model can be purchased for a VAT inclusive price of R323,150. John Deere Financial, the company’s financing arm, has also structured a financing solution that allows farmers to purchase these 55hp and 75hp models for just R3,999 or R5,460 per month respectively.
“Although John Deere has traditionally been viewed as an aspirational and exclusive brand we actually have a very diverse customer base and product portfolio,” says Stephan Nel, John Deere’s Marketing Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa. “We’ve recently refreshed our position in Sub-Saharan Africa to support our vision of driving Africa’s green revolution through a journey of collective power in the Ag space. Our messaging is that John Deere is for all farmers, big and small, and we believe that though the power of co-creating and collaborating, our farmers can achieve their greatest potential by overcoming the limitations they face”.
With a 135-strong dealer network across Africa, John Deere is positioning itself for significant growth on the continent over the next three to five years where it anticipates greater opportunities from small and new age farmers working on small plots of land. John Deere has already pioneered an innovative contractor model in East Africa, which encourages farmers who acquire its tractors to service neighbouring farms by contracting out their mechanization services to surrounding communities. “In addition, we’ve signed a collaboration agreement with Hello Tractor to enable anyone to book, either directly or through an agent, the services of a small contractor to work their fields, allowing them to benefit from increased yields and productivity.”
In South Africa, where over 85 of its African dealer locations are based, John Deere is targeting the sale of its 5055E and 5075E utility tractors to small and new age farmers looking to mechanize for the first time; smaller farmers who tend to replace their equipment every seven to ten years; and farmers who have only ever bought second-hand equipment due to what they perceive as the high price barrier to purchasing new equipment. John Deere is also working closely with the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) to help implement the government’s drive to build a more inclusive agricultural sector in the country.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni allocated R3.7 billion to assist emerging black farmers in acquiring land and title deeds in his 2019 Budget Speech. He also set aside R1.8 billion for the implementation of 262 priority land-reform projects over the next three years.
“At John Deere, we pride ourselves on our ability to service the unique needs of South Africa’s diverse agricultural customer base,” says Nel. “By leveraging the power of both innovative technology and financial modelling and risk assessment we are able to make a wider product set available to a greater diversity of end users across the entire value chain.”
John Deere’s pricing specials on its 5055E and 5075E utility tractors run until 30 June 2019, or while stocks last.