MASCOR PLATINUM SPONSOR INTERVIEW: “We are heavily committed to agriculture and remain that way”

Martin Kusel, Mascor, Country Manager, Agribusiness Congress East AfricaLet’s start with some background on your company, your products and services.
Mascor has a 50 year association with John Deere. Our base is in South Africa. We have 17 outlets in total, of which 3 are in East Africa. One in Uganda and two in Kenya. We are heavily committed to agriculture and remain that way. MASCOR is committed to Serve all that Till the Land.
Which current projects are you particularly excited about at the moment?
We are excited about the development in the Small, Medium and Emerging Sector and the interest in the Commercial developments.
How important is Uganda and East Africa for your company as a market?
Uganda is the promised land for agriculture. Many opportunities exist. Commercial farming has great potential.  Our focus is to provide Ugandan farmers with the latest global technologies. We provide solutions for the very basic needs and have capability to the very sophisticated user.  We have the range and capability to do just this.
What in your view are the main challenges facing the agri sector in Uganda?
-         Concern is the “all talk and no action“ principle.
-         Applying development of Top Down vs. Bottom Up strategy.
-         Cost of financing.
-         Unlocking the recipe for successful commercial farming in am Equatorial climate .
-         Seed quality and quantity.
-         Fertilizer quality.
Any success stories/case studies that you can share?
-        Yes, certainly. We have farmers growing potatoes under Pivot systems.
-        Maize farmers capable of planting 140 hectares with John Deere planters in a 10 hour day.
-        State of the art John Deere Self Propelled Sprayers capable of covering 400 Hectares per day. What a blessing when combatting the Fall Armyworm plague.
-        All this available from MASCOR your JOHN DEERE Dealer in Kampala.
-        We have an offering from John Deere Financial services, the Finance arm of John Deere that has made finance available for first time tractor and machinery owners as well as having supported commercial farming operations.
-        Alliances exist with Opportunity Bank and Stanbic Bank to facilitate lower interest rates.
What is your vision for the industry?
-         Prosperous growth in the immediate future.
-         Food security for Uganda.
-         Social upliftment for all.
What surprises you about this sector?
-         The slow response to see the potential in this sector.
-         The continuous support, absorption and use of inferior products, based on a price of item approach, rather than a total cost of operation view.
You are the platinum sponsor at the upcoming Agribusiness Congress East Africa, why the decision to partner with us again?
-         To showcase our belief.
-         We believe that all farmers, whether Small, Medium or Emerging  or Commercial, deserve to have access to the Technology, Machinery, and services that MASCOR and John Deere, the largest Tractor Manufacturer in the world can provide, right here in Uganda.
What will be your message at the event?
MASCOR, your JOHN DEERE Dealer is committed to Uganda and to “All that till the Land“.
What are you most looking forward to at Agribusiness Congress East Africa?
Practical demonstrations.
Anything you would like to add?
The agricultural sector needs to understand its importance in the future and arise.