Corteva Agriscience and John Deere, the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of equipment, recently held a three-day marketing collaboration where they presented their technology solutions and tools designed to deliver value to farmers and societies in Africa.

“As the world population continues to grow, the technologies we are showcasing will be essential to meet the global food demand,” says Tony Esmeraldo, business director, Corteva Agriscience, Southern Africa. “We are a technology company and our tools enable farmers to make informed decisions efficiently.”

Research and development

Corteva Agriscience’s investment in research and development in Africa includes:

  • The Delmas technology centre, which includes Africa’s largest privately-owned insect research facility, The Insectary, critical to the development of traits to combat local yield-robbing pests, some of which are unique to the continent. 
  • This state of the art technology is unique in the industry and enables global entomology research, also focusing on the fall armyworm. Advanced techniques used in seed breeding, including embryo rescue and molecular markers which help drive value for farmers.
  • State-of-the-art digital breeding systems, including highly sophisticated drones equipped with a multi-spectral camera, laser sensors, and the ability to deliver three-dimensional photography. These game-changing tools allow Corteva to scale breeding and product development activities to deliver genetic gain efficiently and effectively for farmers.
  • Precision characterisation using drone technology to gather data about plant growth, development, and condition and turn it into feasible insights. This includes incorporating digital tools in agriculture, from intelligent farm equipment to planting prescriptions to tools to enable an increase in crop yields for farmers.

Adoption of innovative technology

According to Jacques Taylor, managing director of John Deere, Sub-Saharan Africa, there is evidence worldwide, showing a strong correlation between improved productivity and the adoption of innovative technology and mechanisation. Agriculture today faces the challenge of producing more at an acceptable price, without causing damage to the environment. “We see agriculture moving away from bigger, faster, stronger to being more precise, more resilient and more adaptive. John Deere continues to invest in developing precision ag technology, some of which were displayed at the event.”

The aim of the three-day Intelligent Farming event was to engage with and demonstrate intelligent farming technology to farmers and stakeholders who work with John Deere, Corteva Agriscience, PANNAR, and Pioneer in South Africa.

Teaming up to ensure success

This Intelligent Farming event came immediately after John Deere and Corteva signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for accelerating the agricultural sector and enriching the lives of farmers across the continent.

Through the strength of its global scale and expertise, Corteva can implement local solutions to deliver the right product for the right field. The company has research facilities in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Johnston, South Africa, Germany, China, India, Brazil, Canada with staff located out in the markets.

Delmas serves as the central hub of the Africa regional technology centre, which is comprised of a network of existing research facilities and testing locations throughout Africa, and serving Pioneer and PANNAR seed products. “As a major pure-play company in agriculture, we know we can’t do this alone—collaboration is central to what we do and that’s why we are partnering with a major agriculture player like John Deere,” concludes Esmeraldo. – Corteva Agriscience, Press release