John Deere is a well-known name and brand across the globe. John Deere not only offers smart mechanisation solutions to farmers, but they also support and enable farmers in Africa to grow by providing smart solutions.

John Deere’s SMART programme

The John Deere SMART campaign is a bold initiative to raise Africa’s agricultural productivity by helping new era farmers to mechanise, improve yields and increase profitability. John Deere’s SMART programme has been helping smaller farmers improve yields and reduce costs across South Africa, as well as East and West Africa for the past few years.

SMART stands for:

Solutions for farmers
Mechanisation for higher yield
Access to finance
Reliability for lower costs
Technology and training

John Deere lives the difference

Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Engage me and I will understand. John Deere understands this saying, and also applies the message effectively in their SMART programme.

John Deere’s SMART model has the potential to revolutionise the agrarian sector, create jobs for the growing youth population, and uplift the African population out of poverty through the establishment of vibrant mechanisation businesses.

“The John Deere SMART campaign is an initiative to increase Africa’s agricultural productivity by helping new generation farmers with mechanisation, improving their yields and increasing profitability,” explains Zabion de Wee, Business Development Manager of John Deere.

Where is John Deere heading with SMART?

“With this concept, we are trying to eliminate the traditional way of accessing mechanisation, and supporting our farmers,” Zabion says.

He explains: “Instead of trying to sell tractors to smallholder farmers, John Deere identifies specific farmers who are interested in cultivating not only their own fields, but also those of their neighbours.”

By outsourcing their services to between 20 and 30 of their neighbours at an appropriate fee, John Deere believes they will be able to offer mechanised farming solutions to a larger number of smallholder farmers in Africa.

“We don’t want to redesign the wheel. We are a mechanisation company, and we want to assist farmers with mechanisation,” says Zabion.

Zabion de Wee, Business Development Manager of John Deere, at the recent NAMPO agricultural show.

Challenges that Africa farmers face

One of the biggest challenges that farmers face is limited access to finance. John Deere’s support to farmers does not stop when the tractor is delivered on the farm. John Deere understands that access to finance has always been a significant stumbling block for most new era farmers for generations.

John Deere firmly believes in providing solutions to farmers to help them grow and achieve their goals.

“At John Deere, we do not believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach to finance; we understand that new era farmers cannot be expected to have everything in place when starting up new agricultural operations,” Zabion adds.

John Deere, in collaboration with John Deere Financial, aims to assist new era farmers to overcome the barriers related to limited access to finance. By pulling in partners, considering other avenues of finance, and the constant generation of new ideas, John Deere is committed to the prevention of failure for the emerging operations of new era farmers.

John Deere offers creative financial solutions

John Deere Financial offers solutions that are tailored to the exact needs of their clients. The John Deere financial team assess clients as individuals alongside basic operational needs, and then provide agricultural asset finance packages tailored to the specific circumstances and mechanisation requirements.

This process is achieved in partnership with commercial banks and their comprehensive dealer networks; equipping clients with a team that can offer support and advice in making the best operational decisions throughout the entire process.

This professional relationship is beneficial to farmers; it allows farmers to focus on what farmers do best – farming.

Zabion highlights a few points on the drive behind the SMART programme:

  • We are committed to seeing you through to your next harvest.
  • We offer you a convenient experience by saving you time and coming directly to you, wherever that may be.
  • We offer competitive financial solutions that are available to you through any of our dealer touchpoints across Africa and the Middle East.
  • We provide you with insight by sharing our generations of expertise through our widespread dealer footprint.
  • With a wealth of experience, we can help you make the best decisions for your business.

Zabion concludes: “We as John Deere want to make a difference in food security. Our farmers have always been ready, we just had to find the right way to assist them in moving forward as we do. Giving them the right mentorship, and helping farmers grow, is our ultimate goal.”

John Deere is with you every step of the way, ensuring that new era farmers are at no point left feeling confused or struggling while starting up and running agricultural operations.

John Deere ( is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure.