AGCO, a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Alibaba Group in Shanghai to start an “Internet-plus-Agriculture” crossover program.
AGCO Senior Vice President, General Manager of Asia Pacific, Gary Collar and Fred Yang, Vice President, Managing Director of AGCO China, attended the signing ceremony, along with Frank Yu, Senior Director of Alibaba Group’s Rural Taobao business division. Rural Taobao is responsible for promoting rural e-commerce by removing bottlenecks in logistics and information flow between urban and rural areas.
According to the MOU, AGCO products will be featured on Rural Taobao’s online platform (cun.taobao.com), which is dedicated to offering agricultural resources and consumer goods to rural villagers in China. At the same time, both parties agreed to extend their cooperation to cloud computing and big data, aiming to promote the development of “modern agriculture” and “intelligent agriculture” in China. In addition, both parties look forward to expanding the cooperation in rural finance and other areas.
“We are entering a global phase of the ‘Internet Plus’ age. The merging of internet and traditional industries is set to go deeper still and will lead to the creation of new development formats,” said Collar. “Agriculture as a primary industry will certainly be one of the key forces to drive the economic transition and accelerate this revolutionary innovation in the industrial model.”
The MOU objectives are aligned with government policy for the development of the agricultural sector in China. According to the ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, approved by China’s State Council in March, the agricultural machinery industry is one of several industry sectors that will be prioritized under its “intelligent manufacturing program.” This will draw on information technology, data technology and the Internet of Things in the design, processing, testing and assembly of agricultural machines. The Chinese government made clear its intention to prioritize investment in agricultural and rural areas, develop the pilot-financing and rental projects for large-sized agricultural machinery, strongly encourage agricultural machinery leasing and press forward with the reform of rural financing systems.
“This strong strategic cooperation between AGCO and Alibaba happens in the context of economic development and is a pioneering act in the agriculture machinery industry,” said Yang of AGCO China. “As a responsible international company and with the favorable policies of the Chinese government, AGCO is looking to adapt and promote the merging of modern agriculture with mobile internet, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, and to stimulate innovation in modern agricultural production, new business patterns and industry models. Meanwhile, AGCO will further enhance our production quality, sales efficiency and service so that our product information and services can reach our customers in a more timely and complete manner.”
“China is entering an explosive growth period in information consumption industries. It is estimated by 2015 the amount will exceed 3,200 billion yuan, an increase of over 20% compared to 2014,” said Yu of Rural Taobao. “We are honored to join hands with AGCO Corporation to bring world-class agricultural machinery to rural villagers across China, along with other areas of collaboration. This underscores our commitment to connecting rural villagers with agricultural resources and consumer goods that can help elevate their productivity and standard of living.”