TATA International Africa (TIA) has expressed interest in acquiring the John Deere dealerships to extend their Zambian distribution partnership.
Company chief executive officer Len Brand told The Africa Report that Tata is discussing the plan with John Deere, the maker of tractors and agricultural equipment, and will first target dealerships in East African countries.
TIA bought distribution rights for John Deere products in Zambia in May, adding to the agreement it already had in Ghana.
“We will continue down that Zambian road,” Mr Brand said.
Mr Brand argues that development must be based on a “business relationship” rather than aid.
He sees the mechanisation of agriculture as an “untapped market” and key to the solution.
Tata International is the trading and distribution arm of India’s Tata Group.
The company began African operations in Zambia in 1977.
It is now present in 12 African countries and operates in automotive, agricultural equipment and chemicals.
This year, the company expanded its commercial vehicle finance product, already available in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia, to South Africa.
In March, TIA signed a partnership with NCBA Bank Kenya to finance Tata vehicles nationwide.
TIA sees vehicle distribution and finance as long-term African growth markets.