Sunday, October 1, 2023
BusinessCorporation in talks to assembly Czech tractors locally

Corporation in talks to assembly Czech tractors locally

One of the subsidiaries of the newly formed Ethiopian Investment Holdings is considering setting up a factory that would roll out tractor assembly line.

The Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation (EABC), long known for importing and assembling farm equipment, is in the initial stages of assembling parts for tractors made by Zetor in the Czech Republic.

Zetor, an old tractor maker in Europe, controlling 55 percent of the Central European market, has partnered with EABC to supply tractors packing 96 to 135 horsepower.

Under the first deal between the two, EABC imported the first batch of 75 partially assembled Zetor tractors from the Czech Republic. The tractors have now been fully assembled and are ready to pull Ethiopian plows.

According to CEO Kifle Woldemariam, EABC plans to bring in all parts and assemble them in Ethiopia, but it depends on future trade pacts and negotiations with Zetor.

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The project has received support from Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH), the parent company of the Corporation, and negotiations with the tractor manufacturer are already underway, according to officials of the Corporation.

“We’ve begun negotiations with the manufacturer and have received support from EIH. Once the tractor manufacturer responds to our offering, we’ll move towards the signing stage, involving Ethiopian and Czech stakes. Once the government endorses all these stages, we’ll proceed to implementation,” said Kifle.

Officials of the Corporation are preparing a proposal to be presented to the Ethiopian government for review. If approved, the project will move forward with the support of both Ethiopian and Czech stakeholders, according to Kifle.

Zetor has a long-standing history of providing tractor sales to African countries, according to Ale҆ Winkler, the company’s sales manager.

While he could not provide much comment on the current assembly agreement in its early stages, Winkler emphasized the importance of evaluating the Ethiopian market and gauging customer satisfaction before expanding production.

“Czech investors are interested in establishing their own companies or producing export goods for products in Ethiopia,” Winkler added.

Over the past two years, the Agricultural Business Corporation has been working with Zetor to evaluate technical specifications for its tractors.

Mechanical and agricultural engineers were sent to the Czech Republic to investigate, and the corporation endorsed that the product is suitable for Ethiopia’s agro climate.

The tractor manufactured by Zetor is mechanical and easy to maintain, making it accessible to staff who have graduated from technical and vocational training institutions, according to Kifle.

“We evaluated other tractor manufacturers in Europe, but we chose Zetor tractors with their unique product features suitable for Ethiopia,” said the CEO.

EABC has been operating partially assembled mechanized equipment for the past four decades, creating job opportunities and minimizing import costs.

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