More than 8000 people from all over Zambia attended historic launch event
Agritech Expo “was a realised dream for ZNFU and all the farmers,” says Dr Evelyn Nguleka, President of the Zambia National Farmers’ Union, following the overwhelming success of Zambia’s first full-scale, live agriculture event, in Chisamba in early April.
The expo and conference were attended by more than 8000 people, including Zambian Vice-President Dr Guy Scott, the Minister of Livestock and Agriculture, the Honourable Minister Wylbur Simuusa, and former Zambian President Ruphia B. Banda. Sixty-nine exhibitors displayed the latest technology in farming and post-harvest equipment as well as products and services – the total expo including crop trials encompassing some 23 hectares.
Furthermore, 40 exhibitors from the country’s leading poultry event, the Zambia Poultry Expo, also joined the event. The huge pre-event interest around the country was echoed when some 100 journalists arrived to cover the event.
Agritech Expo was devised and organised by leading events organiser Spintelligent and key partners, the ZNFU, the USAID’s Southern African Trade Hub, Musika and GART, where the event took place.
Many deals made during expo
Agritech Expo’s event director Liam Beckett says “Zambia has cemented its reputation as the region’s future bread basket and agri powerhouse. The feedback received during and after the show has been incredible. From exhibitors to visitors, everyone involved saw tremendous value in participating and we are all looking forward to creating a legacy event. The many deals that took place during Agritech Expo indicate that the Zambian market is ready for this kind of agri-event, where everyone is welcome, from the large scale to the emerging farmer.”
The global agri giant AGCO was the exclusive diamond sponsor for Agritech Expo. AGCO’s Director of Operations in Africa and Middle East, Nuradin Osman, says the first ever Agritech Expo to be held in Zambia “was an eye opener of how vast the agricultural sector is and its importance to the country and the region cannot be over emphasized. The expo did not only bring customers and business together for great interactions but fostered discussions that will see the sector develop with concerted efforts. We are proud to be affiliated with the Agritech Expo as diamond sponsors and are already looking forward to next year’s event which we believe will be even bigger and better. Well done on a well-organized event. “
Stanbic Bank was the platinum sponsor. Other sponsors included: AFGRI, Action Auto, SARO, John Deere, BASF, Seed-Co, EFE, Du Pont-Pioneer, Valtra, K2, Kempston, Monsanto, Greenbelt, HarvestPlus, Lindsay, Zamseed, NWK and Rovic Leers.
More compliments from sponsors and partners:
· “Thank you for organising a great event which was not only informative but provided an excellent networking platform for the farming community. It was a unique experience as both small holder and large scale farmers interacted to share experiences with suppliers, banks, government, and traders.” – Charles M. Mudiwa, CEO, Stanbic Bank
· “It was a great pleasure to be part of such a resoundingly successful event and job well done.” -Reuben Banda, MD, Musika
· “Everyone thought the whole concept was brilliant! It was a great opportunity to have all the Agriculture players to meet at one venue in a focused environment. We got to meet a number of existing and potential clients.” – Andrew Luwisha, Barclays, Zambia
· “The German Agriculture Society (DLG) with its leading companies from the German agricultural sector was very proud to be part of this success story, the country’s first full scale, live agriculture expo in Zambia.” – Martin Botzian, organizer of the German Pavilion.
“I’m now walking with my head high for having added knowledge”
The USAID’s Southern African Trade Hub presented free workshops designed particularly for small holders and emerging commercial farmers, to provide them with the basic information and context to better understand the technologies that are on display and available.
Accolades from some of the 50 emerging farmers from Zambia and neighbouring countries who were part of the USAID project to attend Agritech Expo include:
· “I would like to say thank you for the support rendered to attend the Agritech Expo. It was one of the best ever attended agricultural events. That was wonderful and l really made contacts with seed suppliers, irrigation equipment and farm machinery.” – Munachoongo Mutelo, Zambia
· “I thank u so much, USAID & TRADE HUB, for providing me an opportunity to attend the Agritech Expo 2014. It was such an important event as I have benefitted a lot and made more contacts. And this will change the way I look @ farming & propel me to greater heights.” – Daniel Chinkhuntha, Malawi.
· “I’m now walking with my head high for having added knowledge from the first of its kind Agritech Expo. My farm will never be the same again. The interaction, linkages, contacts too much to mention was so great! Keep it up Genevieve with great team, can’t wait to attend the next one.” – Emmanuel Sinyangwe, Zambia.
Zambia’s future = agriculture
During the keynote address of the conference, the Agribusiness Congress, Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, the Hon. Wylbur Simuusa, reiterated the government’s commitment to the needed collaboration in the fight against poverty through agriculture, saying: “as the government of the day, we shall ensure to put our money in the mouths of our people”. The Minister further attested to the fact that the future of Zambia’s economic development was anchored on agriculture.
Next Agritech Expo dates and location:
Conference: 17 April 2015
Expo: 17-18 April 2015
Location: GART, Chisamba, Zambia