President Lungu to open Zambia 2016 agro expo
|The extended Livestock Zone is another must-see area, for farmers who definitely need the right stock genetics and technologies to survive climate change-induced vagaries of weather|
Zambia's President, Edgar Lungu, will this week officiate at the Agritech Expo, the country's prime agricultural event that has drawn the participation of over 15 000 farmers and experts.
The third edition of the expo is scheduled for Thursday-Saturday in the agri-hub of Chisamba at the Golden Valley Research Trust (GART).
More than 145 local and international farming technology and service providers will showcase their products in what is the largest agri-event of its kind in the region.
The expo includes a German, Zimbabwean exhibitors, and a livestock pavilion as well as a business-to-business pavilion where Musika is scheduled to provide free advisory and financial services.
Rob Munro, Director of Strategy at Musika, a Zambian non-profit company that works to stimulate and support private sector investment in the smallholder market, says before AgriTech Expo, Zambia never had a means by which the whole agricultural community, from smallholder farmer to corporate agribusiness, was able to come together to see, understand and invest in new technology.
"In my opinion, Agritech Expo has been hugely influential in exposing the community to this technology and driving forwards the advancement of modern farming in Zambia," he explains.
The government has also endorsed the event.
Minister of agriculture, Given Lubinda believes that farmers will be able to deal with their challenges when they meet at this year's Expo.
"We must commend the Zambia National Farmers' Union for coming up with events like the Agritech Expo where farmers can meet, share experiences and information, as well as learn good agronomy tactics that can help them improve. They say, if you want to walk fast, walk alone but if you want to walk far, walk together," the Minister said.
Dr Evelyn Nguleka, Zambia National Farmers Union President, said new features at the event this year include an "Energy Park", designed to offer innovation and cleaner energy solutions to help farmers wipe away their electricity outage blues and the ever increasing costs of energy.
"Our extended Livestock Zone is another must-see area, for you who definitely need the right stock genetics and technologies to survive climate change-induced vagaries of weather,"
Dr Nguleka said.
Agritech Expo Zambia will, for the first time, also feature a live irrigation centre pivot, a very critical feat as Zambian agriculture focuses and seeks to expand irrigated farming at all levels.
"The all new 4x4 Test Track is another feature that will finally help farmers decide which 4x4 work horse is best for their farm. We have also extended the SME Zone to make sure we bring in as many agro SMEs as possible. This is important to us as we strive to show case the Zambian agricultural industry in totality," Dr Nguleka added.
|President Edgar Lungu (c) with Minister of Agriculture, Given Lubinda (L) & ZNFU President Dr. Evelyn Nguleka at last year's Expo|
Zambia National Commercial Bank returns as exclusive diamond sponsor, heading up a list of local and global agri suppliers that will be at Agritech Expo Zambia.
Among these are AFGRI, John Deere and JCB, who are platinum sponsors, and Action Auto, Livestock Services, SARO and Zamseed, who are all gold sponsors.
"This is one networking opportunity that brings together farmers throughout the agricultural value chain and exchange ideas on how best to improve yields. It's also an opportunity for farmers/vendors/bankers to start sustainable business relationships," said managing director of Zanaco, Bruce Dick.
Agritech Expo is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK. The event is owned by the Zambia National Farmers Union. Musika has been a key partner of Agritech Expo from 2014.