What makes the agricultural sector in Zambia exciting? “Simply said, almost endless possibilities” replies H.E. Mr. Timo Olkkonen, the Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The Finland country pavilion is one of several international pavilions at the upcoming, multi-award winning Agritech Expo Zambia, returning to Chisamba from 12-14 April for the fifth time.
“In recent years, Zambia has witnessed a strong economic growth,” Ambassador Olkkonen adds, “and the outlook or medium and long term remains positive. Zambia’s growing and diversifying agriculture sector offers a variety of possibilities for Finnish companies and solutions that can benefit the Zambian people. In Finland the growing season is around only 90 days a year but in Zambia’s fertile soil, water resources and climate conditions favour agriculture throughout the year. Crop rotation and irrigation makes it possible to have several harvests a year. This is something that really excites me.”
He says this year’s Finland country pavilion will feature “some well-known Finnish brands that are already in Zambia, for example Valtra tractors. Finland’s high-quality and innovativeness also extends to the agriculture sector. In terms of the Finnish offering to Zambia the most relevant would be for example in mechanisation, energy solutions and efficiency, research and development and processing and packaging. We Finns also always look at agriculture and forestry together and take into account the synergies between the two and the integrated land-use practices.”
Zambia’s agri sector exciting for German companies
“Zambia’s agricultural sector is exciting for German companies that sell agri and livestock equipment because the country has a stable policy environment” says Martin Botzian, Head of Communication, DLG International GmbH, organisers of the German pavilion at Agritech Expo Zambia. He explains: “this means the government supports the agricultural sector and commercial farming. Farmers are willing to invest.”
He adds: “Zambia is a good place to grow crops and there is enough fresh water for irrigation. Processing the raw crops has huge potential. The commercial farming in Zambia will generate enough surplus food to export to Zambia’s neighbours. By starting to commercialise the agricultural land you increase food security, prevent mass migration out of the country into the cities and create businesses that add value at a local level to reduce poverty.”
The German pavilion will host companies from many fields in agriculture. Mr Botzian explains: “some are into agri machinery, others are involved in animal husbandry with the consulting and constructing of barns for example, fertilisers and crop protection, storage solutions like silos or dryers, solar technology, meat processing, livestock floors, animal identification and setting up trade fairs and providing project management and consultancy services. “
This year the event at GART is expected to bring more than 22 000 visitors, over 270 local and international exhibitors with 3500 VIP and large scale farmers and 150 members of the media. Agritech Expo Zambia is free to attend for all visitors that pre-register.
The international interest in the three-day expo is growing every year with more and more foreign companies looking to invest and find business partners in Zambia. So far the country and international pavilions from France, Germany, Zimbabwe, Czech Republic, Finland and the EU have already been confirmed.
Last year the event also featured a VIP attendance that included five cabinet ministers and the Zambian President Edgar Lungu who visited the event for the third year in a row.
As in previous years, Agritech Expo enjoys extensive support from the agri industry with well-known suppliers AFGRI and John Deere returning as platinum sponsors once again. Confirmed gold sponsors are Gourock, SARO and Ursus.
Multi-award winning Agritech Expo
Agritech Expo Zambia has just won its third AAXO ROAR award for Best Africa Bound Trade & Consumer Exhibition in the 12000+ sqm category at the AAXO ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards in Johannesburg which honour excellence in the exhibition and events industry on the continent. Last year the event also won for Best Trade & Consumer Exhibition 12000+ sqm and for Distinction in Social Responsibility.
The expo has an outreach programme at the local Golden Valley Basic School, where, with the assistance of numerous event sponsors, it is assisting the school with much needed infrastructure upgrades, equipment supplies and management of the school’s farm.
Agritech Expo Zambia is owned by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and 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. Another well-known agri event by Spintelligent is Farm-Tech Expo Kenya.