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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Agritech Expo Zambia: Germany & other EU countries present

The upcoming Agritech Expo Zambia in Chisamba from 27-29 April will feature a record number of six international pavilions from strong farming countries Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic and Zimbabwe, each showcasing their own specialised products and services to the agri community. “For four years now the German Agricultural Society has been involved in Agritech Expo Zambia” says Martin Botzian, Head of Communication at DLG International GmbH. He adds “since 2016 the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture has organised a German Pavilion and DLG supports this strategic investment, bringing German companies to the No 1 open air expo in Zambia. We see this fair constantly growing from year to year, attracting more and more exhibitors as well as professional visitors and small scale farmers from all over Zambia. It continues to be the gathering place for the agricultural business sector and delivers a very professional platform to meet all the different types of needs. Well done to all of you -we know how hard you have had to work to deliver this!” New at Agritech Expo Zambia this year are official country pavilions from the UK, the Netherlands, France and the Czech Republic. “The Zambian market is exciting because it is diverse, booming and very professional” says Aude Roelly, Sub-Saharan Africa Area Manager at ADEPTA, an organisation of 240 French companies specialised in agriculture and agri-food processing, and convenors of the French pavilion at Agritech Expo. She continues: “we know that agriculture is and will be key in the diversification of the Zambian economy. The vision that is being presented by the Zambian authorities for the development of the sector relies on the private sector (investment, innovation) and the improvement of productivity. Those are very good signs for equipment and machinery providers. The shift in subsidiary, from consumption to production, is also a very good sign that Zambian companies will focus on innovation and value adding and therefore may look into French technologies and know-how.” The Holland Pavilion at Agritech Expo is hosting 18 Dutch companies, mainly active in the poultry and dairy sectors, accompanied by several Dutch knowledge institutions that are leaders in their field of expertise in agriculture. According to Joost van Dam, director NEC (Netherlands Export Combination) and organisers of the Holland Pavilion “Zambia will need to acquire resources such as capital, expertise and equipment in order to realise its full potential. Dutch companies can provide some of the required inputs owing to the strong position of the Netherlands in global dairy and poultry value chains.” He says the Netherlands has had long standing involvement in Zambian agriculture. “For example, it previously supported agriculture training colleges (e.g. dairy and horticulture). Through various business support instruments, the Netherlands is currently supporting an irrigation scheme that primarily benefits small scale outgrowers.” It is also possible for Dutch farmers to share many useful skills with their Zambian counterparts. He explains: “these range from production or technical knowledge for selected crops. Other valuable skills relate to managerial expertise that enables farmers to operate as businesses. For market entry into the Netherlands and Europe, a key requirement is certification. Local exporters must comply with public and private standards that govern imports. Association with the Dutch farm sector can facilitate transfer of such knowledge.” The United Kingdom’s Department of International Trade has acknowledged the immense trade and investment potential that exists in Zambia’s agricultural sector, says Jelena Duza, Trade and Investment Adviser, Southern Africa, Agri-tech & Healthcare at the Department for International Trade. She adds: “this year, we have chosen Agritech Expo as an important platform to allow UK companies to access this potential and make an important contribution to the industry in Zambia. The UK Pavilion will be showcasing the best of British agricultural technologies. Visitors can expect to meet with exhibitors with a focus on livestock, mechanization, seed and crop protection, and agro-processing.”