After a three-year break because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilema, was eventually able to officially open AgriTech Expo Zambia on the grounds ofthe GART Research Centre in Chisamba on the 8th April. As in previous years, the organisers, the DLG (German Agriculture Society) and the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) held the fair in the grounds of the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART). The Trust provided substantial support for the project, in particular regarding the establishment and maintenance of the trial fields.
On the day before the official opening day, the 7th April, which traditionally attracts commercial farmers from around the country, a High-Level Panel was organised. The panel addressed topics of high interest to farmers such as exports, water distribution and a well-trained workforce in the agricultural sector.
Pavilions from the European Union, Germany, Finland and United Kingdom as well from “Musika” (Musika stands for ‘market’ in several local languages) hosted more than 40 exhibitors presenting their products in the field. The numerous machinery demonstrations by leading agricultural machinery manufacturers were also popular. The free-to-attend practical Agriteach workshops for aspiring farmers round out the events.
Part of the German Pavilion was the Zambian-German Agricultural Knowledge and Training Centre (AKTC), a project within the Bilateral Cooperation Programme of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The counterpart of the German Ministry is the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture. AKTC supports Zambia in building a resource-saving agriculture and food industry through its diverse training courses for farmers, service providers and multipliers as well as agricultural advisors, lecturers and students.
A series of 20 technical seminars during the fair provided a valuable transfer of knowledge. As in previous years, trial plots were set up and machine demonstrations organised, providing important information for farmers. Trade visitors to AgriTech Expo Zambia were thus able to learn about the latest trends and developments in the agricultural sector and related industries, providing valuable knowledge transfer to improve farming methods and business practices.
An impressive array of field trials sown and planted by exhibitors – and maintained by GART – showed which crops and varieties are best suited for cultivation in specific regions. With 25 live crop trials, the available space was taken up and included new maize varieties as well as new vegetable and tomato varieties and mixed cropping of legumes and fruit trees.
Zambia continues to have great agricultural potential and a politically stable market environment that is increasingly attracting professional investors from abroad. The country's new leadership has initiated a rapid reorientation towards building a highly productive agricultural industry in Zambia.
Many new exhibitors who attended the show for the first time were impressed by the discussions with potential customers and have confirmed their participation for next year as well.
The AgriTech Expo Zambia trade fair became a must-attend event in the agricultural calendar for all agricultural professionals and suppliers in Zambia.
AgriTech Expo Zambia 2023 will take place from 20th to 22nd of April 2023 on the grounds of the GART Research Centre in Chisamba, Zambia.