Practical, Free Workshops Again for Farmers at Agritech Expo in Chisamba in April

Chisamba, Zambia, March 19, 2015 --( The upcoming Agritech Expo, taking place from 16-18 April at GART in Chisamba, offers a range of free, practical workshops to assist farmers in the use of the latest technologies to improve their productive capacity and to become more competitive. More than 10 000 people are expected to descend on the centre of agriculture in Zambia again next month, following the hugely successful launch of the event last year. The event is owned by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and organised by Spintelligent.

“We have proven that we have a practical event that is hugely relevant to the market,” says Liam Beckett, Agritech Expo event director. “Agritech Expo created for the first time a business-to-business platform for agricultural professionals, from small scale farmers to commercial enterprises, to engage and conduct business with some of the world’s leading suppliers to the agricultural industry. From live crop trials and machinery demonstrations, to technical and practical workshops for emerging farmers and VIP business lounges for commercial players.”

He continues: “Zambian farmers, from small to commercial, know that technology and knowledge are the way forward if the country is to become that regional breadbasket that we all know it can be. A key founding partner in last year’s event, the USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, has again come on board to assist in reaching out to give farmers of all levels practical information and support. These workshops will take place on Friday 17 April and Saturday 18 April.”

High-level agricultural development
Gerrit Struyf, Director, Agricultural Value Chains at USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub says that “we would like to continue our association with this successful event, which supports the Southern Africa Trade Hub’s objective to promote investments and technology transfer in agriculture within the region. Based on in-depth discussions with our colleagues within ZNFU, we agreed to focus our support on high-level agricultural development presentations in eight selected areas, which will provide both small and large-scale farmers with the latest trends, market developments, and research findings.”

The high-level agricultural development presentations will be followed by panel discussions and question and answer sessions and focus on the following industry topics:

- Farm mechanization development for small, emergent and commercial farmers;
- Irrigation development for small, medium, and commercial farmers;
- Financing the agri-industry;
- Commodity market development;
- Crop management and legume production;
- Three livestock sessions, namely:
Goats, sheep and beef cows
Dairy and pigs

Confirmed session topics and expert speakers include:

* Enhancing mechanization and agriculture technologies for emerging to commercial operations
- Kevin Lesser, Tactical Marketing Manager, John Deere, Kenya

* Ensuring food security though production development in the red meat industry in South Africa
- Gerhard Schutte, CEO, Red Meat Producers Organisation, South Africa

* Improving farm productivity and promoting crop diversification and rural entrepreneurship through mechanisation of small and emerging farmers
- Jabes Mbewe, Farm Machinery Manager, Saro Agro Industrial Ltd, Zambia

* Enabling small holders farmers through small scale irrigation program
- Kenneth Chelemu, Technical Director, iDE Zambia

* Overview and outlook of the dairy industry in Zambia
- Jeremiah Kasalo, Dairy Association of Zambia

* Improve smallholders agronomics practices & the soy value chain
- Munyaradzi Mutsvairo, Managing Director, Pioneer DuPont, Zambia

* How do commodity markets function: Encourage the development of small and medium traders
- Jacob Mwale, Executive Director, ZAMACE, Zambia
- Brian Tembo, Chief Executive Officer, Lusaka Stock Exchange, Zambia

* Panel discussion on strategies to support the financing of equipment/mortgage.

Panellists include:
- Patrick Mutenda, Head – Agri Business, Barclays, Zambia
- Ephraim Mwafyeni, Head of Value Chain – Finance, Zanaco, Zambia
- Coillard Hamusimbi, Head Member Services and Agribusiness, ZNFU Lima Services Ltd, Zambia

Other new features and opportunities at Agritech Expo 2015:
- Expo extended from two to three days
- VIP business area
- Sprayer arena of 14000m²
- Livestock equipment section
- Zambian SME village

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.

Agritech Expo dates and location:
The expo days are planned with the following audiences in mind:
16 April, Thursday: large scale, commercial farmers, emerging large scale farmers, VIPs, media, government, industry stake holders
17 April, Friday: Small scale farmers, emerging farmers.
18 April, Saturday: small scale farmers, emerging farmers and other interested visitors.

Location: GART Centre, Chisamba, Zambia
Agritech Expo
Annemarie Roodbol