Some 50 emerging commercial farmers from Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique are being given the opportunity to attend the upcoming Agritech Expo at GART in Chisamba from 4-5 April. They will attend workshops designed particularly for small holders and emerging commercial farmers, to provide them with the basic information and context to better understand the technologies that are on display and available.
“One of the reasons from a regional standpoint that we are so excited about Agritech Expo is that Zambia is becoming a real hub for emerging commercial agriculture” says Robert Turner, Director of Agriculture, USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub – a key partner in the Agritech Expo. The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub is presenting the two-day free technical workshop programme and sponsoring the hosted visitor programme for small commercial farmers and small and medium enterprises at the expo.
Small holders provide majority of staple food
According to Robert Turner, “the Southern Africa Trade Hub is part of the US government’s Feed the Future Strategy, and our focus is both on the competitiveness of regional agriculture and on food security. As part of Feed the Future, the US government is focusing support on the following countries under the Trade Hub’s umbrella: Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. In all three of these countries, small holder farmers make up the majority of staple food production, but they all suffer from very low productivity. Our support to the Agritech Expo is part of the Trade Hub’s regional approach to improving productivity among emerging commercial farmers and small holders.”
Show to be a regional resource
The USAID Southern African Trade Hub programme includes a subsidy for emerging commercial farmers in the region to attend the show. Robert Turner explains: “why we think it is important for them to attend the show, is that one of the contributors to low productivity is the lack of adoption of new agricultural technology. This includes improved seeds, fertilisers and mechanisation, and the Agritech Expo represents a sustainable, commercial mechanism to allow farmers access to these technologies. Because of Zambia’s commercial agricultural sector development, a wide range of companies representing a range of important technologies will be at the show. These technologies and services are needed throughout the region, and we want to support the show to be a regional resource.”
“It will really make a difference in my life”
Dozens of emerging farmers in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique have already signed up for this programme, eager to broaden their knowledge and make contacts at Agritech Expo in April:
– “This is a privilege for us farmers. I hope there is no problem if I attend all the programmes. I would want to make full use of the time I will be there. Be blessed”. – Charles Mphoyo, Malawi
– “I am anxiously looking forward to attending this programme.” – Ulemu Bertha Siwinda, Malawi
– “I am excited to receive this invitation. I believe it will enrich my knowledge in commercial farming and entrepreneurship in different agriculture value chains.” – Ernest Musukwa, Zambia
– “Thank you so much. I am looking forward to attending the Agritech 2014 Expo.“ – Alex Muthali, Zambia
– “Thank you very much for the emails and for your time. I am positive that it will really make a difference in my life.” – Munachoongo Mutelo, Zambia
Thousands of agricultural professionals are expected at Agritech Expo at GART from 4-5 April. The expo is free to attend for all agricultural professionals who pre-register, or arrive with an event ticket.
Global agri giant AGCO has already confirmed its exclusive Diamond Sponsorship for Agritech Expo while Stanbic Bank is a platinum sponsor. Other sponsors include: Action Auto, SARO, AFGRI, BASF, Seed-Co, Zamseed, Du Pont-Pioneer, Massey Ferguson, Challenger and Valtra.