With increased numbers of both exhibitors and visitors, the second editions of AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA last week reached a successful conclusion in Thailand. There were nearly 300 exhibitors from 29 countries, an increase of about 25 percent from last year, and 10,677 trade participants and conference delegates from 69 countries, a 30 percent increase. These figures confirmed that both trade fairs have underlined their leading roles in both agriculture and horticulture in Southeast Asia. Seven country pavilions along with visitors from 69 countries demonstrated the international scope of the event. AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA 2018 enjoyed the support of the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, being the official co-host of the event.
Embodying innovation, people and technology, AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA proved to be the international industry platform, signposting the future direction of crop production for both field-scale and glasshouse cultivation, focusing on the needs of farmers and growers in the Asia-Pacific region. “Farmers were able to come and see the latest solutions appropriate for their businesses. Many of these innovations were only introduced for the first time nine months ago at AGRITECHNICA 2017 in Germany” said Peter Grothues, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DLG International GmbH. “The growth in the number of exhibitors that attended this year’s event is an excellent indication of how highly they value AGRITECHNICA ASIA as a platform to reach Southeast Asia’s farming professionals.”
AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti Asia were both held from 22-24 August 2018 at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC), Bangkok, Thailand. Both trade fairs will return to Bangkok from 7-9 May 2020. While Horti ASIA showcased smart horticultural technology for all types of growers, AGRITECHNICA ASIA presented a wide range of tractors, farm machinery and equipment, and spare parts and accessories that are expected to significantly contribute to the mechanization of new generation farms in the region.
Modern farming techniques are considered vital to tackle the increasing urbanization and associated decline in rural populations being experienced in many Southeast Asian countries, while they also have an important role to play in bringing improvements to both productivity and sustainability. The successful launch of a Systems & Components Asia section at AGRITECHNICA ASIA, which included a special feature demonstrating the correct use and maintenance of farming machines, confirmed the importance of mechanization to Asian farmers.
This year, AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA’s exclusive hosted buyers program attracted more than 300 leading buyers from 30 Asia-Pacific countries including Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. These invited buyers, who attended with the objective of identifying the most suitable technology solutions for their region, all agreed their visits had proved successful and they were satisfied with their visit to Bangkok.
The hosted buyer program included leading companies such as TH Milk Food, Lam Son Sugar (Lasuco), Mitr Phol Sugar and PT. Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food. The business matching service offered at Horti ASIA and AGRITECHNICA ASIA also got a very good response, with the number of business meetings requested during the trade fairs totaling nearly 1,500.
“I come to this exhibition because Thailand is a very important destination and Bangkok is an important hub for the whole ASEAN market,” said Sebastian Smija, Sales Manager Asia Pacific, Fliegl Agrartechnik GmbH, emphasizing the leading role of Horti ASIA and AGRITECHNICA ASIA as the number one industry business platform in Southeast Asia. “We come here not only to meet partners from Thailand, but also customers from Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. All these people come to Thailand because it is a central location, and that is why AGRITECHNICA ASIA is the international exhibition that is important for us,” he added.
“This is a very good networking place for us to see the latest agricultural technology from the top companies that exhibit here,” said Dr. Myo Aung Kyaw, Vice President of Myanmar Rice Federation. “We can see the facilities and machinery of the agricultural and horticultural sector all in one place. I firmly believe that this is a very good opportunity for us to come here.”
Willem Schoustra, an Agricultural Counsellor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands added: “I think the quality of this exhibition is really high because it brings techniques and innovations together from all around the world and adapts them to the situation here in Asia. Asia is the kitchen of the world, and has so much potential in terms of food production. In my opinion, this is the right place to be.”
The guided tours that were conducted for more than 1,000 of Thailand’s advanced farmers and agricultural government officers were a significant highlight of the AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA exhibitions. Organized by the Thai Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and the German Agricultural Society (DLG), the tours offered the farmers the opportunity to meet selected exhibitors and to benefit from the conference program, workshops and discussions with international agricultural and horticultural experts. “The guided tour program was a great success. During three days, the farmers had the unique opportunity to access modern technology and innovation as well as to establish contact with international companies and experts. They learned a lot about suitable technical and strategic solutions for successful farming in Thailand and Southeast Asia”, Mr. Somchai Charnnarongkul, Director General of DOAE, admired the guided tours concept. “We look forward to collaborating with DLG and VNU in the future.”
The comprehensive conference program provided a stage for experts from all over the world and represented another attraction of AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA 2018. Visitors and exhibitors used the forums, seminars and conferences for intensive discussions and networking to share their knowledge, best practice and innovation strategies.
With their range of leading technology and new developments, Horti ASIA and AGRITECHNICA ASIA represented a unique information platform in the fields of crop production, horticulture, agricultural machinery and equipment. “With the knowledge and sector-specific know-how of an international expert network, as well as its Competence and Test Centers for agriculture, agricultural technology and food production, the DLG is a competent partner that can meet the needs of farmers and growers in Southeast Asia,” said Peter Grothues.
The DLG organized the conference program together with international organizations such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Regional Council of Agricultural Machinery Associations in Asia and the Pacific (ReCAMA), the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
At AGRITECHNICA ASIA 2018, DLG launched the first Agrifuture Forum, focusing on drone technology and precision farming. Seminars and panel discussions such as “Farming goes digital”, “Precision farming in rice production” and “Success through joint machinery use” addressed topical issues relevant to the agricultural industry in Asia-Pacific. The world-class international forum organized by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) on “Horticultural product quality”, outlining the challenges facing Southeast Asia regarding fresh produce quality along the post-harvest supply chain, was another feature area that drew attention from local farmers.
AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA are jointly organized by DLG International GmbH (a subsidiary of the German Agricultural Society) and VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific Co., Ltd. The co-hosts are the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and the Department of Agriculture (DOA). The trade fairs were supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany; The Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB); and internationally important partners such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS); and the Regional Council of Agricultural Machinery Associations in Asia and the Pacific (ReCAMA).
AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA will next take place from 7-9 May 2020 at BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand. Other farming highlights scheduled for the region include: