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ProAgri Zambia 41

Agricultural shows are a lifeline for the agricultural sector. It entails much more than farmers coming together to drink and eat and having idle chats about their day to day activities.

At agricultural shows, very important networking is done, new products with the sure purpose of driving the industry forward are introduced, vital training is done, and important information is shared by knowledgeable and highly skilled experts. The recent Agritech was a prime example of a very productive show.

A huge shock went through the agricultural community when a letter from the Ministry of Agriculture was recently issued, stating that the upcoming 2019 provincial agricultural and commercial shows in Lusaka, Southern and Western Province were cancelled. Crop failures during the droughts of the 2018/2019 season were given as a reason and it was claimed that there was nothing much to be exhibited at these shows.

Every farmer in these affected provinces will beg to differ. Farming goes on whether it is raining or not. It might be in limp mode, but Zambian farmers manage to pull it through every single time and they always have something to offer.

It is in drought periods where shows are actually of crucial importance. These are the times when farmers really need knowledgeable people to show them how they can cope with these tough times. And to come back to idle chat…

Farmers need to socialise, motivate and support one another to keep up a high morale. Furthermore, exchanging plans and ideas to endure tough times will only benefit the farming community. It will be fatal for government to simply cancel agricultural shows. The spirit and existence of agriculture depend on it.

Luckily, the Zambia National Agricultural and Commercial Show will go on as planned. The 93rd show of its kind is scheduled for 31 July until 5 August at Lusaka show grounds.

This month, we publish a few more post-Agritech articles about satisfied exhibitors. Stanbic, K2 Seed, Hypeb, Amiran and Atlas Organics show us their products and services.

Farm smartly!
Du Preez de Villiers – dupreez@proagri.co.za

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