South African companies and farmers looking to branch out beyond the republic’s borders should consider the potential offered by Zambia as the Agritech Expo Zambia takes place in Chisamba from April 27-29.

“Zambia is an exciting market to explore, not just for South African suppliers to the agriculture sector, but also for South African farmers,” said Liam Beckett, commercial director for the upcoming expo event, which is owned by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and returns to Chisamba for the fourth time.

“In certain sectors the South African market has become saturated and many South African companies are looking to branch out across the border, in order to continue their business growth in Africa,” said Beckett in a recent press release.

“In Zambia, there are approximately 400 registered commercial farming professionals, which represents a very lucrative potential market. The Zambian farming sector is also far more advanced than other neighbouring countries and farming methods are also similar to South Africa. Therefore, South African brands and products, such as implements and agro chemicals, are all applicable in Zambia.”

Last year, Agritech Expo Zambia drew a record-breaking attendance of 17,605 visitors.

This year, even more small-scale, emerging and commercial farmers are expected to descend on the GART research farm in the heart of Zambia’s agri-hub Chisamba, where the latest farming products and services will be showcased.

The three-day expo will furthermore feature an even greater international presence, with international pavilions from Germany, Zimbabwe, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the UK and France already confirmed.

The South African companies that have so far booked to exhibit or sponsor at Agritech Expo Zambia, include AGRICO, Gallagher Power Fence SA Pty Ltd, Hydraform, Kempston Agri–Claas, Lindsay Africa, Neptun Boot, Organico, Senter 360, Teejet and ROFF.

Many other suppliers have headquarters in South Africa, but are exhibiting as the Zambian branch.

“For South African farmers, Zambia is of interest as there are many new technologies, agro chemicals and commercial farming methods that are available in Zambia that they can learn from. They can also explore renting land on a 99-year lease to expand on their existing South African operations,” said Beckett.

Agritech Expo Zambia will also offer free workshops again, as well as live machinery and product demonstrations and crop trials. New for this year will be specialised agri-sector industry zones and mowing and baling demonstrations.

The expo recently won two coveted awards at the ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards in Johannesburg which honour excellence in the exhibition and events industry on the continent.

– By ANA