From April 17-19, the Agritech Expo in Chisamba, Zambia promoted technology and skills transfer to the regional farming community of Southern Africa. Over 10,000 small, emergent, and commercial farmers as well as members of the public attended the Expo—a 20% increase over last year’s numbers—to investigate new products, technologies, processing methods, and applications in the agriculture sector. Zambia’s Vice President Inonge Mutukwa Wina officially opened the 2015 event, stating that the Agritech Expo is a magnificent innovation exposing farmers to practical solutions.
A Strategic Partnership Grant with USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub enabled the Expo to launch with a strong start in its inaugural year of 2014. For the 2015 Expo, the Trade Hub sponsored a farmer training program composed of technical workshops and panel discussions that included 16 presentations from experts in their fields. The Trade Hub moderated the program in conjunction with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU). Over 300 participants attended the successful presentations, which covered everything from irrigation and crop management to livestock and commodity markets. (Full event program at http://www.agritech-expo.com/usaidtech1) The Trade Hub also supported a training program for exhibitors to enhance their business-to-business skills and increase sales during the Expo.
Due in part to Trade Hub support in its inaugural year, the Agritech Expo has now become an annual event and has committed to a five-year partnership with ZNFU. With 112 exhibitors this year, it is the largest agricultural show in SADC (outside of NAMPO in South Africa) and an example of sustainable technology transfer and development from the Trade Hub.