The third AgroFarm was held at the All Russian Exhibition Centre (AREC) in Moscow from 20 to 22 May 2009.
The course and the results of this year's event especially underscore just how firmly this international exhibition for animal husbandry and animal breeding has now become established as a platform for further development of animal production in Russia. Despite the difficult economic situation, the organisers were able to achieve growth of about five per cent compared with the preceding year and registered over 8,000 expert visitors.
This is a clear indication of a substantial increase in the need for information, as now in particular Russia's animal farmers are looking even more strongly for solutions to improve production efficiency on their farms. AgroFarm was able to satisfy them with its extensive range of exhibitors and many specialist events, as the high level of visitor satisfaction documented.
Ninety-one per cent of the visitors assessed the exhibition as very good or good. The exhibitors too rated their participation as good and were satisfied with the course of the exhibition and the very many new customer contacts they made.
AgroFarm is organised by DLG Agriservice, a subsidiary of DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – German Agricultural Society, Frankfurt am Main) and the Agricultural Sector of AREC (Moscow).
The next AgroFarm will be substantially larger and will be held in the new Hall 75 at the VVC Exhibition Grounds in Moscow from 26 to 28 May 2010.
Comprehensive exhibition programme
With 162 exhibitors from 15 countries, the organisers once again presented an extensive exhibition programme on a total floor space of 7,300 square metres. The exhibitors focussed on modern genetics for breeding and on animal housing systems and modern production methods for cattle, pig, poultry, goat and sheep farming, as well as for aquaculture. In addition to exhibitors from Russia, many exhibiting companies came from Germany, the USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Hungary and other countries. The exhibitors also included global market leaders from the area of milk production, DeLaval and GEA Westfalia Surge.
There were 34 exhibitors from Germany. Attendance was enabled in particular by a national pavilion promoted by the German Ministry of Agriculture. In addition, there was substantial participation from the United Kingdom, Italy and France.
AgroFarm is important platform for Russia's animal production
Elena Skrynnik, the new Minister of Agriculture, stressed the specific importance of AgroFarm for the further development of animal production in Russia already at the start of the exhibition. In a word of welcome for the opening ceremony, she described AgroFarm as "an effective platform for developing animal production further in Russia". The exhibition's function as a future-driven expert event for the entire Russian Federation is also spotlighted by the strong support provided by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture with regard to content and organisation.
At the opening ceremony Valentin Denisov, Chairman of the Agricultural Committee in the Russian State Duma, Sergey Lissovsky, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Agricultural and Food Policy and Fisheries of the Council of the Federation, Vasiliy Shapochkin, Director of the Department for Animal Production at the Ministry of Agriculture, Clemens Neumann, Director-General Political Staff, Basic Policy Issues and Renewable Resources, (BMELV – German Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection), Andrey Belyankin, First Deputy Director General of OAO GAO VVC, Dr Jochen Köckler, Managing Director of the Exhibitions Department of the German Agricultural Society (DLG), and Zoya Bautina, Director of the Agricultural Sector of AREC, drew attention to the importance of modernisation and introducing new technologies, exchanging experiences and international cooperation in animal production.
Highly topical and top-flight specialist events offer forum of the future
The enormous demand for information makes the top-flight flanking expert programme a special hallmark of AgroFarm. The exhibition is characterised not only by its high international flair and strong orientation to practice, but above all by the fact that this is the forum where important issues of the future influencing further development of animal production in Russia are discussed. Russian, European and North American specialists described their positions and pointed ways to the future at over 30 conferences, forums and panel discussions. Leading Russian and European agricultural associations and federations took part.
The spotlight was on a panel discussion on the topic “Potential of Russian animal production – reservations and development perspectives”. At this event the competent Head of Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and leading Russian and international branch experts, market analysts and farmers discussed the problems and perspectives of animal production in Russia. The event was lent particular importance by the fact that the Director of the Animal Production Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Vasiliy Shapochkin, played an active role.
Animal show and focus on cattle: AgroFarm hallmarks
The Animal Show is AgroFarm's trademark. At this year's exhibition breeding cattle (Ayrshire, Kholmogory, Black Pied), breeding pigs (Duroc, Landrace, Large White), and breeding poultry (pheasants and quails) were presented.
Once again this year too, not only the exhibits on the stands but also live demonstrations on hoof care organised by GEA Westfalia Surge and practical demonstrations on udder care and milking by the firm DeLaval were among the magnetic attractions of AgroFarm.
The high international nature of the exhibition was also displayed at the conference on cattle breeding programmes of the future in which leading breeders from Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Ireland participated.
Dairy farming is in a difficult situation in Russia due to the low milk prices and the global financial and economic crisis. That is why forums on these thematic areas were overfilled, reflecting the exceptional interest in topics such as regulating the milk market, relations between milk producers, milk processors and the trade, introduction of new technical standards, minimising production costs and special features concerning keeping high-yielding animals. Interest was so great that listeners were standing outside the doors too, especially at the information event entitled 'The last drop: The raw milk market in Russia: perspectives for dairy farmers', organised in cooperation with the Dairy News information agency.
Pigs in focus
One meeting point for Russian and international pig breeders and a highlight in the pig sector at AgroFarm 2009 was the panel discussion on the topic 'Building up the genetic basis for Russia's pig production'. Here the top international and Russian pig genetics were represented. The directors of Russian pig breeding farms and representatives of pig breeding organisations in the British Pig Association as well as the firms Simtech Swine Systems Inc. (Canada), Topigs CIS (Holland), DanBred International (Denmark), Hypor bv (Holland) and PIC Genetics (United Kingdom) were among those attending.
Questions concerning state support for pig farming, supplies of high-performance genetic material for farms, building and modernising pig housing and approaches towards increasing pork quality were discussed at further forums for pig farmers.
Poultry in focus
The Poultry Conference held from 19 to 21 May at the Scientific and Technological Research Institute for Poultry Production (VNITIP) that took place at AgroFarm deserves particular mention too. Some 400 experts attended the conference and discussed topics relating to poultry breeding, husbandry, feeding, and veterinarian and hygiene aspects of egg and poultry meat production.
Goat husbandry in focus
New themes were introduced at this year's exhibition, such as the development of goat keeping in Russia. The event was totally overfilled. Experienced goat breeders and beginners discovered the subject of dairy goat husbandry and debated on selection of breeds, technologies for goat keeping, and processing and distribution of goat milk.
The Feed information centre and traditionally events concerning animal, health, slurry management and aquaculture attracted large numbers of interested visitors.
AgroFarm Awards for outstanding machinery and particularly good service presented for first time. At the opening ceremony the organisers awarded prizes for outstanding machinery and equipment for the first time. An independent commission made up of Russian and international experts selected the prize winners.
Two items of equipment won the Best Product-AgroFarm 2009 award, the swivel agitator from Lothar Becker Agrartechnik and the analysis device eProCheck from the firm, Minitüb. These two products represent particular benefits improving the efficiency of animal production in Russia. Two companies received the award for Best Service-AgroFarm 2009: Russian firm, AgroProektInvest, and Conexx-Rus, the Russian branch of the Dutch Conexx Group. This award goes to companies who offer particularly good service to their Russian customers in the animal branch.
New – Job Forum The shortage of specialists and difficulties encountered in the search for qualified staff are problems experienced in Russia's farming sector. AgroFarm 2009 offered an information platform here. University graduates and young specialists were able to file their applications on the spot, and animal husbandry farms provided information about their job offers.