Looking ahead to AFIA*AGRO

by Chrystal Shannon
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AFIA*AGRO de las Americas, the largest international agricultural and livestock equipment, supplies and services show in Mexico and Central America, will be held for the eighth time in Guadalajara, Mexico, Feb. 28-March 2.

AFIA*AGRO began in 1992 as a biennial feed and livestock supplier exhibition. In 1996, agricultural equipment, services and products were included. In 1998, because of the fast-growing global market and the lowering of trade barriers, AFIA*AGRO de las Americas became an annual show.

In 2001, more than 41% of the visitors were from the agricultural sector. Visitors include ranchers, farmers and distributors/manufacturers representatives looking for lines to distribute, according to the show organizer, ITIINCUSA.

"Ranchers and farmers from throughout Mexico, along with visitors from Central and South America, have put a unique stamp on this exhibition," said a spokesperson for show management.

According to a visitor survey, many attended the show last year to see new trends and technology, obtain product information, look for new products and find new suppliers.

This year, more than 140 companies from over 14 countries are expected to participate in the exhibition. Show management said they try to keep a 50-50 ratio between international and domestic exhibitors. Several U.S. states have planned pavilions, and several Mexican states are planning to organize official pavilions as well.

Exhibit categories include processing equipment and supplies; mill design, engineering and construction; packaging equipment and supplies; post-harvest equipment, such as storage equipment; pest management; material handling equipment and supplies; grain and seed companies; feed manufacturing; macro and micro ingredients; pharmaceutical and animal health products; transportation equipment; and many more.

The show officially opens at 10:30 a.m., Feb. 28, but organizers this year added "VIP Buyers Hours" from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. preceding the inauguration that will allow suppliers to invite important and potential clients to view their exhibits. Regular show hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Feb. 28 and March 1, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 2.

A series of seminars also will be held throughout the three-day event. Scheduled topics on Feb. 28 include "Dairy technology and products in rural areas," "Improving corn varieties through limited interbreeding," "Feeding the reproductive herd for optimum performance," "Organic milk production," "Manure management considerations," "Vegetable parasites," and "Waste management for pig and livestock ranches."

Seminars on March 1 include "Food product certification in Mexico," "Selling agricultural products via auctions," "The U.K. pig industry," "Standardizing agricultural products in Spain," "Marketing agricultural and livestock products in today’s climate," "Biotechnology challenges in Mexican agriculture," "Cooling, drying and valuing balanced feed," "Bio-security and risk factors in the agro-livestock industry," "Selection and storage of feed ingredients for swine diets," and "Indoor environment for mature swine."

Seminars on March 2 include "Hydroponic lettuce production" and "Mexico food safety regulations."

All seminars will be in Spanish, although some have been selected for simultaneous English translation.

For more information about show registration, contact AFIA*AGRO by e-mail at ITIINCUSA@aol.com, by phone (in the U.S.) at 818-591-2255 or by fax at 818-591-2289.