Strong AgroFarm 2013 in Moscow

Increase in exhibitor numbers, exhibition area and visitor figures - Most im-portant Russian trade exhibition for animal husbandry and breeding

The International Exhibition for Animal Husbandry and Breeding, AgroFarm 2013, took place from 5 to 7 February 2013 at the VVC exhibition grounds (All-Russian Exhibition Centre) in Moscow. As expected, it was the top forum for the sector in Russia at the beginning of the year. According to an initial analysis by the organizers DLG International GmbH (Frankfurt am Main), a subsidiary of DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – German Agricultural Society), and IEC of AREC (Moscow), increases were noted in exhibitor numbers, exhibition area and visitor figures. The number of exhibitors grew by around 20 percent to 333 companies by comparison with the preceding event. The exhibition area was expanded by 22 percent to 15,000 m² and the exhibition programme grew in all product groups. Pig farming, poultry farming, feedstuffs and veterinary medicine in particular displayed marked growth. The number of expert visitors also rose by five percent to 9,800 during the same time period. AgroFarm 2013, with its outstanding exhibition programme and a total of 45 specialist events in the technical programme, has provided important stimulus to increase the competitiveness of Russia’s animal husbandry. It has further consolidated its position as the most important exhibition for animal husbandry and breeding.

Marked increase in international character
The international significance of AgroFarm has also increased considerably. Around half of the exhibitors came from outside Russia. In total, companies from 28 different countries presented their products and services to Russian farmers. The largest contingent of inter-national exhibitors came from Germany (44 companies). Companies from France, Den-mark, the USA, and the Netherlands, as well as from Italy, Canada, Spain and Turkey were also noted for their strong presence.

High visitor quality
The broad-based programme covering technology, farm and production inputs, genetic resources, feedstuffs and animal health met with an expert public that was characterized by a high degree of professionalism. Investors, specialist and managerial staff from animal husbandry farms, as well as representatives from academia, professional organizations and public authorities from more than 70 regions in Russia came to AgroFarm 2013 to gather information. In addition to the excellent programme provided by exhibitors, the visitors used the numerous specialist events for an in-depth exchange of experiences and opinions on the newest production methods in practice.

International specialist events with high-ranking participants
As part of the Business Forum "Successful Animal Farming in Russia: How to Withstand Import Pressures", prospects for development in Russia’s livestock farming sector were discussed. In this context Vladimir Labinov, Director of the Department of Animal Produc-tion and Breeding of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, presented the development pro-gramme for the sector up to 2020, which aims to increase production of all the main animal species. It became clear during the ensuing discussions that this target is only feasible with further state funding programmes. As Alexander Kostikov, Director of Communications and Investor Relationships for the Cherkizovo Group explained, his company has invested around 1 billion US dollars in the domestic poultry and pig farming sector during the last five years. In his view, it is particularly the continued market development in the pig sector that will gain in significance. According to his company's calculations, the amortisation period in the pig farming sector has been seven to eight years. In future a period of more than ten years will have to be assumed. Michael Fritsch from the German company Tönnies Lebensmittel GmbH & Co. KG reported on his company’s first investments in Russia in sperm production for pigs, pig finishing farms and feed production plants. "Our investments are target-orientated and long-term", stressed Fritsch, who is responsible for the strategic development of the company in Russia.

Alex Lissitsa, President of the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club, reported on the experiences of WTO membership and their influence on farmers: "Increasing import pressure has prompted Ukrainian producers to lower costs further". Evgenija Uvarkina, Managing Direc-tor of OОО «Agrofirma TRIO», highlighted the significance of technological modernisation for competitiveness in the dairy production sector. She sees essential factors to be state regulation and support, as well as ensuring market transparency. For Clemens Boone-kamp, Consultant for Agriculture and Trade Policy for the WTO, the most important funda-mentals to guarantee global food security are market transparency and compliance with WTO agreements. "Every WTO member should be in a position to provide for its own food requirements," he explained. Additionally each WTO member should regulate its trade pol-icy so as not to negatively influence other countries. Comparing the development of animal production in China and in Ukraine before and after joining the WTO, as well as their projection for Russia, Ekaterina Krivonos, the economist for the Department for Trade and Markets at the FAO, explained that WTO accession does not play a determining role in the development of the animal production branch. It is the general economic situation, the development of demand and guaranteeing food security and quality which are the deciding factors.

Another highlight at AgroFarm 2013 was the now traditional meeting of the Russian-Danish Agribusiness Club. The Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Den-mark, Mette Gjerskov, as well as the Vice Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, Ilja Schestakov, and other experts, professionals and representatives of Danish and Rus-sian agribusiness participated.

The sector's most important Russian trade associations and unions, the milk producers' association "Souzmoloko", the poultry union "Rosptizesoyus", the national association of pig farmers, the national association of industrial cattle farmers, the national union of beef producers and the state cooperative association for commercial fisheries "Rosrybhoz" all held separate events at AgroFarm 2013. Representatives from the fields of politics and agribusiness, including top managers, investors and farm managers, attended.

"Best Awards AgroFarm 2013" presented
In the run-up to the exhibition, a neutral awards commission nominated a total of 13 prod-ucts for the "Best Award AgroFarm 2013". The prizes, including nine for "Best Product" and two for "Best Service" were presented at the opening ceremony by the Russian Vice Agricultural Minister, Alexander Chernogorov, the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Federation Council for Agricultural and Food Policy and the Use of Natural Resources, Sergey Lissovskiy, the Director of the Department for Agri-industrial Policy of the Euroasiatic Commission, Nadezhda Kotkovets, the Head of the Department for Exhibitions of OAO GAO VVC, Alexander Zabel, and the Managing Director of DLG International GmbH, Bernd Koch.

The next AgroFarm will take place from 4 to 6 February 2013, again on the VVC exhibition grounds in Moscow.