B2B mission with Vinpro, focus on vineyard and orchard techniques
The mission in South Africa has begun for Fieragricola, the international agriculture show, which is leading a group of 12 companies specialized in the vineyard and farming technologies sectors from now until 4th October. Today, on the debut at Paarl, an area with a considerable vocation for wine-production in the Western Cape province, over 150 experts, some arriving from hundreds of kilometres away, were in attendance.
An excellent start for «Fieragricola South Africa – B2B for the vineyard and orchard tech industries», a trade mission created through the partnership agreed between Veronafiere with Vinpro and also certified by the Italian Consul in South Africa, Emanuele Pollio.
«Two first-class sectors in the Italian System such as the vineyard and farming technology industries» said Consul Pollio, «have come to South Africa thanks to a farsighted initiative devised by Veronafiere, which is already a leading company in Italy with its wine and agricultural machinery trade shows. This trade mission is a unique opportunity for South African operators because it allows them to see how the technology of great Italian brands works».
Africa at Fieragricola. A mission that will not end with the Paarl event. «South Africa and the entire African continent» the General Manager of Veronafiere, Giovanni Mantovani, announced, «will be the core of Fieragricola internationalization policies in Verona from 29th January to 1st February since the country is an extremely dynamic export hub for the whole of sub-Saharan Africa».
The mission. 12 companies will be taking part in the follow-up event at Veronafiere with a specialized offer of equipment, systems and products for vine cultivation: Argo Tractors-Landini (official tractor partner), Agrimaster-Demetra, Bgroup, Carraro Agritalia, Celli, Dondi, Grena, Ideal, La Cruz, Orizzonti, Polimetal, Vignetinox.
Technology is necessary. The South African wine sector aims to speed up the introduction of new technologies also in view of climate changes. According to Albert Strever, the coordinator of the Agro Innovation Hub (grapes and wine) projects at Stellenbosch University, «technological innovation is definitely the road to take in order to boost South African viticulture. The recent South African water crisis following a period of drought, is being overcome also due to technological assistance, proving how technology is an important ally for wine-producers».
Events in South Africa. Thanks to «Fieragricola South Africa» specific trials in the field are ongoing in order to be able to see how the sophisticated air blast sprayers, cultivators, harrows, inter-row trimmers, machines for green manure and stalk crushers in operation and to have first-hand experience of the quality of the blades, springs and other accessories, stakes, power tools and bio-stimulants.
The event is, above all, a major networking and educational opportunity for importers, agents, wine growers, winery owners, producers, oenologists and agronomists aimed at promoting a profitable exchange of experience and know-how between all the sector’s expert insiders.
The South African economy and agriculture. South Africa’s GDP is growing (forecasts for the 2010-2021 period are +1.8%) and the primary sector is one of the country’s economic pillars with various opportunities in terms of capital investment, training, machinery, tools and services.
The agri-food industry is one of the South African government’s priorities in terms of technology transfer and boosting the local employment market.
South African agriculture features about 40,000 commercial farming companies (those with a surface area of more than 1,000 hectares) and 3,145 wine companies. Farming employs 5.6% of the total labour force.
Collectively, farmland amounts to about 97 million hectares with vineyards covering a surface area of 120,000 ha.
South Africa has a medium-high level of farming mechanization intensity with figures on the increase (+17% in the 2005-2015 period), equal to 771 tractors for every 100,000 ha. Livestock production represents an overall 44% of the industry’s production value showing a 14% growth rate from 2006-2016. Agricultural production amounted to 16.5 billion dollars with the added value coming to 8 billion dollars (in 2017).
Livestock farming is widespread and features good bio-diversity with over 28 million sheep and goats, 13 million cattle, 1.5 million pigs, 486,000 horses, 175 million poultry.
Relations with Italy. The trade balance with Italy is experiencing an increase in the exchange of goods. South Africa imported 6.7 million Euros of agricultural products in 2018, 14% more compared to the previous year, while farming produce exports stood at 163.6 million Euros showing a 37% increase between 2017 and 2018.
On the food front, Italy exported products for almost 117 million Euros (+8% compared to 2017), while South Africa’s food exports to Italy came to 25.7 million Euros (-35% compared to 2017).
In 2018, South Africa purchased 192 million Euros worth of tractors and spent 458 million Euros on other agricultural machinery. In this context, Italy is the leading supplier in terms of tractors (19% of the market share, equivalent to 37.2 million Euros, +7% compared to 2017) and fifth for agricultural machinery (6% of market share worth 28.3 million Euros, +3 per cent).
Italy is also exporting more machinery for the food & beverage industry with 19.6 million Euros worth of machinery being shipped in 2018 (+21% compared to 2017).
Good growth prospects. The primary sector is one of South Africa’s economic pillars offering various opportunities in terms of capital investment, training, machinery, tools and services. In view of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with the European Union, further opportunities are expected for Italian export, particularly in reference to agro-food machinery.