Agrisell at Agriscape in Abu Dhabi
From the 9th till the 10th of December 2019, Agrisell attended the Agriscape International Conference in Abu Dhabi, Emirates.
Jan-Hendrik Fourie, Manus Visser and Christian Vosloo represented Agrisell at the conference, which is an unique event in the sense that it does not follow the format one usually expects.
The exhibition consisted out of the traditional exhibition stalls, but also featured keynote speakers, one-on-one meetings, networking opportunities and exclusive networking rooms, as well as Agri-land buyers, traders, and marketers looking for available food factories, agricultural land, inputs, and produce available on the international market. Agriscape is a closed event, thus attendance or exhibition, is by invitation only. With approximately 50 vendors and 300 selected companies, mainly CEO's and executives, attending from more than 17 countries (Emirates, USA, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Singapore to name a few) the exhibition was informative and meaningful.
It was an intensive two days for the three agents and comprised 18 one-on-one meetings, 3 keynote speaker addresses, as well as random visitors at the exhibition stand.
For the agents, it brought forth quite an interesting perspective on the global size of agriculture, discounting the USA "where bigger is always better". "From coffee plantations in Ethiopia spanning 28 000 hectares to irrigation farms in Sudan of 200 000 hectares, Agriscape redefined our notions of Mega Boere!"
Due to the current economic climate in South Africa, the agents were questioned constantly about the supply of produce (South Africa is still held in high regard) rather than investing in land/equity because of the political instability and economy. These querries were opportunities for sharing critical information, and educating, prospective clients and buyers about South Africa's stability and growth potential. There is a high demand for South African farms in the international community, especially entities from the Northern Hemisphere. Because of our idyllic weather it makes a lot of sense for Northern Hemisphere suppliers and producers to secure land/produce for the cold, non-producing winter months.
Another shrewd question that repeatedly emerged in the discussions was, "What incentives are offered by the South African government for companies and individuals investing in South Africa?" Some of the other countries at Agriscape featured delegates from their respective departments of Trade and Industry boasting with various attractive tax incentives and rebates for investors. This is something the South African government and local agrisector lobbiests would be wise to consider (in so far as the aim is making our markets more attractive to international investors).
All in all, Agrisell had a very successful exhibition and gave excellent exposure for their clients to the international market. Arriving back with a wealth of knowledge, it also enables Agrisell as a company to better address, source, and meet the needs of prospective international clientele.