Agricultural and forestry technology for sustainable farming and forest stewardship at the largest fair in Central Europe

The TECHAGRO International Fair of Agricultural Technology, along with the SILVA REGINA International Forestry and Hunting Fair and the BIOMASS Trade Fair of Renewable Sources of Energy in Agriculture and Forestry took place at the Brno Exhibition Centre from 8 to 12 April 2018. All these fairs put together were attended by 724 companies from 37 countries on an area of ​​87,000 square meters – hence, the Brno Exhibition Centre was completely sold out. Over the five days, the Brno Exhibition Centre was visited by more than 110 thousand visitors.

Visitors from 38 countries signed in to the web application for pre-sale of tickets. This year, this complex was the largest event of its kind in Europe; for TECHAGRO, a provisional modular hall of 5,000 square meters had to be built. Specialized halls were dedicated to large agricultural machinery, spare parts and post-harvest technology. The TECHAGRO trade fair also featured a beekeeping exhibition and a show of livestock. Official joint displays represented Russia, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Serbia; trade missions came in from Turkey, Ghana, Mongolia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The delegation of Ghana made a contract with exhibitors for the supply of compact tractors worth USD 10 million. The expert jury of the GRAND PRIX competition awarded 17 exhibits; three of them received a new SOIL WATER RETENTION FRIENDLY award. Many exhibitors brought in their recently introduced new products.

TECHAGRO featured above all technology for precision and smart agriculture, which is eco-friendly and enables efficient production of clean and quality food in sustainable farming. The fair was also attended by a number of exhibitors of municipal equipment.

On Tuesday 10 April, a conference under the title The Future of Czech Agriculture took place at the Exhibition Centre with the participation of over 250 professionals who discussed farming in the time of climate change and the directions in which agriculture should be heading in the decades going forward.  According to the speakers, Czech agriculture will be essentially influenced by the EU Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 and by the reform of agricultural policy leading to a higher food production self-sufficiency.

The motto of the SILVA REGINA trade fair was "protection of the forest through its economic use"; this theme was reflected both on the stands and in the sideline programme. The professional sideline programme focused on topics that are currently being addressed in forestry and hunting, such as African swine fever or forest revitalization. The SILVA REGINA trade fair also offered visitors an educational and entertainment program. At the opening of the fair, the Jiří Novák Prize was awarded to Prof. Vladimír Symanov for his publication "Czech  Forests  in Dates  and Figures". The SILVA REGINA sideline programme featured several exhibitions, such as 100 years of forestry and hunting in Czechoslovakia, exhibitions of trophies, uniforms, photographs and hunting-themed pictures, or an exhibition focusing on Greenland fauna.

The exhibitors' stands at the BIOMASS fair offered visitors technologies enabling the energy use of wood mass and the processing of forest biomass. Practical demonstrations of machinery were staged at exhibitors' stands, and a part of this fair was an exhibition titled "Life in Soil" in Hall C and discussion forums on the stage. During the discussions at the "Life in Soil" exhibition, almost all speakers kept returning to the declining proportion of organic matter in the soil and to the possibilities of improving this status quo, one of the highlighted options was the supply of quality compost.

The Assembly of the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic had its meeting at the Brno Exhibition Centre on Sunday. Its delegates discussed a draft resolution, which among others calls on the Government of the Czech Republic to address lack of food self-sufficiency and the calamity situation in Czech forests. The proposed resolution also calls on the Minister of Agriculture to continue to promote the national interests of the Czech Republic in the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy after 2020. These interests include, in particular, the rejection of the capping of payments, the unification of the level of national subsidies and increased support for sensitive commodities.

A part of the sideline programme of the BIOMASS fair was a conference called Current Situation and Outlook for the Use of Certified Biofuels in Low Emission Mobility.

From 12 to 15 May 2019, the Brno Exhibition Centre will host the ANIMAL TECH trade fair, the National Show of Livestock and the National Gamekeeping Exhibition.

The next season of the TECHAGRO, SILVA REGINA and BIOMASS fairs will be staged in 2020.

Quotes about the fairs

Jiří Milek, Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic:
It is already the 15th season of the Silva Regina fair, and as you can see, there are more and more exhibitors with still more modern technology. And this technology in particular should help us manage the bark beetle calamity, which we are currently struggling with in North Moravia.

The TECHAGRO, Silva Regina and BIOMASS fairs have gained an excellent name during their existence, and nowadays they it can be said without exaggeration that they are the third largest trade fairs of agricultural technology and equipment within the European Union. This year, 724 exhibitors participate, of which 555 are from the Czech Republic. In this country, these fairs are organized precisely because our agriculture and forestry are at a high level. In using state-of-the-art technology and equipment we are one of the world's leaders, and at the same time we are also leading manufacturers and exporters of agricultural machinery. I believe that farmers will find a broad range of quality machines at good prices and on acceptable instalment terms and that the participation of each exhibitor and visitor to the fair will be beneficial to all parties and will contribute to further development and modernisation of Czech agriculture.

Bohumil Šimek, Governor of the South Moravian Region:
I am pleased that TECHAGRO is the second largest trade fair held at the Brno Exhibition Centre. The South Moravian Region has always been – and I believe it will remain – a farming region, but also a region where wine, fruit and vegetable growing are going strong. I believe that this fair will make a significant contribution to this.

Petr Vokřál, Mayor of the City of Brno and Member of the Board of the company Trade Fairs Brno:
The TECHAGRO trade fair shows what an important segment agriculture is. After years when many people asked whether agriculture had any meaning in the Czech Republic, this event is the best answer. The number of exhibitors is breaking records and there are so many visitors that they literally jammed the arrival routes to Brno and the whole exhibition centre, which really makes me happy.

Martin Pýcha, Chairman of the Agricultural Association:
This year, there are a record-breaking number of exhibitors and I am curious about where it will go further, how you will inflate the exhibition grounds and also Brno in terms of parking spaces. I am very glad that this year's TECHAGRO is focusing on the future. We are showing here that Czech agriculture is modern, and when I walk through the exhibition grounds, it fills me with pride. The interest not only on the side of Czech manufacturers of agricultural equipment, but also on the side of foreign exhibitors, leads to the fact that Czech agriculture is successful and very good.

Jan Záhorka, advisor to the President of the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic:
The Agrarian Chamber is a traditional co-organizer of the TECHAGRO trade fair and we are really glad that it gradually profiled itself as a leading European trade fair. One thing is to find a machine on the internet, another thing is to visit a company open day, and yet another thing is to arrive at a trade fair where a farmer can compare machines of different brands and talk to their designers and manufacturers.

Jiří Kuliš, CEO of the company Trade Fairs Brno:
The TECHAGRO trade fair proved that nobody will buy a tractor or a combine harvester over the internet, and that is why such a trade fair is really needed. I believe that the displayed technology and equipment will contribute to increased productivity of work in agriculture and to higher yields, too.

Jiří Mašek, Dean of the Technical Faculty of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Chairman of the Grand Prix TECHAGRO, Silva Regina and BIOMASS 2018 evaluation jury:
The jury has had an unfortunate role to choose from 91 participating exhibits those worthy of appreciation. Industry 4.0 has flipped into agriculture as well; hence we now have Agriculture 4.0 and Smart Technologies here. I firmly believe that these technologies and machinery will bring young people to agriculture, where they are really missing, and at the same time enable us to produce sufficiency of food for us and for those who perhaps cannot grow it by themselves.

Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Agriculture of Ghana
My visit to the fair assured me that people in Czechia and Ghana have common goals, and that there is room for cooperation and investment in Ghana's agriculture. Ghana is a world player in cocoa production, but there are opportunities in other commodities as well, such as growing vegetables; we also need technology for crop harvesting, packaging, etc. That is why we are promoting opportunities for the private sector here and inviting Czech companies to invest in Ghana. We also talked to the Czech Minister of Agriculture about cooperation in the field of education. I am in Brno for the first time and the city exceeded my expectations, although I had heard a lot about it from our diplomats. I believe I will come back here not only as a minister, but also as a tourist.

Margita Fuchsová, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Ghana
This is historically the second visit by a Minister of Agriculture of Ghana to the Czech Republic, after a long period of 55 years. The minister was very surprised at the level of Czech agriculture and exhibitors, great attendance and perfect organization of the whole fair. I consider this journey to be a success and I think it will be of great importance for the development of our bilateral relations, and implicitly also agriculture. Ghana clearly needs to increase productivity, and this trade fair has provided many examples of how this can be achieved. Czech entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to talk to their colleagues from Ghana on a forum that we organized here, and we hope that Czech companies will not be afraid to invest in Ghana. Our embassy will assist them on that.

Pavel Lorek, Product Manager, KUBOTA
Our company is launching the sale of suspension technology on agricultural tractors this year and introduces new L1 and L2, B1, B2 municipal tractors; hence TECHAGRO gives us an opportunity to show these new products to our customers. A lot of people came to our stand and to the fair overall; this trade fair is the largest event at the Brno Exhibition Centre, so there is nothing to be ashamed of compared to similar trade fairs in France or Germany. Even the weather was good, so what else could we wish for?

Radoslav Suran, Sales and Technical Support, Sittrans, Slovakia
We are exhibiting in Brno for the first time. We brought in our EQUUS 175 N forest wheeled tractor, which is all manufactured in Slovakia based on our customers' requirements. Previously, our company only serviced and repaired forest machines, so we asked our clients what they needed to change and improve, and then transferred it into reality. We sold the first fifty machines and Brno is another test for us as to how our forestry tractor will be liked by the professional public.

Zuzana Majerová, Sales Representative, VÍTEX CZ
We exhibit at the SILVA REGINA trade fair regularly. We are a Czech company from the town of Bystřice pod Hostýnem, we have been operating on the market for twenty-five years and we are dealing in knitting production of top hunting clothes – waistcoats, sweaters, hats and other accessories. That is why we attend trade fairs and exhibitions for hunters or larger events of hunting associations. Brno clearly is a leader and has no competitors, whether concerning the environment, the variety of products and the number of visitors.

Michaela Šafářová, Sales Representative, Agrotechnika Vaněk
We are one of the leading vendors of agricultural and forestry machinery in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, so we introduce ourselves at the Brno trade fair on two locations with various products, including a complete novelty – a forest extension for the Farmtrac tractor. After four days we can already say that we are happy because a lot of people have visited this trade fair, and at our "forest" display, visitors are rolling in and out every day from the morning to the evening.

Tomáš Svoboda, shop manager, STV ARMS
Participation in SILVA REGINA is important for us in terms of addressing future customers, otherwise we would not have come here. Especially on the first day came a lot of people who were interested in our whole range of products – weapons, ammunition, optics, accessories, and great attention was paid to the Finnish SAKO and TIKKA rifles.

Veronika Jeníčková, Sales Representative, BANNER
We are always satisfied here. We exhibit in Brno every two years; customers come back to us and know that on our stand they will find high quality. We mainly offer outdoor clothes and accessories, such as backpacks, bags, caps, hats and knives. This year we have come with a new collection and an extended range of ladies' clothing and, of course, there are plenty of popular shirts that are still dominated by the green colour.

Timotej Lehuta, Sales Representative, Lovinterier, Slovakia
Our company specialises in walnut wood products with hunting motives and also purchases antlers all over Europe. We participate in fairs regularly, not only in Brno, with a goal to address new customers. In the future, it's always hard to guess what the response and the real orders will be, but a trade fair is a good way to let people know about you. In Brno, we want to show Czech visitors in particular what inspiration Slovak mountains can be.

Jiří Kolovratník, Production Manager, UMIKOV
At the fair, we meet customers and new visitors who are interested in extensions, semi-trailers and trailers for the transport of timber, equipment and special loads, and have the opportunity to compare our products with our competitors. We can talk in person about who is doing what and show the solutions we offer, which is beneficial because in today's hurried times something is still changing and moving forward.

Karel Dvořák, Head of Forest Equipment Division, Hořické strojírny
We are satisfied with our participation in the fair. We find out about the reactions of our visitors to our new product - a new semi-trailer model that is designed to ride in the woods along narrow roads, and after leaving the forest, it can be rearranged to a configuration that is more suitable for driving along asphalt roads. We are glad that customers are coming to our stand after two years again, we are happy to meet them here and get their suggestions for improvement.

Alena Hůrová, Commercial Director, MOUDER
Given these trade fairs also focus on biomass, we decided to bring to Brno a German crushing and pressing machinery and also, as curiosity, a press and crusher for polystyrene. We represent seven German brands on this market and we are glad that our foreign partners are in Brno with us and that TECHAGRO is viewed as a fair of European significance. We are very happy with the number of visitors, which has been rising steadily from one season to another.

Petr Cankař, Technical Director, ATMOS
At this trade fair, we meet people who are close to timber. That is why we are introducing here primarily the most modern wood gasifying boilers that meet all the conditions of the boiler subsidy programme. We exhibit here regularly and I dare say that this is the best trade fair at the Brno Exhibition Centre, at least in terms of the number of visitors. It is an important presentation for us from the point of view of end customers.

Jaroslav Kubíček, Sales Representative, Biber
This trade fair is interesting for us because of its linking of biomass with forestry and agriculture, which is reflected in its good attendance figures. People keep coming in, which makes us happy. We take this opportunity to introduce ourselves as a manufacturer and seller of cutting and chipping machines from the smallest to the largest that supply power plants, heat generation plants or larger enterprises. Every year there are some new products, the efficiency of machines, the quality of service and the quality of chips produced increase. The exhibition is an opportunity for us to show where the development in our sector is heading and what all we do, including customer service and care.

Lubomír Hnilica, Project Manager, EnviTec Biogas Service
We attend every season of this fair and it always runs on two levels. On the one hand, we invite and meet the existing customers for whom we service biogas stations and cogeneration units, and we also want to address unknown visitors who may be seeing us here for the first time. It is a good opportunity to present new products to our customers with and to our partners – this year, for example, the German company MAN Rollo.

Jan Dušák, representative for the Czech Republic of the company SILOKING – Mayer Maschinenbau GmbH, holders of this year's GRAND PRIX Techagro
Techagro brings a great benefit to us. It offers us new business opportunities. It is the best way to present our products to the public. The exhibition has a very good level and it is very highly rated abroad as well. It is a respected exhibition.

Viktor Setnický, Managing Director, Survia s.r.o., holders of this year's GRAND PRIX Techagro
The Techagro trade fair is a great thing if you wish become known by people in the agriculture sector. As we are exhibiting a completely new product, we are focusing on marketing, and this is a way to make ourselves visible.

Bohdana Bačáková, Representative of APV – Technische Produkte GmbH for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, holders of the GRAND PRIX Techagro
We are very pleasantly surprised by the whole fair and the display itself. Equally excited were our Austrian owners, who were also pleased by the GRAND PRIX award. Great cooperation was going on already in the preparatory stage, it was pleasure to work with Lucie Vymazalová and Jana Machulová. And for the whole time there was no problem with anything or anyone, from electricians to stand assembly workers. I feel very positive about our participation.

Vlastimil Zeman, Director of Merimex (John Deere Forestry Oy), holders of GRAND PRIX Silva Regina
We have been asked a few times whether we would not want a separate "forestry" event. And we say no, because the combination of Techagro and Silva Regina brings in a great number of people who would certainly not come to a specialized fair if it was held separately. It is a chance for us to penetrate further, because among the farmers there are a number of those who also manage their own forests. It is becoming still more common and we see the Scandinavian trend coming here – in summer they work in the fields, in winter in the woods. In addition, foresters are highly interested in what is new in agricultural.

Jindřich Sinkule st., Co-owner of PetroJet Trade s.r.o, holders of GRAND PRIX BIOMASS
We are pleased to be able to present our MultiBio brand at Techagro. The exhibition is greatly organized, and its visitors are our target group of customers. We are completely satisfied with the results of the demand for our products here at the exhibition.

Agrotec Group, Martin Rada, CEO
Agrotec was present at all seasons of the Techagro trade fairs and we see how the relationship has developed – both with the exhibition centre and with the visitors. Nowadays I think we are a good partner of the exhibition centre and the exhibition centre is a good partner for us. We see how many people visit us here and with what interest they come in, it is simply a breakthrough event once in every two years. Customers come to see new products and what is important – they want to compare the equipment, and they can even compare the teams that work on the stands. I am glad that customers are present, that they are coming back to see us and still new customers are coming in, too. I believe that we have strengthened our relationships and established new ones.

Tomáš Kopa, Chairman of the Board, AGRI MACHINES SE:
As a young company we are exhibiting here for the first time, but we have a great display and brought in a lot of news. We are satisfied both with the fair and with our location in the modular hall because there are incredible numbers of people coming in here. From the point of view of our business, we are doing well, and hence this is our first time at TECHAGRO, but certainly not the last.

Martin Matuška, marketing specialist, Farmet a. s.:
This year's attendance was successful and we are happy with our display, so our rating is positive. We do not know our exact bottom line yet, but I think it will be comparable to past seasons. As a rule, we do not sell here, but meeting the customer in Brno at the fair is normally one of the steps that lead to the sale. For example, we agree here about lending a machine that the customer wants to try out in their own conditions.

Roman Jiráček, Key Account Manager Czech Republic & Slovakia, Trelleborg Praha, s. r. o. – Mitas a.s.:
We exhibit regularly at the TECHAGRO trade fair, this year for the first time at a joint stand with the Mitas brand, because we are members of the same group. For us, this trade fair is mainly about the strengthening of relationships with customers, who come here in large numbers every year. Motor shows are dwindling, but TECHAGRO is growing or at least keeping its level steadily. We rate this year's season of the fair positively and we will definitely come back here again in two years' time.

Vladimír Opatřil, Managing Director at AGROVO CZ s. r. o (WIELTON - AGRO brand):
We are sold out until the end of August, and that is why we see this year's TECHAGRO definitely well. We have sold virtually all the machines that were on display, we have made about 40 contracts here. Two years ago it was similar, so we are really satisfied with this fair.

Eduard Bielko, marketing and consultancy, ELITA semenářská, a. s.:
We have been exhibiting here since the very first season, and TECHAGRO for us means mainly to meet our partners and to present our company and our new products. This year's attendance is nice, with the exception of Monday, a lot of people kept coming in every day. The customers arrive here mainly from the Czech Republic, but also from abroad, as they will find all suppliers in one place here.

Marie Škotová, independent administrator, Marie Škotová, FERTISTAV CZ a. s.:
We were afraid that fewer visitors would arrive this year because the spring has begun late and the farmers now have to catch up on the jobs they did not get done because of the weather. But the opposite is true, participation is ultimately unbelievable. Most people came in on Sunday and Tuesday. For our company, this fair was really beneficial, we consider this season very successful.

Václav Janovský, co-owner of the company JK Machinery, s. r. o.:
We regularly exhibit at TECHAGRO and enjoy it here. Only people interested in post-harvesting equipment come in to Hall A1, and that is why we have only the visitors we need here. In addition to Czech customers, we also talked to people from Slovakia, Poland, Austria and Ukraine. We are satisfied on the business side this year as well.

Petr Pawlica, owner of the company PAWLICA s. r. o.:
The TECHAGRO trade fair is important for us from the point of view of maintaining contacts and obtaining information. This year, we are exhibiting for the first time in the new Hall A1 – a specialized area dedicated to post-harvest processing and storage. This trend is known for example from Hannover and I like it because customers nowadays are short of time and offer for them needs to be concentrated in one place.

Gabriella Csiszár, Project Manager at the Hungarian National House of Commerce:
For Hungarian companies, the presentation at the TECHAGRO trade fair is very important. This year, eight companies are exhibiting jointly here, and most of them come back regularly. They have excellent relations with Czech customers in the long run and the Czech market is also important to them because of its geographical proximity.

Gabriel Zborovjan, SKH AGRO, s.r.o. (Slovakia), Representative of the Hungarian companies AJG and Optigép:
Hungarian companies do not go to the TECHAGRO trade fair just because of Czech customers; in fact, Brno is actually a small Hannover and the goal is also to hit visitors from other markets. We have been coming back here since 2004, now it is the eighth joint participation of Hungarian companies, which I think speaks for itself. Our exhibitors are satisfied with this trade fair.

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