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27th Agrotica Fair breaks records - It opens on 1 February in the presence of the entire agricultural sector

Mr Vassilis Spyrou, Head of Organisation for Agrotica and Mrs Dimitra Emmanouilidou, President of EKAGEM, Mr Tasos Tzikas, President of TIF-HELEXPO, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, CEO of TIF-HELEXPO, Mr Savvas Balouktsis, President of SEAM and Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis, Deputy General Director of TIF-HELEXPO

This year’s Agrotica, which opens on 1 February and will last until 4 February, seems to be turning into a record-breaking fair. The fair is a truly sold-out event, as the entirety of the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre is being utilised for its needs. It is indicative that the 27th Agrotica will cover a total of more than 39,000 sq.m. of indoor exhibition facilities, which is a 15% increase in relation to the previous event, a unique success. There will be 1950 exhibitors from 45 countries (direct and indirect), in contrast to 1503 exhibitors in 2016 and 1349 in 2014. As was announced in today’s Press Conference in view of the opening of the fair, never before, since 1985 when Agrotica began, have such numbers been achieved. This fact makes this year’s event the greatest in its history, while also setting new records as an exhibition on a trade fair level for TIF-Helexpo.

The 27th Agrotica presents the innovation and future of agricultural production, as well as the effort for agriculture to function as a key driver both for the growth of the Greek economy, as well as for Greece’s rural areas. In fact, there are companies present from the entire range of agricultural production and technology, from all over the country, while participants also include the largest commerce and sale of supplies and agricultural machinery companies, with the presence of all major tractor brand representatives. Attending are also a number of associations, organisations and bodies, among which - apart from the relevant Ministry of Rural Development & Food - are the Association of Manufacturers of Agricultural Machinery (EKAGEM) and the Machinery Importers’-Representatives’ Association (SEAM), which are supporters of the fair.

Tens of thousands of visitors from all over Greece and abroad will cross Agrotica’s “threshold” this year, while numerous group delegations are expected from the Balkans and Southeastern Europe. Approximately 500 hosted buyers from 20 Balkan, European, Asian and Middle Eastern countries will also be attending. They include hosted buyer groups that will attend Agrotica en masse. Large organised groups of delegates will make up the many thousands of visitors expected from all over Greece, as significant interest was expressed in the fair from agricultural cooperatives, groups of producers, etc.

There is also a rich schedule of side events. One of the stars of the show will be the 7th Agrotica Pan-Hellenic Conference on: ‘Innovative approaches to the production and growth of Greek agriculture’, which is jointly organised by TIF-Helexpo and the Faculty of Agriculture of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Also, TIF-Helexpo and the Institute of Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology (iBO) / National Centre for Research and Technology (CERTH) are co-organising an event titled: ‘From conventional to “smart” agriculture through the use of robotics technologies’. There will also be a Test Drive of a commercial agricultural vehicle on a specially designed course.

Agrotica, a celebration of the agricultural world

TIF-Helexpo’s great responsibility in supporting Agrotica - so that it may continue to play its important role in agricultural economy - was underlined by the President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tasos Tzikas, who referred to its constantly increasing size. He also invited the agricultural world to embrace and respect the event, which, as he said, is its celebration, too.

TIF-Helexpo CEO Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis made mention of complete coverage of the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre, noting that even the ‘I. Vellidis’ Conference Centre has been turned into an exhibition space. In fact, he stressed that Agrotica is now a member of the powerful players’ club of Europe’s agricultural sector.

In turn, the new President of the Association of Manufacturers of Agricultural Machinery, Mrs Dimitra Emmanouilidou, stressed that during Agrotica’s 4-day duration, visitors can carry out thorough market research of the agricultural sector, while she raised the matter of increasing the duration of the fair by one day. She also underlined that this year the event coincides with the submission of applications for the new plans for the improvement of the agricultural development programme, and thus farmers will have the opportunity to be informed on this via Agrotica.

The Machinery Importers’-Manufacturers’ Association is participating in this year’s event with 39 members and 13,000 sq.m., as was announced by its President, Mr Savvas Balouktsis. He also noted that Agrotica has always been a forum of expression for the sector’s problems, while he referred to how old the fleet of agricultural machinery is in Greece, as well as the collapse of the tractor market, which in 2017 recorded just 839 sales.

Many companies in the agricultural sector were left out of Agrotica due to the high demand that exhausted all available exhibition space, according to the event’s organiser, Mr Vassilis Spyrou. He also underlined that this year there was significant interest from companies that work in precision agriculture and the application of modern methods in agriculture.

The operational needs of this year’s Agrotica are very demanding according to Deputy General Director of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis, who estimated that 100,000 will pass through the fair’s gates in four days.

The 27th Agrotica is being carried out under the auspices of the Ministries of Rural Development & Food and the Interior (Macedonia-Thrace). It should be noted that the southern entrance of the exhibition centre is being moved to the ‘I.Vellidis’ Conference Centre for the needs of the fair. Visitors can enter there (instead of the YMCA Arch entrance)