This year it was Argentina's turn to host the biennial ALA congress and show. From 6th-10th September producers, suppliers and poultry specialists from all across Latin America met at the La Rural fairgrounds in the country's capital, Buenos Aires. Not without reason, since Argentina is currently emerging to take the number two position on the continent.
By Ad Bal
Until the beginning of this millennium, Argentina has been a modest player in the international field of poultry production. But since a new strategic plan came into place, the poultry business took off in 2005 and is still on the upswing.
In 2010 production reached 1,700,000 tonnes of which 310,000 tonnes were exported. Domestic consumption reached 37 kgs per capita. According to CEPA, the Argentine poultry producers association, an annual growth of 6% is estimated until 2017. Also egg production and consumption are on the increase.
Place to be
Thus Argentina is a good meeting place and this helped the organisers enable the ALA congress and show to be a successful event. It is the biggest of its kind in Latin America. This years edition attracted around 20,000 visitors, of which over 2,500 also attended the conference programme which took place concurrently with the show. A full range of presentations on health, nutrition, incubation, management, processing and food security were given by specialists from all across Latin America. Also quite a number from Europe and North America also presented their paper, making the seminar programme of interest for a wide range of attendants.
The tradeshow itself was of a high calibre with many well designed stands. “Buenos Aires is the place to be”, one exhibitor said. “All major producers have come here for the show. It is a very good meeting place and Argentina is the market of tomorrow. That’s why this show is an excellent venue.”
During the inauguration ceremony of the ALA event, all official speakers emphasised the need for poultry producers in Latin America to respond to the growing demand for poultry and eggs in the region and the chances they have in this respect. Among them was also the Argentine minister of agriculture, Débora Giorgi who officially opened the congress. The theme of this years’ congress and show was “an environmentally friendly world food reservoir”.
By that, the Latinos understand that they are close to the major feed resources of the world. After all, both Brazil and Argentina are major producers of animal feed ingredients. However, they also do realise that they have a responsibility to produce in a sustainable way. For understanding this necessity, the ALA congress was an excellent venue to gaining knowledge in this field. It will have helped in paving the way for further development of the poultry industry in Latin America.
Rotating ALA congress
ALA is the overhead association of national poultry associations in almost all countries in Latin America. Their aim is to join forces and share information and knowledge. As such their biennial congress and show is the main meeting place. The next edition of the ALA congress will be held in November 2013 in the city of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador in Central America.
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