2016 was an extremely difficult year for Thailand as the country lost its king Bhumibol. While grieving about the passing of the beloved king, 2017 offers new chances and opportunities. The global agricultural community meets in Bangkok at VIV Asia 2017, 15-17 March.
This year, Thailand isn’t quite the country we all used to know. On 13 October 2016, the world’s longest-reigning king, Bhumibol, passed away at the age of 88, leaving many Thai in disbelief. The country mourned for days on end for the loss – something that is expected to last for some while as the royal cremation is only expected to take place in late 2017.
The deep love for king Bhumibol is partly explained by the royal agricultural projects he initiated during his reign, to achieve development of Thailand’s countryside. Well-known are his irrigation plans to facilitate agriculture and his projects to search and find alternatives for opium cultivation, many decades ago. In addition, he promoted a moderate, sustainable lifestyle without the over-exploitation of natural resources. His efforts undoubtedly played a role in Thai agriculture being in the lead in South East Asia for many years.
In early 2017 it feels almost contradictory to talk about Thai agriculture and speak about ‘moving on’. Yet Thailand has to, as feeding a country never stops. Bangkok will once more welcome the international feed-to-food business, as well as the pet nutrition and aquaculture industries, for the next edition of the biannual trade show VIV Asia in March 2017.
Despite everything, it promises to be an expanded version of the 2015 edition in many respects. The trade show aims for a goal of 1,000 exhibitors and also hopes to attract 40,000 professional visitors from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Should these targets be met, then the show has grown in size once more when compared to the 2015 edition, when a gathering of 867 exhibitors attracted almost 38,500 visitors from 47 countries.
In order to reach the new goals, VIV Asia 2017 will be expanded and be spread out over seven halls, including the 3 recently added halls to the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center (BITEC). This will allow the show to include a boulevard as well as two main squares, named after Utrecht and Abu Dhabi.
To encourage the promotion of innovations at VIV Asia, organisers VIV Worldwide have introduced an ‘e-Novations Gallery’ which allows visitors to flick through innovations in various categories ahead of the show. Winners of the e-Novation Awards will be announced on the second day of VIV Asia.
In addition, there is a host of side events being organised in both English and Thai, touching on the feed-to-food chain as well as aquaculture and pet nutrition and health. Worth visiting in particular are, of course, two seminars in the afternoon of 15 March, organised by Proagrica, the brand behind Poultry World. Both zoom in on the reduction of antibiotics, one with a focus on poultry production, the other focusing on pig production. In addition, Poultry World’s sister title Dairy Global is involved in the DairyTech event, to be held on 14 March, the day prior to VIV Asia.
There is one more reason to head for Bangkok in March: the exhibition is uniquely held in co-location with another major agricultural show, Agritechnica Asia. In 2019 the events will take place at different moments again.
VIV Asia 2017 will be held in BITEC, 15-17 March 2017. Don’t forget to visit Poultry World at the Proagrica booth, H099.2251. More information: www.vivasia.nl.