AfricanUSA Trade Connect will be among thousands of attendees attending the 2017 Farm Progress Show.
Farm Progress Show started in 1953 when a prairie farmer teamed with WLS Radio in Chicago to host a field day. Farmers were able to see firsthand the progress being made in farming equipment, practices and services.
The show is an annual event held in different places in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. The 2017 show will be held in Decatur, Illinois, a town located approximately 3 hours southwest of Chicago and 40 miles east of the Illinois state capital of Springfield.
The show will feature 600 plus exhibitors showcasing new farm equipment, supplies and services.
AfricanUSA Trade Connect is excited to attend this year’s show because in recent years there has been an increase in the inquiries for American manufactured agricultural equipment from African agricultural producers. These inquiries run across the entire agricultural value chain in the sub-Saharan African countries. The increase in inquiries are not surprising.
Over the last decade, millions of small to medium sized family farms in Africa have experienced big changes. These farms are the continent’s main source of food, employment, and income. Many African governments have put agriculture back to the top of their priority, in terms of development and self-sustainability. From a growing revenue base, they have increased the proportion of their national budgets going to this vital sector. Private companies have invested heavily in Africa’s agriculture value chains in recent years, paving the way for a re-awakening in Africa’s agri-food systems that multiplies the options for farmers in terms of equipment that they utilize, the seeds they plant, the fertilizers they use, the markets they can now tap into and the information services now available to help them manage their farming activities. Agricultural growth in Africa has also expanded livelihood opportunities for millions of people, especially young graduates that are having more difficulty in securing gainful employments. More people are now engaged and capitalizing in the off-farm stages of the agri-food system.
In Nigeria, the economic giant of Africa, 31% of the labor force in 2016 was in agriculture. In spite of this, there are several areas of the agricultural value chain that are untapped. Nigeria has 84 million hectares of arable land of which only 40% is being cultivated.
AfricanUSA Trade Connect will be attending farm progress show 2017 to identify the progress and new trends in agriculture so as to bring the current technology and practices to African farmers and the entire sector of the agricultural value chain.