2016 was an extremely difficult year for Thailand, with the loss of king Bhumibol. While grieving 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.
A round of applause at the opening of the previous VIV Asia, held at March 2015. Photo: VIV Worldwide
This year, Thailand isn’t quite the country we all used to know. On October 13, 2016, the world’s longest-reigning king, Bhumibol, passed away at the age of 88, leaving many Thai behind in disbelief. His loss was mourned intensively for days after his death and mourning is expected to continue for some time, as the royal cremation is only expected to take place 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.
Register here for the VIV Asia 2017 show
Now 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 hopes to attract 40,000 professional visitors from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Should the targets be met, the show would again have grown in size compared to the 2015 edition, when a gathering of 867 exhibitors attracted almost 38,500 visitors from 47 countries.
All About Feed’s sister title Dairy Global is involved in the DairyTech event, to be held on March 14, the day prior to VIV Asia. The dairy industry in Asia is booming, but also full of challenges. Think of biosecurity. The quality and safety of milk is of key importance for dairy farmers. Especially in hot regions, emphasis on biosecurity and pathogen exclusion are key to make sure the milk isn't contaminated. In addition, diet optimisation is a topic for Asian regions. Nutrition can have a great impact on boosting milk output, increasing animal health and hence reduce antibiotic use on the farm. At the DairyTech event, all of these topics will be further discussed. Also, renowned speakers from the Thai Holstein Association, FAO will update you on the Asian dairy farming sector, breeding and genetics, sustainability and more!
Expanded show set-up
In order to reach the new goals, VIV Asia 2017 will be expanded and will be spread out over 7 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 2 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 2nd 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, 2 seminars in the afternoon of March 15, organised by Proagrica, the brand behind All About Feed. Both zoom in on the reduction of antibiotics, one with a focus on pig production, the other focusing on poultry production. There is one more reason to head to Bangkok in March: the exhibition is uniquely held in co-location with another major agricultural show, Agritechnica Asia. In 2019 the events shall take place at different moments again.
Register here for the VIV Asia 2017 show