South Africa: What’s new at Undercover Farming Expo & Conference 2014?

A separate conference venue dedicated to new and emerging entrants to the intensive farming industry, awards for the best stands, a flower display competition and an International Day where delegates and visitors can exchange successes and challenges with counterparts from other parts of the world. All these are on the cards for Undercover Farming Expo & Conference 2014, which will be held at the Saint George Hotel Events Centre in Irene, Pretoria, from 4 – 6 March 2014.

Johan Swiegers, organiser of Undercover Farming Expo & Conference, says production under protective cover in plastic tunnels and with shade netting grew immensely during the last decade as far as electronic management, integrated pest control and biological plant management is concerned. During both of the previous expo’s new technology was available in the market, leading to the selection of the theme of the 2014 Conference – ‘What drives modernisation in the industry?’ “This event will therefore again be a meeting where seasoned producers, new entrants to the industry and input suppliers will converse about the future and concerns of the industry, as well as the prospect of expansion in the current industry, also by new entrants to the industry,” says Swiegers.

During the last two events and afterwards a number of discussions were held with interested parties in the hydroponics and intensive farming industry. This led to the decision that a separate venue will be dedicated to new and emerging entrants to the industry during the 2014 Conference. “Previously these participants found themselves in a rigorously scientific environment which was sometimes difficult to follow,” says Swiegers.

Another new feature next year is the “Best Stands Awards”, where the best stands will be judged according to set criteria. This means that visitors can expect well-designed stands with friendly service and good product knowledge. A flower display competition will also be held in association with the SA Flower Growers’ Association (SAFGA).

Due to the number of international exhibitors and visitors who attended the event the past two years, a decision was made to introduce an International Day on the last day of the Expo. Delegates from various embassies, visitors and producers can use this opportunity to exchange interesting facts across borders.

Swiegers says they are grateful to the loyal exhibitors who supported the event the past two years. “We trust that we will see them all again next year. Thank you also to all the exhibitors who already jumped at the opportunity to book exhibition space for next year, including Hishtil SA, Alliance Seed, Alnet, Alweco SA, Greenhouse Technologies, Pratley Marketing, Ball Straathof, SAFGA and Smart Farming Technologies. Our vision is that 2014 will be bigger and better than ever and that we will be able to offer our visitors much more than before. Companies interested in exhibiting at the show should book their space as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”

To exhibit at Undercover Farming Expo contact Suzanne Oosthuizen on tel: +27 (0) 82 832 1604 or For more information about the expo and conference visit the event’s website at

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