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May 5, 2014

Brazil's Largest Agrishow Ends on Positive Note

Brazil's largest agricultural show, Agrishow 2014, wrapped up its 21st edition last Friday in the city of Ribeirao Preto in the state of Sao Paulo. The complete name of the show is the International Fair of Agricultural Technology in Action (Feira International de Tecnologia Agricola en Acao). The trade show had approximately 800 exhibitors and 100 hectares of field demonstrations. The principal crops highlighted at the show included: soybeans, corn, rice, sugarcane, and coffee.

The city of Ribeirao Preto, which is located in northern Sao Paulo state, is often considered Brazil's agribusiness capital. In addition to hosting Brazil's largest annual trade show, this region in northern Sao Paulo is the heart of Brazil's sugarcane industry. The state of Sao Paulo itself accounts for nearly 60% of the sugarcane produced in Brazil. Other major crops in the state include soybeans, corn, coffee, oranges as well as cattle, hogs, and poultry production. The state of Sao Paulo generally has the highest agricultural gross domestic product of any state in Brazil.

During the course of the five-day show, 160,000 people passed through the gates which was an increase from last year's attendance of 152,000. The show site this year had improved infrastructure including more asphalted roadways and improved lighting and water facilities.

Shows such as this in Brazil provide farmers with the opportunity to take advantage of special deals offered by equipment manufacturers, seed companies, chemical companies, and other agribusiness. Banks and other financial institutions are also on hand at the shows to help farmers finance their purchases.

The director of the fair, Maurilio Baigi Filha, estimates that R$ 2.7 billion worth of business was conducted during the show, which surpassed last year's total. According to the director, this was a pleasant surprise given the problems in the sugar sector, drought reduced crop production in southern Brazil this year, and the uncertainties surrounding a presidential election year in Brazil.

The director indicated that the number of agricultural equipment units sold this year was less than last year, but more higher valued units were sold this year. The show took on a political flavor with the appearance of potential candidates for Brail's presidency as well as the governorship of Sao Paulo.