Edito : With the Coronavirus and the times we live in being what they are, Irrigazette, just like everyone all over the world, has resigned itself to the joys of lockdown
Published the 22/05/2020
Efficiency, sustainability and digital were the three fundamental elements of the 41st edition of the Fima international fair, which was held from February 25 to 28 in Zaragoza, Spain.
FIMA 2020 will go down in history for being the edition in which records were beaten, both by the number of exhibitors - more than 1,650 -, by the number of square meters - 163,500 distributed in eleven pavilions - that by the number of visitors -237,446, gathered around the agricultural machinery sector. For five days, the Zaragoza Fair site has become an unmissable meeting place for professionals, eager to learn about the latest technologies applied to the agrifood market.
The 1,652 brands that participated in the 41st edition of the international fair supported the event and ranked it among the elite of international fairs, especially in the southern European market and throughout the Mediterranean region. In this way, FIMA 2020 closes its doors and does so with the full support of the market, which positions it as a leader in Europe. The qualitative leap experienced by the event, as highlighted by the president of the Zaragoza Fair, Manuel Teruel, was the general tone of an event marked by "the high professionalism and the great interest shown by the visitors ". In this sense, the director of the institution expressed his "total satisfaction" for the development of FIMA and for having made Zaragoza and Aragon "become references for the international agricultural market".
One of the most striking aspects of the exhibitors of this edition was, in addition to the professionalism of the visitors, the internationality observed in the pavilions. Finally, around 80 nationalities gathered at FIMA 2020, which shows the center of attraction that FIMA generates among professionals.
The irrigators were generally satisfied with the show. We were able to see some interesting innovations from manufacturers, including some of them: The FieldNet Pivot Watch from Lindsay, a new dripper from GestiRiego, the new H 6000 dripper from Rivulis, and the new Aquapro dripper from Chamsa.
However, the pivot manufacturers have deplored a fall in the Spanish pivot market: given the low cereal prices, farmers are tearing up their corn and wheat, and replacing it with more profitable crops, such as almonds and pistachios , watered drop by drop. Several dozen pivots have recently been dismantled.
The fair took place against the background of the agricultural sector crisis in Spain. For several years, the country has encountered major soil and climatic difficulties. The soils, already not very fertile and over-exploited, are more and more compacted. In addition, drought has been raging for 60 years and has worsened in recent years, with global warming. In 2019 Spain lost 44% of its olive production due to drought. Modernization is essential: that of watering crops. Computer systems that deliver the right amount of water are still underused today. In Aragon, 350,000 hectares are currently irrigated. According to Manuel Teruel, "The government plans to increase this irrigated area by 10%. Irrigation is a fundamental tool for improving the profitability and the economic dimension of farms. "
Finally, as in all of Europe, farmers are penalized by low prices and competition. Orange producers in Valencia complain about competition from South African citrus fruits; Andalusian farmers have promised that no olive oil tanker will come out of warehouses in March to protest the pressure of large retailers on prices; the cucumber and tomato producers of Almeria who throw their crates to goats in order to protest against Moroccan competition, or those of Alicante grapes who pluck hundreds of hectares because the price offered to them (from 20 at 25 euro cents per kilo) does not cover production costs (between 40 and 45 cents). Since the beginning of January, from one region to another, farmers have been mobilizing, demanding fair prices. Their movement even has a name and has its hashtag #AgricultoresAlLimite (End Farmers).
In an effort to appease their anger, the leftist government has undertaken a reform of the value chain law, inspired by the French Egalim Law, in order to avoid sales at a loss. The Spanish Minister of Agriculture has promised that with this law "breeders and farmers will receive a fair price" and that "in written contracts it is not possible to sell below production costs".