With 2,000 square meters of exhibition space, within a nearly entirely dedicated pavilion, the gardening industry has gained more and more important space within Agrilevante over the years. In this interview, Franco Novello, President of Comagarden, explains what are the expected developments for the future for an area that finds, at the Bari Fair, an opportunity to reach emerging markets.
How will the gardening sector be present in the fair?
Gardening has gained an important space within Agrilevante and today represents one of the specialized sections of the exhibition.
The space that the garden sector has acquired within an "agricultural" exhibition like that of Bari was born out of a spontaneous motion by the garden sector builders who realized that this showcase could be important to reach the public of professional operators and together the audience of hobbyists and enthusiasts. There is a functional reason why many of the economic operators and retailers, especially in the Mediterranean, deal both with agricultural machinery and with the care of greenery, and therefore find it useful to have an event in which both types of goods.
Are the garden environment gaining its identity in the event?
It has surely gained greater visibility and easier accessibility. The gardening machines are located in an almost completely dedicated structure, Hall 20, which is in the immediate vicinity of the "Verdi" entrance of the fair. Visitors from this entrance will have the "green" area as a first glimpse, in a context that will also have scenic scenic installations thanks also to the presence of the "MiA" area dedicated to multifunctionality inside the pavilion then to the maintenance and care of the territory.
Was there a growth in terms of exhibitors and extension of the exhibition area compared to previous editions?
The sector has grown in recent editions and today it has about 2,000 square meters of surface area.
It should be stressed that, beyond the extension and the choice of merchandise, the review presents a very high technology quality.
This not only acknowledges it as a high profile event, which promotes innovation, but makes it attractive to the public of professionals looking for reliable and next-generation technologies.
How many exhibitors are participating?
We have about 40 exhibitors of which a dozen from abroad, and we have some of the major brands worldwide. The leading manufacturers at the international level are all present at Agrilevante and along with them there are important companies specialized in all the new products of the range.
What are the product scope? Only engines and machines or other commodities?
The pink of the types of goods and models is very wide, because it includes self-propelled and hand-driven motorized machines, and large and small equipment for gardening and any kind of green maintenance. Let us consider, then, that some types of machines are polyvalent because they are used in the care of green but also in agriculture, and there are now forms of amateur or part-time farming, multipurpose green areas in urban and peri-urban areas, multifunctional activities of maintenance of the territory that often require types of machines similar to those for gardening and which represent a potentially very interesting market.
Is it possible that in the future a whole pavilion for gardening can be dedicated to gardening?
Already this year we have in practice a dedicated pavilion and in perspective the surface can grow further to meet the new needs of gardening and multifunctional agriculture. It should not be neglected to also engage outside areas in the exhibition grounds to carry out demonstration tests. This year at Agrilevante we will have, for example, an area equipped for flying drones, which are increasingly applied to agriculture but also to the control and monitoring of parks and green areas.
Is the initiative consensus among the companies that want to present themselves to visitors to Central and South Italy and more generally to the Mediterranean area?
The review has grown in recent years because construction companies see Agrilevante as a platform to reach emerging markets. In the South, in particular, attention is being paid to the maintenance of greenery and therefore the interest in its mechanical technologies, also in the context of a revival of the tourism industry, which is growing attention to urban furniture and even sporting equipment.
Are there events or courses specific to the garden area? Which?
There is not yet a specific seminar program, as we did at Eima 2016, but we will soon come up with training and training initiatives for both professional operators and hobbyists, because we are convinced that the fair should be a cultural fact and an opportunity to be valued in every respect. Of great support are in any case the activities carried out by the publishing houses of the sector, see in particular the initiative of "Vita in Campagna" which is also present this year to Agrilevante with its own space and that has already been developed a public open-plan meeting on plant care and seasonal green maintenance.