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African style Aviana serves regional poultry industry

Poultry production in Africa is developing on a limited scale. Yet, some progress is being made towards market orientated production. Producers and suppliers recently met at the Aviana Africa show in Ghana's capital Accra. Not a major event, but very African.

By Ad Bal
An African tradeshow shouldn’t be  compared with the major shows in high volume markets like in the USA, Europe or Asia. After all, the volumes are not huge and poultry production in many countries in Africa is not really a high-tech industry.
Yet Aviana founder Inderjit Singh from Kenya has been organising these regional shows for some years now. “We don’t aim to be big” says Singh. “The major international shows are too far away for many African farmers. Therefore we organise regional shows, like in Nepal and Sri Lanka for selected Asian regions. In Africa we organise Aviana in Zambia and since 2010 also in Accra in Ghana. Our objective is to set up a small low profile show and allow suppliers to meet with regional producers who can easily reach a venue within one day.”
Towards sustainability
The National Theatre in Accra is where the Aviana show took place for the second time in consecutive years. The theme of this years’ show was “Progressing Towards Sustainability”, which was a popular choice of organiser Singh, the local co-organisers and authorities in Ghana.
There’s much to say about this theme, since there’s still a lot to gain in efficient poultry farming in Africa. High-tech  solutions are far beyond the reach of many farmers. For this reason, only about 30 exhibitors were on display, many of which offering basic equipment, rather than high-tech solutions. Also some breeding companies, feed ingredient suppliers and animal health companies exhibited at Aviana.
The emphasis of the show was on the layer business, since the majority of farmers in Ghana are producing eggs. Growing broilers is not profitable, since meat imports from mainly Europe and Brazil are making domestic broiler production unattractive. As a result, most broiler producers have gone out of growing broilers and switched to producing eggs. This is an easy move, since most layer farms are keeping their birds free range in “deep litter” houses. 
Zambia and Nigeria
At least for layer farmers in Ghana and surrounding countries, the Aviana show will have been an interesting meeting place. About 2,000 of them came to the show in Accra. The next African edition will be in Zambia from April 19-21, 2012. The Ghana edition will move towards a biennial frequency. But in between, a new location for Aviana in West Africa will be Nigeria in September 2012.
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Ad Bal

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