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AGRITECHNICA ASIA & HORTI ASIA Regional Summit: Smart production for sustainable food systems

16 and 17 November 2021 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, and virtually on DLG’s online platform – Conference, exhibition and farm visit – Co-hosted by the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives

(DLG). The AGRITECHNICA ASIA and HORTI ASIA Regional Summit, to be held as a hybrid online and in-person event on 16 and 17 November, offers farmers and farming specialists from Thailand and South East Asia not only innovative farming systems and a wide range of solutions for improving crop production but also access to a worldwide network of international companies and experts. Under the guiding theme “Smart production for sustainable food systems”, the Regional Summit addresses the challenges of sustainable food production facing farmers from Southeast Asia and especially Thailand. The AGRITECHNICA ASIA and HORTI ASIA Regional Summit event, which is organized by DLG (German Agricultural Society) and VNU Asia Pacific, takes place at the Imperial Hotel and Convention Centre Korat in Nakhon Ratchasima, at the very heart of rice, cassava and sugarcane production in Thailand. Complementing the in-person event held in Thailand, DLG’s online platform will additionally connect onsite and online international providers, experts and attendees The summit is officially co-hosted by the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Plant production is a vital part of many sustainable food systems. At the same time, such food systems have to protect natural resources and also contribute to both improving the livelihood of stakeholders and strengthening communities at all levels. In order to cover these challenges simultaneously while ensuring sustainable food production by Southeast Asian and Thai farmers especially, more innovative methods and smart solutions are required. Project Manager, Ms. Kamolchanok Nantaburom, summarizes what participants can expect: “The AGRITECHNICA ASIA & HORTI ASIA Regional Summit offers the opportunity to both gain insights of upcoming international trends in food production and improve local production systems that consider the needs of farmers and markets. We are very happy to present such an international event at the heart of a key production area and are overwhelmed by the local support.”

Conference program: focus on local production systems

The conference with over 50 speakers from Thailand and worldwide will focus on topics such as efficient and sustainable sugarcane, cassava, rice and maize production as well as precision and smart farming, plant protection, water management and cluster farming as well as new markets such as vertical farming and bioeconomy.

“We are collaborating with quality conference partners, who are leading specialist organizations like the International Rice Research Institute and the Thai Society of Sugarcane Technologists. The combination of experts from the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the private sector sharing the latest innovations as well as practitioners demonstrating best practices live from the field will create a unique place for knowledge exchange and networking,” explains Project Manager Katharina Staske.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work and our expectations of the future. The UN Food System Summit 2021 as part of the “Decade of Actions” is awakening the world to the fact that we must work together to create the future of food and agricultural systems to achieve the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Governments alone cannot deliver the goals for our Roadmap for more sustainable, inclusive and resilient systems for food and agriculture. We need the collaboration and partnerships of all stakeholders. In this context, the AGRITECHNICA ASIA & HORTI ASIA Regional Summit is a place where international knowledge and innovations can offer technical solutions to the local farmers and businesses. Through the ongoing exchanges between the Ministries of Agriculture of Thailand and Germany, we’re looking forward to more collaboration at all levels, Government-to-Government, Business-to-business and most importantly, our farmers-to-farmers,” said Dr. Vanida Khumnirdpetch, Director of the Bureau of Foreign Agriculture Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, emphasizing the importance of the event in November.

Further Information and registration: |

VNU Asia Pacific is part of the VNU Group, a globally operating exhibition company with offices in Utrecht, Shanghai and Bangkok, and consolidates the international exhibition business of Royal Dutch Jaarbeurs. In South East Asia, Jaarbeurs has formed a Joint Venture with TCC Assets, a leading corporate conglomerate in the fast-growing region. From its business hub in Bangkok, VNU Asia Pacific covers all key exhibition markets in South East Asia. The company’s constantly evolving show portfolio includes brands from the AgriTech, Animal Husbandry, Animal Companion, Food, Life Sciences and Biotechnology industries. For more information, please visit

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Priva Middle East team has been in Qatar

Over the past few days, the Priva Middle East team has been in Qatar. Together with colleague Jan Westra from the Netherlands, our GM Giovanni A. visited various knowledge institutes, government entities and the well-known QTFA farm.

The trip, co-organised by Heba leith from the Netherlands Embassy in Qatar, included a visit to Hassad Food, Qatar’s premier investor in the food and agri-business sectors, and the Ministry of Municipality. During these visits, our Priva team discussed potential collaborations including the opportunity to jointly form an eco-system to achieve the set goals of Qatar’s food security strategy.

To build a robust food security strategy, Qatar has outlined its focus on four pillars:

1. Ensure that trade routes are diversified so that risk-exposure is limited and a contingency plan for alternative routes as needed;
2. Move food from port, field or reserves to table as efficiently as possible (i.e., limiting food losses/waste), with regulations that foster competition and encourage safety;
3. Put in place adequate but sensible reserve capacity to act as a buffer in time of crisis, both for inputs (water, seeds, fertilizer) and outputs (food products); and
4. Efficiently cultivate crops, meat and fish within the confines of a Qatar’s resource base to ensure a stable source of perishables in times of crisis, as well as providing a regulatory framework that creates incentives to focus on commodities that make sense from a cost-competitiveness point of view.

Source: (former) Qatar Ministry of Municipality & Environment (MME), Qatar Food Strategy 2018-2023.

Jan and Giovanni also met with representatives from Qatar University and the Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI) part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University. QEERI is a national research institute tasked with supporting Qatar in addressing its challenges related to energy, water and the environment. The institute’s work is in line with the goals set forth by Qatar National Vision 2030, and is supported by the Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation.

On Monday, a visit to Arab Qatari Agricultural Production Company (QTFA) was on the agenda. Established in 1989, QTFA is considered the largest agricultural farm in Qatar. Spanning a total land area of 200 hectares, the farm is divided into open fields and greenhouses (cooled and un-cooled). QTFA produces around 28 types of premium vegetables and among other well-known Dutch companies, Priva’s products are in place at the farm. Senior Agronomist Carol Khadra and Senior Production Supervisor Buddhi Magar very kindly took the time to show our colleagues around the farm and its locally produced crops, including tomatoes and cucumbers.

The trip to Qatar concluded with a luncheon with Dutch Ambassador, H.E. Mrs Marjan Kamstra, Deputy Ambassador, H.E. Tiest Sondaal, Business Developer Gulf Region NL Embassy, Heba leith, and Chairman of the Dutch Business Council Qatar, Robert W. Cats Cats.

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Japan: Philip Morris-backed group to launch first plant-based Covid vaccine

A unit of a Japanese company backed by Philip Morris International is planning to launch the world’s first plant-based Covid-19 vaccine that is potentially cheaper and easier to transport and store than conventional jabs.

Toshifumi Tada, head of vaccine business development at Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, said its subsidiary Medicago would apply for Canadian approval for its vaccine candidate that is made from a plant from the tobacco family by the end of this year.

The Osaka-based pharmaceutical group expects global demand for Covid vaccines to remain strong as new strains of coronavirus continue to emerge, giving it an opportunity to break into a market that has been dominated by frontrunners such as Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

“As with seasonal flu, we don’t expect demand [for Covid vaccines] to suddenly disappear, and there is still much uncertainty regarding emerging variants,” Tada said. “We believe there is value in expanding options for vaccines.”

No plant-based vaccine has been approved for use in humans, but proponents of the technology said such vaccines were attractive because plant leaves grow quickly, shortening the manufacturing process and lowering costs. Faster production, they added, also makes it easier to adapt to combat new strains.

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Fruit salon – prices are the same as in a jewelry store: the most expensive fruit store operates in Japan

The Japanese are more than extravagant people, they always come up with something, go ahead of the rest of the world. This time they distinguished themselves with the world’s most expensive fruit salon.

Sembikiya is essentially a fruit shop, but the goods here are so expensive and the interior of the store resembles a jewelry salon, so “fruit salon” is a rather apt name.

This is the main store of the Japanese fruit giant Sembikia. It has been run by the same family since 1834. At the time, it was an ordinary fruit shop, but one day the second generation wife of the owner of the shop decided that they could make money in another way.

So, this is more of a gift shop than a store. About 80–90% of these goods are bought as a gift, because in Japan it is customary to give expensive fruits for official events (weddings, business negotiations and hospital visits).

Square watermelon – for only $ 212.

$ 69 for a package of royal strawberries (12 pieces).

Or a watermelon denuke for $ 127 ???

By the way, in 2011, farmers from Hokkaido were very sad because the price of these watermelons fell: the most expensive of them was then sold for “only” $ 4,000. Only 100 of these watermelons are grown in Hokkaido every year.

Yubari melons (one for $ 160 or two for $ 265). These are the most expensive fruits on earth. Once such a melon was sold at an auction for $ 23,500.

What’s so special about them? First, they are grown in ideal greenhouses and covered with hats to keep them from drying out in the sun. Each plant produces only one fruit, and to get the sweetest fruits, farmers cut the fruits ahead of schedule.
The Sembikia family claims that it was she who started the tradition of giving expensive fruits.


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