EIMA International set a new record for the inaugural day compared to the opening of the most recent edition with a 20% gain in the number of visitors attending. The pavilions were jammed with people from the early morning on while Michele Scannavini, the President of the Italian Trade Agency, ICE; a City of Bologna commissioner, Davide Conte; Bolognafiere President Franco Boni; and Massimo Goldoni, the FederUnacoma President officially opened the 42nd edition of the exposition running in Bologna through Sunday, November 13.
The event dedicated to agricultural machinery and technological innovations is presenting this year more than 100 appointments for the general public on a full schedule of meetings focusing on the salient issues of the economy and mechanization. For starters, the matter of policies and strategies for the recovery of the agro-mechanics sector was taken up in a conference on Machinery for Agriculture: A New European Agenda sponsored by FederUnacoma with the cooperation of CEMA and Agrievolution. Over the last 2 years the European Union Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) arrangements have been changed to shed the benefits of protection measures and begin coping with the market. This development had an immediate impact leading to declining investments throughout Europe, especially in machinery. On the other hand, the CEMA President underscored the point that competition in the agricultural machinery sector is being penalized by European Union regulations originating in the automotive norms, as if the two sectors adhered to the same logic and the same trend. He said that to now lose out on world markets it will be necessary to reverse this trend and add drive to agricultural mechanization with broader and specific regulation for this sector and incentives for the spread of new generation technologies.
Aiming at innovations also means upholding safety in that design and development of advanced agricultural machinery has run parallel to the reduction of accidents in agriculture. Under the heading of a meeting on Professional Accidents and Illness in Agriculture: The Evolution of INAIL Norms, Increase of the Phenomena and Financial Performance it was explained that the number of accidents in farming in Italy is second only to that of the construction sector. Data reported for the past 50 years disclosed that these agriculture accidents have sharply declined from 255,941 in 1955 to 37,969 in 2015. In 1955 fatal accidents came to 1,210. The meeting sponsored by INAIL was also an occasion for learning about the evolution of safety regulations and on the job accidents one year before the 1917 centennial of the introduction insurance for farm workers by the institute.
As regards productivity, the optimum use of available resources and the matter of safety, innovation can make the difference. In this connection, the opening day of the exposition yesterday also featured Tractor of the Year, an event which drew crowds for this EIMA International fixture for awarding prestigious recognition to the tractors judged as outstanding for technological content. This year, the list of the prize winners were the Case IH Optum 300 CVX Tractor of the Year 2017, the 9800 TR model signed by Antonio Carraro Best of Specialized, the T5.120 come Best Utility and the Deutz Fahr 6215 RC shift for Best Design.
Yesterday also witnessed numerous conferences, training seminars and press conferences held by manufacturers on a variety of issues. Among them was a seminar named Bio-Economy: Promising Supply Chains for the Use of Biomass held at EIMA International under the management of ITABIA, Chimica Verde Bionet, Crea Cin, Federcanapa, the University of Foggia and the Officina Naturae. It was explained during the seminar that here must be a return to the basic principles of agriculture. The chemistry of synthetics put to massive use over the past 50 years has created serious problems for the environment as well as the resistance of pathologies to plant treatment products. This means there must be a return to ancient farming practices, with the help of knowledge and technologies, as the right road to follow for sustainable and efficient agriculture.
The opening day came to a close with the International Dinner held in Palazzo Re Enzo for the delegations arriving from 70 countries embarking of a full schedule of business-to-business meeting over the days of the exposition.