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Bigger, better

April 14, 2002

AgroBaja ends

3-day run on

positive note

By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

MEXICALI — The second annual AgroBaja wrapped up here Saturday with event organizers hoping the international agricultural exposition provides an even bigger boost to the agri-business economies of the Imperial and Mexicali valleys.

Last year, after the first expo ended, 51 companies reported making 3,471 new business contacts and one-year term sales for $32.8 million (in Mexican currency.)

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This year the chances for even better results are good because

AgroBaja 2002 featured more exhibitors from more countries. It also featured more events — including Saturday's cattle auction — and more conferences, according to a Web site set up by event organizers.

The three-day event was at the agricultural test field of the National Institute of Forest, Agricultural and Livestock Research just south of Mexicali.

In those three days, close to 10,000 attendees from all over Mexico, California, Nevada, Arizona and even Sweden kicked the tires of new farm implements, browsed catalogs and heard sales pitches from agri-business entrepreneurs, producers, suppliers, irrigation systems representatives, seed companies, fertilizer salesmen, educational institutions, public utilities and the Baja California government.

The added international flair at this year's event was a conscious effort, according to event organizers.

To make sure AgroBaja 2002 reached an even bigger audience and could make people in Mexicali and the Imperial Valley even more money, the event organizers extended their marketing reach to include more than 35 countries.

Sweden, for one, thinks it's agricultural industry has a lot to offer to prospective investors. According to the Federation of Swedish Farmers, more than four-fifths of the country's agricultural revenues are from production of milk, beef, pork and grains.

"But agriculture also produces other goods and services in addition to food and wood raw materials. Biofuel offers a major potential and already accounts for a larger share of Swedish energy supplies than hydropower or nuclear power," according to the federation's Web site.

In addition to hearing the latest about the future of Swedish biofuel, attendees had a chance to close deals at the expo.

Banco de Comercio Exterior and Baja California state government representatives set up booths to help conduct business transactions.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com.

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