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Paris SIMA Show, technologies and projects for innovation in agriculture

The French agri-business show, a traditional appointment for agricultural mechanization, takes place from February 24th to 28th. For the first time ever, an Italian exhibiting area organized by FederUnacoma is hosted at the event. The interesting schedule of the show is mainly focused on electronic devices, with a view to the Startups implementing services for agricultural enterprises

by Giampiero Moncada
January - February 2019 | Back

The 78th edition of Sima, an exhibition dedicated to technologies for agriculture, which is one of the most traditional events in the field of agricultural mechanics, is taking place in Paris from 24 to 28 February with 1,800 exhibitors from 42 countries. Its last edition (2017) saw the presence of 232 thousand visitors. For the first time, Sima hosts a totally “made in Italy” exhibiting area, thanks to  an initiative promoted by FederUnacoma, in which a significant number of associated manufacturers can display their new products in a comprehensive framework in line with the country of origin and with an optimization of both logistical and economic aspects.

In addition to having a widely visible space, thanks to its size and a great design, the companies participating in the exhibition can take advantage of two meeting rooms, for business meetings, a welcoming corner, and an IT point. It is not only a matter of optimizing resources – explain the exhibition’s organizers – but of highlighting the role played by the “made in Italy” within the international framework. After all, Sima Show represents an opportunity to discuss the perspectives of the agricultural development of macroregions or other areas of the planet with specific peculiarities, to which agricultural mechanization can provide effective answers. The program scheduled by the Paris exhibition confirms this approach: Africa is, for the second consecutive year, the main character thanks to the Africa Summit, a day of conferences to get to know this continent, while a seminar is dedicated to Argentina in order to highlight the signs of recovery of this country that is so significant for world agriculture. France is naturally at the center of many technical meetings, addressed to issues and productions of specific interest. But the link with specific territories is destined to emerge also during many meetings on specific technical issues. The program is based on two main issues that have been long considered strictly complementary: technology and environment. Due to electronics’ ability to program and manage more precise and specific interventions, agricultural mechanization is now able to impact in different ways, according to each context. Sowing and harvesting equipment, as well as irrigation and disinfestation systems, have been enhanced to eliminate waste with at least two positive effects: reducing costs and avoiding negative consequences for the environment. For the manufacturers of agricultural equipment, from the agile ones to collect fruit on steep soils to giants for large arable land, electronics is no longer a sort of “added element” in a machine, but a structural component because it guides and controls its efficiency and behavior on the field. To the future of crops, or the new technologies that will help farmers increase yields by reducing the environmental impact, is dedicated a meeting scheduled for Sunday morning (24 February) and organized by the French Association of agricultural machinery manufacturers Axema, with the collaboration of the Inra, a public research institute in the sector of agronomy: an in-depth analysis concerning the major challenges that the sector shall face, such as the need to increase yields and to optimally manage fertilizers. To increase yields – a theme discussed in technical meetings promoted by Sima – the focus is on “combined crops” and “intermediate crops”, while the theme of fertilizers and nitrogen, in particular, remains in the foreground. 

The theme of new technologies – that represent the core of the exhibition and will be displayed in the halls – is at the center, among other things, of a round table (scheduled for the 25 February) dedicated to the agricultural applications of the increased reality and organized in collaboration with Agridées, a French think tank of the agricultural sector. These technologies allow obtaining in real time much information, such as the context of an operation, irrigation needs or when it is time to fertilize, by simply using a tablet to frame a crop or a part of it. The farmer is able to operate very simply because behind a technical device (such as a tablet) there are computer files including the so-called big data, as well as large processing capacity. The system is part of those information technologies that are the basis of precision agriculture, automation of function and applied robotics. Through all these techniques, a farmer is allowed to earn the status of entrepreneur able to compete in highly technological frameworks and to play an ethical role, both in terms of economic sustainability and for purely ecological aspects. In such an innovative context, in which the competition is based on the capacity to introduce new methods of production, a significant role is being played by the area that Sima dedicates to Start-Up companies, that arise from an entrepreneurial intuition and propose an alternative business model that challenges conventions. Collected in a “village”, according to the formula already tested in previous editions, this year’s Startups propose 30 new solutions to relevant problems. Many of them apply the idea of a community or a common platform through which share and exchange information, but not only, for the benefit of everyone. Agri-échange, for example, offers farmers the exchange of services with their own agricultural machines, without payment in cash; VotreMachine allows farmers to rent their equipment to other farmers; AgriCommunity, on the other hand, shares information on bio-aggressors to crops, therefore allowing timely interventions; LV Digital GnbH manages websites for the purchase and sale of used agricultural equipment. However, most of them offer specific and sophisticated uses of familiar equipment: a camera that controls irrigation (AgriSolution), a drone that controls the growth of plants (Airinov), and a collar that promptly communicates the needs of each individual bovine (Lituus).  

Components and equipment: the Italian collective

Braking systems, hydraulic cylinders, electronic control systems. Components are the most represented sector in the group of Italian companies promoted by FederUnacoma at the SIMA of Paris. Out of a total of eleven companies involved, as many as seven - AMA, ARAG, Braglia, DigiDevice, Safim, Salvarani, Tecomec - belong to the components sector. The equipment segment sees the presence of four companies, two of which - Celli and Dondi - are active in the field of soil processing technologies, while the others - Bgroup and Toselli - have a strong specialization in the pesticide treatment machines segment. Apart from the FederUnacoma collective, there are also numerous other Italian companies at the SIMA in Paris


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