EL CENTRO – The Pest Detection and Eradication, Pest Exclusion and the Pesticide Use Enforcement Departments of Imperial County participated for the first time in the annual AgroBaja event that took place in Mexicali, from March 3 through March 5.
AgroBaja is the only agricultural and fishery exhibition in the country that offers visitors agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and agro-industrial trending products and services yearly. It is also the only livestock, fishery and agricultural exhibition that takes place on the border between Mexico and the United States. It is organized by the AgroBaja Board, U.A., a non-profit organization.
“All three days we interacted with people from the agricultural industry, not only from Mexico, but from Imperial Valley and San Diego which included homeowners, students, business owners and government employees,” said Connie Valenzuela, Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner.
The purpose of the event was to facilitate the exchange of technology, knowledge, and marketing of products, not only to Mexico, but the world. Parts of the agricultural industry represented included growers, farm equipment, irrigation equipment, packers, and import/export service companies. There were also agricultural researchers’ exhibitions, representation from the local universities, and government agricultural agencies.
“Our booth visitors were very interested and had lots of questions about animal and plant health, bee decline, Africanized bee, pesticide issues, pest control and detection,” said Valenzuela. “Our Mexican visitors were informed that we do have programs in common with Mexico government agencies such as the detection program for the Asian Citrus Psyllid and Fruit Flies, and that if they had any questions or concerns to contact Mexican government agencies. We also told them about the importance of preventing the spread of exotic pest by not transporting agricultural products from other regions to our region or when crossing the border.” Valenzuela explained.
Additionally, the county had representation from the California Department of Food Agriculture Animal Health Branch and the State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation at the event.
For over 16 years, AgroBaja has been a showcase for major agro-industrial companies in the country, seeing businesses grow that are now exporting, where supported by the team AgroBaja, that found channels of growth needed by companies.
The number of exhibitors from various states of the country is increasing every year, reaching 737 exhibitors at the last edition to continue enriching the quality of the event offered to all attendees. More than 65,000 people visit AgroBaja yearly.
“In conclusion, this was a great experience for us; we had a great acceptance from the public, not only from the Mexican visitors, but also from Imperial Valley growers and residents that were really happy to see us participating in this event,” said Valenzuela. “We are looking forward to next year as we will again participate.”