Nanchang, in the Jiangxi province in southern China, is famous for its eyewateringly spicy food.

It’s the home of some of China’s largest pig integrators and feed companies, such as the Twins Group, which now boasts 550,000 sows.

Last week, the animal husbandry sector was in town for the largest show of the year in China.

The city itself is very vibrant with light shows at night and nice parks and running tracks adding to the quality of life in the city.

These cities are bucking the trends and hitting very good growth numbers.

The show had over 800 exhibitors and there was a strong international flair to the show. American, Dutch and French pavilions were well-stocked with international visitors looking to get back to China to get a feel for the new trends in the market and for signs of recovery.

Firstly, there was definitely a brewing optimism in the pig industry, as prices for piglets and fattening pigs or hogs – as they are known by over here –creep up, while northern China battles another major wave of African swine fever.

Breeding companies, animal health providers and nutrition solutions looked to be busy at the stands and many spoke about their business beginning to rebound to previous levels. The Chinese pig industry is still facing a myriad of problems, biosecurity, high feed costs, meat quality requirements and historically low prices and with an uptick in the market, it was clear at the expo that companies are open to new solutions in these areas.

Ian Lahiffe.

During the show, there were a number of new technologies launched.

Kinghoo, a tech company that distributes for Bimeda and Mervue in China, launched a back-fat measurement system.


While the pricing seems frothy, the technology is potentially a very important and useful tool in improving management. Winworld launched a new robotic system for monitoring poultry barns. Its exhibition garnered huge attention. Nedap announced its strategic partnership and launched Freeda, with a focus on precision feeding for pigs.

Towards the end of day one, news broke that China’s minister for agriculture was officially put under investigation for alleged grave discipline violations. Among industry friends at the show, the general consensus was that the minister was perhaps too close to big business interests and may have overlooked that China recently re-named the Ministry of Agriculture the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

There looks to be a large shake-up within the ministry and it may indeed delay or reset certain policy priorities. For those waiting for approvals, it would be important to keep a close eye on this leading to potential delays.

Whether the shake-up in the ministry will lead to more significant policy changes for Chinese agriculture and rural affairs, it remains too early to tell, but any improvements and support for farmers in these challenging times will be greatly appreciated.

As always for exhibitors, the allure of the Chinese market is real and the need for technologies that drive performance is as strong as ever.