A total of 425 exhibitors showcased their products and solutions at the KoneAgria agricultural event in Tampere, Finland in October 2023. Beyond being a machinery exhibition, this event holds significant importance as a meeting hub for farmers and various industry stakeholders. The diminishing number of farms in Finland, coupled with increased distances, might be one of the driving forces behind the popularity of such events. Farmers attend not only to explore the latest innovations but also to connect with peers and engage in conversations about the challenges confronting the industry.
Visitors at the KoneAgria were drawn to the well-being and occupational safety of farmers and farm workers. Over 17,000 people attended KoneAgria machinery exhibition, and the booths promoting health and safety messages for farmers were bustling with visitors.
Research scientist Tiina Mattila from the Natural Resources Institute Finland remarked, “Many farmers approached us to discuss the various risks associated with agricultural production. We heard about farmers’ experiences dealing with challenges such as price negotiations, mental health issues, severe injuries, and diseases. We also learned about the strong sense of community among farmers, the support they receive from their neighbors. We engaged in discussions with many young farmers and students interested in farming, which was very encouraging.”
The KoneAgria exhibition featured a great number of new products aimed at advancing agriculture, one of which was Luke’s Farm Risk Management web tool. Research scientist Jarkko Leppälä from Luke explained, “The web tool program includes several checklists for assessing farm assets, production, farm personnel safety, and environmental concerns. It is crucial to incorporate the safety of individuals as an integral part of farm management.”
The SafeHabitus EU project was presented at both Savonia‘s and Luke‘s booths during the exhibition. Mika Repo from Savonia commented, “We engaged in discussions with numerous farmers about the significance of the Safe Habitus project, and it was widely embraced. Addressing workplace safety during busy farm operations and dealing with machinery and livestock were recognized as pivotal aspects of every farm’s life”. Numerous farmers eagerly embraced project brochures, leading to a highly effective and engaging marketing outcome.