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Agriculture - Expo Brussels 1935

Agriculture at the Exhibition Expo Brussels 1935
© L'Epi
Architect(s) : Henry Vaes

The Palace of Agriculture, which stood near the Astrid entrance, was the work of the architect Henry Vaes. It was an imposing building of about 2,500 m2 , with sober and grandiose lines. The façade, preceded by a portico with six pilasters, was sixty metres long and twelve metres high; it was decorated with two large frescoes representing "Flora" and "Ceres", works by the painter Géo de Vlamynck.

A few steps away from this pavilion stood the Demonstrative Farm, which was the result of an initiative by the National Commission for the Embellishment of Rural Life; this agricultural community, under the aegis of Messrs. De Vuyst, Graftiau and Giele, had the happy idea of showing the public a model Brabant farm, corresponding to a cultivation of about 10 hectares. The elegant architecture, in which tradition and modernism are harmoniously combined, is also a tribute to the talent of the architect Henry Vaes.

The two buildings making up the agricultural participation group comprised eight classes:
class 33: equipment and processes of rural farms;
"34: equipment and processes for viticulture;
"35: equipment and processes of agricultural industries;
" 36 : agronomy and agricultural statistics.
" " 37: agricultural food products of plant origin;
" " 38 : agricultural food products of animal origin;
" " 39 : Non-food agricultural products;
" 40: useful insects and their products; pests and parasitic plants.

For each of these divisions, the particularly numerous exhibitors presented to the visitors a complete synthesis of the Belgian activity in the agricultural field and in that of the related industries. All the products exhibited gave a perfect idea of the role played by agriculture in the national economy.

Recent statistics have shown that in Belgium 600,000 farmers and 220,000 wage-earners earn their living as farmers or horticulturists.

In 1929 the capital invested in agriculture amounted to 80 billion, a figure which, as a result of the crisis, has fallen to 44 billion.

The total value of agricultural and livestock products on both the domestic and foreign markets in the 1932-33 season was about 10 billion.

Of this figure, 1,250 million represented the production of grains, plants and industrial crops.

5,750 million represents butter, eggs, meat and animal products.

The remaining 3 billion represents the value of vegetables, fruit and flowers.

Belgian agriculture manages to satisfy 80.5% of the country's food needs.

The activity of our farmers; the timely interventions of the governments; the organisation of assistance and credit, have enabled Belgian agriculture to bear the burden of a difficult economic situation without suffering too much.

© Le Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1935