by Lindsay King

Best ever Harvest Day

Grain SA gives feedback of most successful event ever

Harvest Day boasted the latest equipment and trends in farming
Agriculture equipment and much more seen at Expo.
This year Grain SA's NAMPO Harvest Day did not just provide a platform enabling agricultural producers to see - on the same grounds and at the same time - everything that has an impact on farming - it also served as a display window for agriculture, a discussion forum and a network opportunity for role-players in agriculture in southern Africa and further afield.

NAMPO says in a report-back on its website that the attendance figure of 71 723 is a good improvement on that of 2010, which was the previous best figure in the 46-year history of the event (excluding last year's record attendance because of a public holiday).

Cobus van Coller, Harvest Day Chairperson, said the general feedback from exhibitors was that business was good. “Quite a few of the mechanisation exhibitors felt that, from a business point of view, it was one of the best Harvest Days ever. Overseas and local visitors who experienced the Harvest Day for the first time were surprised at how well the event was organised, the neatness of the grounds and the fact that it remained clean and neat throughout,” he said.
 
Jannie de Villiers, Chief Executive Officer of Grain SA, said that Harvest Day was an opportunity for showing off a bit and showing city dwellers what grain production actually involves.

“The local and international interest in Grain SA's NAMPO Harvest Day was a sign that Harvest Day not only created a trading platform, but was also regarded as a place for discussions and networking. A successful event to celebrate Grain SA's successes as facilitator of the government's recapitalization programme for black farmers was another highlight of Harvest Day week,” said De Villiers.

A well-known figure who experienced Grain SA's NAMPO Harvest Day for the first time was Professor Jonathan Jansen (rector of the Free State University). His post afterwards on www.landbou.com was significant: “NAMPO is a leader in the transformation of agriculture in our country. I have never seen so many black farmers telling a story of change,” according to www.nampo.co.za.
 
As far as new technology goes, a great variety of new and existing technology were showcased at the event. One of these included a tractor propelled by hydrogen. Conservation farming, particularly as far as direct planting equipment is concerned, was widely addressed by exhibitors, and innovative ways of switching from conventional to direct planters were on show.
 
According to NAMPO, two new additions to Harvest Day were a ploughing competition and the introduction of the Harvest Day radio station, Grain SA Radio. Feedback from the organisers of the ploughing competition has indicated that it will form a permanent part of the Harvest Day programme as from next year. This sport, based on the international World Ploughing Championships, tests contestants' skills with a plough and tractor, and attracted considerable interest.

“Grain SA Radio, operated by OFM Stereo, contributed to the smooth traffic flow. It also kept listeners up to date on events at NAMPO Park, commercial news and current information on agriculture,” De Villiers said.
 
The large and small stock sections were popular spots to visit, particularly for the children wanting to experience the farm atmosphere. More than 90% of stock associations in the country participate in the Harvest Day. The interest in this type of exhibition increases every year and the upgrading of the exhibition area elicited positive feedback from visitors.
 
Visit www.nampo.co.za  for more information.
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