NAMPO 2019

This is what agriculture's future looks like, NAMPO 2019 shows

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NAMPO 2019 was characterised by good weather and 81 345 visitors who attended the trade show and popular gathering place for people involved in agriculture. As quite a number of grain producers in the interior were holding their breath about early frost that could affect crop yields, the relatively warm weather up to the week of NAMPO was welcomed.

After the land reform debate, drought and low grain prices of the past year, the joviality and positive attitude of producers were noticeable. “It is noteworthy that the uncertainty is less than last year. I noticed a solution and growth-driven attitude among producers,” said Jaco Minnaar, chairperson of Grain SA.

The Nation in Conversation forum’s discussion points this year shifted from land reform to what is required to allow the agricultural sector and the country’s economy to grow. It became evident that the agricultural sector is positive about allowing the plan for economic growth to succeed. Matters to which the government should attend urgently involve financing for black farmers, expanding markets, the profitability of the sector, a national crop insurance subsidy, skills development, improvement of infrastructure, as well as research on climate in particular.

On his first visit to the NAMPO Harvest Day, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Sfiso Buthelezi, described it as the best-kept secret of the agricultural sector that should be experienced by everybody in South Africa who consumes food. He says that in Chile and Argentina – where he had attended similar shows – the country comes to a standstill to support producers. “I cannot understand why this is not the case in South Africa too,” he added.

The focus of NAMPO as trade show is retained throughout, but the human side of NAMPO is an undeniable feature, and the strengthening of relationships, partnerships and friendships remains a drawcard. “It is a privilege for Grain SA to create a NAMPO platform for producers and by producers. It is always a highlight when we can receive our members, opinion makers, role-players, politicians and even the pioneers of agriculture at the Harvest Day,” said Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA.

According to De Villiers, NAMPO offers the agricultural sector a platform for one large strategic planning session every year. “Individual and collective plans for the next year are made here to take back to farm level. With the greater supply of technology and opportunities arising here, NAMPO increasingly demands more than a one-day visit. It is remarkable that – like the drivers and trendsetters of agriculture – the executive heads of input providers and agribusinesses and other decision-makers are present on the grounds throughout NAMPO week,” said De Villiers.

Dr Dirk Strydom, manager: Grain Economy and Marketing of Grain SA, says that the 775 exhibitors could still do business, despite the current economic pressure on consumers. Some of the exhibitors recorded record sales. “According to exhibitors, the visitors to their exhibitions ensured quality enquiries and promising leads – which are worth much more than just a volume of people.”

“Our aim is not to become bigger, but to continuously offer the experience to visitors at such a standard that they want to come again next year. The size of the grounds and the infrastructure that is well distributed already provide a more peaceful experience which is family friendly and offers something for everyone. Even the landing strip handled a record of 376 aeroplanes and 63 helicopters with ease,” said Strydom.

The date for next year’s NAMPO Harvest Day has been set as 12 - 15 May 2020.

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