Current events and new technology.
The almost 70 000 visitors enabled agricultural exhibitors to do good business during Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Day.
The almost 70 000 visitors enabled agricultural exhibitors to do good business during Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Day. Positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors confirmed that the Harvest Day is a sought-after place for doing business, conveying information and building networks.
‘The somewhat lower attendance figures, which still compare well with those of the previous two years, were satisfactory if one takes into account the challenging times agriculture has experienced recently,’ said Cobus van Coller, NAMPO Harvest Day chairperson. The expansion of the grounds and parking area ensured a more even distribution of visitors and the good condition and neatness of the facilities and the grounds elicited positive comments.
‘NAMPO’s target in 2014 was to be a new-generation partner for the farmer, and I think we have succeeded. The new technology and farming methods presented by more than 650 exhibitors – and the good business resulting from this – confirmed why this is regarded as one of the top agricultural shows in the world.’
‘NAMPO has not by far reached its full potential as a networking and discussion platform for agriculture in Africa,’ Van Coller said. Networking opportunities that Grain SA has helped to establish during the NAMPO Harvest Day over the past few years once again provided wide discussions, debates and interaction with role players in agriculture – local as well as overseas, and particularly from African countries north of the equator.
Food security and the sourcing of investors in the agriculture of their countries were a central theme of Grain SA’s discussions with delegations from Sudan, Eritrea, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, the Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. Discussions with local role players centred around who would be responsible for financing land reform in South Africa.
The conclusion of several debates during the Harvest Day was that organised agriculture will have to switch from influencing to implementing. ‘The time has arrived for the private sector to start assisting with the implementation of activities because the Government apparently does not have the ability,’ said Jannie de Villiers, chief executive officer of Grain SA.
‘Overseas exhibitors, other countries on the continent and even local prospective buyers of “black” grain for empowerment purposes already realise the value of the Harvest Day. We will have to work harder in the future to involve more politicians and academics – particularly those who regard themselves as the drivers of food security,’ De Villiers added.
An interesting trend among exhibitors is to go further than just a presence at NAMPO. Examples are the successful Nation in Conversation panel discussions of Senwes and partners that were led every day by the economist Theo Vorster. Senwes did not hesitate to involve relevant topics, while Bayer even presented talks that addressed the personal health of the farmers in more than one area.
According to De Villiers it was a privilege for Grain SA to receive its fully paid-up members in the new members’ facility. This meeting is part of the character of the Harvest Day and connects to the convivial atmosphere that prevails on the grounds all the time. Grain SA also invited retired veterans from agriculture as guests to recognise their contribution to the industry.
The 293 light aeroplanes and 41 helicopters that used the air strip over the four days were not the only occupants of the air space. Grain SA Radio, a radio station that is aired exclusively for the duration of NAMPO and broadcasts in a radius around NAMPO Park, kept visitors informed of what is happening on and around the grounds. Current affairs were discussed during interviews and exhibitors were given an opportunity to introduce their products further to visitors. New technology enabled everyone on the grounds to download the terrain plan on their cell phones.
Grain SA, owners and organisers of the NAMPO Harvest Day, have already commenced with preparations for next year’s show, and further positive changes are envisaged.
The dates for next year’s NAMPO Harvest Day have been set as 12 - 15 May. Visit the website at www.nampo.co.za for more information