|A combination of the most recent farming technology, product variety, innovation, discussions, networking opportunities, farming hospitality and ideal weather conditions ensured that NAMPO 2015, which took place near Bothaville in the Free State last week, upheld its reputation as South Africa’s agricultural showcase.
Grain SA, organiser of the NAMPO Harvest Day, is satisfied with the outcome of this 49th Harvest Day, and the feedback received from exhibitors point to good interest from this year’s 69 584 visitors.
New additions like the seed plots, tent hotel and the tractor-and-trailer transport system were effective and made a positive contribution. In spite of the teething problems, the electronic entry ticket system worked well. This year the NAMPO app was introduced to exhibitors and visitors and it will now be developed and marketed further. Grain SA was also active on the social media networks during the Harvest Day week and this medium was utilised to publish real-time photos and information and to answer general enquiries.
"You would expect the current drought to determine the mood of the farmers, yet we received more dire questions on land reform than on the drought," said Jannie de Villiers, Chief Executive Officer of Grain SA.
The minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, attended NAMPO 2015 to participate in a Nation in Conversation dialogue on labour relations. Land reform, financing models, the availability of natural resources and the value of technological integration were the other Nation in Conversation topics in which opinion formers participated to shape the image of agriculture that they could take home.
"Minister Zokwana’s presence was a compliment to Grain SA and to agriculture at large. The grain industry appreciates his ongoing efforts to make contact with commercial agriculture. He is probably the first minister of agriculture since 1994 to visit the Harvest Day. This emphasises that the NAMPO Harvest Day is an authoritative platform for dialogue, discussion and networking," De Villiers added.
Grain SA also held discussions with the heads of commercial banks, the Land Bank and insurers on the rescheduling of grain producers’ production debts, as well as input financing for new-era commercial producers.
The organisation treats its members to show its appreciation for their sustained support. The members' hall – which was upgraded last year – as well as free entry and special parking, was once again utilised effectively by members of Grain SA.
"The infrastructure at NAMPO Park was established and developed over the years to accommodate a large number of visitors with ease and to offer exhibition facilities of a high standard to exhibitors. Even the landing strip could handle a total of 365 airplanes and helicopters over the four days of NAMPO with ease. Grain SA is geared to proudly present the 50th NAMPO Harvest Day next year,” said Cobus van Coller, chairman of the NAMPO Harvest Day.
This agricultural trade show always takes place in the 20th week of the year, which means that it will be presented between 17 and 20 May 2016.