Grain SA calls on producers to be focused after challenging season

NAMPO helped create an atmosphere of optimism, but with realistic plans to carry it out. Picture: Henk Kruger Independent Newspapers

NAMPO helped create an atmosphere of optimism, but with realistic plans to carry it out. Picture: Henk Kruger Independent Newspapers

Published May 22, 2024


Grain SA has encouraged South African agricultural producers to be focused all the time because there is little room to stumble after a challenging production season and with a national election imminent.

Speaking after Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Day, Grain SA CEO Dr Tobias Doyer yesterday said NAMPO helped create an atmosphere of optimism, but with realistic plans to carry it out.

NAMPO is one of the largest agricultural exhibitions under private ownership in the southern hemisphere and it takes place annually, near the town of Bothaville in the Free State province.

“This year’s NAMPO theme, ‘Agriculture in a Digital Era’, has come into its own, because agriculture is at a turning point of great things to come,” Doyer said.

“I am amazed at what producers today have at their disposal to control matters at production level – from genetic and chemical technology to an immense amount of data thanks to the automation of agriculture.”

Doyer said NAMPO was a national asset in which the entire agricultural sector participates.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity where leaders can rub shoulders and build relationships that will carry us through the next year’s decision-making and work together to make agriculture successful as a whole,” he said.

Grain SA’s 56th NAMPO Harvest Day, which was held over four days last week, was considered a great success by all accounts.

A record number of 86 474 visitors over the four days, as well as 865 exhibitors, confirmed the trade fair’s popularity among farmers, exhibitors, opinion makers, and everyone in society who has a heart for agriculture.

“The real success of NAMPO is about the close partnerships and collaborations we establish in the industry, such as producers who have stronger partnerships with their suppliers and customers and who can make better plans to do even better next year,” Doyer said.

A new record attendance on a single day in a normal year was recorded this year on Wednesday, May 15, with 25 505 visitors.

Thursday’s attendance was a short head behind the previous day with 24 021 visitors, while Tuesday and Friday each received good traction.

NAMPO Park’s airfield hosted 290 fixed-wing aircraft and 82 helicopters during the show days.

Dr Dirk Strydom of Grain SA and main organiser of NAMPO said a noticeable calm prevailed at NAMPO Park throughout the week, and everything flowed as it should without any serious incidents in the park.

“We were blessed with a good NAMPO. With lovely sunny weather, it was the warmest NAMPO in years, which certainly also contributed to the good attendance,” Strydom said.

Danie Minnaar, chairperson of Grain SA's NAMPO Harvest Day committee, said the feedback he received from exhibitors was that they were very satisfied with the business conducted at NAMPO.

He was also satisfied that visitors had the opportunity to fully experience NAMPO.

“The overall friendliness and spontaneity of exhibitors and visitors that you noticed everywhere on the site was just nice,” he said.

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza also paid a quick visit to NAMPO on Wednesday.

As usual, Didiza had a few key conversations with partners, but above all thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality and atmosphere of the NAMPO Harvest Day.