Why the Yanks love Nampo
06:40 (GMT+2), Wed, 06 July 2011
Eleven very diverse US companies participated in the 2011 Nampo Harvest Day. Jim McCarthy, deputy senior commercial officer in the US Department of Commerce's Commercial Service, which organises the USA pavilion, says interest in Nampo has grown so much that they hope to increase participation even more in the future. Annelie Coleman spoke to him.
Eleven very diverse US companies participated in the 2011 Nampo Harvest Day. Jim McCarthy, deputy senior commercial officer in the US Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service, which organises the USA pavilion, says interest in Nampo has grown so much that they hope to increase participation even more in the future. Annelie Coleman spoke to him.
How did you first come to take part in Nampo?
We organised our first delegation to Nampo in 2009 and were impressed with the general organisation of the show and the quantity and quality of exhibitors. We organised our first pavilion at the 2010 show and now, of course, we’ve managed to expand even further. All in all, we’ve conducted a lot of business at Nampo over these past few years.
The show has proven to be an excellent venue in terms of real results for our companies. We’re always looking for new ideas and participants so we hope to increase our presence in future. The potential is enormous, based on our first few years of participation. But because of severe budget challenges for our government-funded export promotion agency (US Commercial Service), we have to fund the USA pavilion with contributions from participating companies, so when it comes to new business we need to be extremely responsive, creative and proactive in order to grow and succeed.
Can you tell us about some of this year’s participants?
They were very diverse indeed. They included power generation and lawnmower equipment (Briggs & Stratton), grain bins (Superior), tillage equipment (Summers), grain-handling equipment (Convey-All), irrigation equipment (Reinke), feedlot equipment (Haybuster), self-propelled sprayers (Miller), and finance (American Trade & Finance Company).
Then there was the Southern Africa Trade Hub, which led a delegation from the region seeking business opportunities in South Africa.
What feedback did you get from these companies?
All left with business, or extremely strong prospects, and are very happy. One company, Haybuster, reports that it expects company sales to South Africa to double thanks to our help and its presence at Nampo. We’ve found that there are close ties between the US and South Africa in this sector. The production machinery and philosophies are very similar. US farmers are very pragmatic, action-oriented business people, and we’ve found the same mentality in South Africa.
Many South African youngsters have spent time in the US Midwest, the “breadbasket” of the country, working on farms or on custom combine crews, so there’s a cultural familiarity. It’s been one of the easiest places to do business for our agricultural machinery companies, due in large part to this shared culture.
We’ve tried to encourage this link, through organising South African delegations to agricultural equipment shows in the US and hosting US trade missions to South Africa.
Contact Jim McCarthy at 011 290 3227, or e-mail James.McCarthy@mail.doc.gov.
Read more about the rest of Africa, expansion by American exhibitors, challenges regarding expansion in Africa and how Nampo compares to similar events in the USA.
Subscribe to Farmer\'s Weekly.
Follow us on Twitter.
Join our Facebook page.
Related Articles >>
Value for money
Ploughing a new furrow
What's new at Nampo
americans, nampo, harvest day, commerce