According to Nampo’s organising committee, attendance of this year’s Nampo Harvest Day compares well to 2010’s. “There was a marked increase in the number of visitors from the rest of Africa, particularly from the Southern African Development Community countries,” said Nampo’s organising committee chairperson Kobus van Coller.
He added that this showed that Nampo had become the ambassador of agriculture on the African continent and the gateway for agricultural trade in Africa. “It is underscored by the 20 exhibitors from Argentina and 12 from the US,” he said. Van Coller estimated the value of business conducted at Nampo 2012 at between R2 billion and R3 billion, including the after-sales. He said he knows of three of the big equipment exhibitors who sold out their entire Nampo stock as well as supply at the factories.
“This illustrates the fact that farmers come to Nampo to do business and to acquaint themselves with the latest agricultural technology at the 670 exhibitions. I was also impressed by the number of tertiary institution representatives who came to see for themselves how advanced South African agriculture is.” He said that the rector of the University of the Free State, Prof Jonathan Jansen, for instance described Nampo on Twitter as the leader in the transformation of agriculture in South Africa.
Grain SA chairperson Louw Steytler, said he was deeply concerned about the “ominous absence” of political leaders such as the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, and senior members of her ministry. “Nampo creates the platform for interaction between the primary producers and the rest of the food value chain,” he said. “The minister missed probably the best opportunity in the country to communicate with farmers across the spectrum.”
Grain SA CEO Jannie de Villiers said technology transfer was one of the main objectives of Nampo. “We need to create a platform for farmers where they can compare the very latest agricultural technology.” A second objective is to create an opportunity for role players in the agricultural industry to network, he said. “Our third objective is to introduce agriculture to people outside the industry and, fourthly, we need to make a profit.”