In pictures: Big toys (and smiles!) at Nampo

The Free State town of Bothaville was a hub of activity and excitement as the Southern Hemisphere's biggest agricultural expo, Nampo, returned after a two-year Covid-19 hiatus. And the results were, well, just look at Food For Mzansi's pics

Pietermaritzburg farmer Andile Ngcobo counted among the thousands of visitors to Nampo. To allow for reduced daily capacity amid Covid-19 restrictions, the expo is held over a period of five days. Under the theme “Experience it”, organisers gave visitors a broad overview of the latest trends, equipment, vehicles and so much more offered to the agriculture sector. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Pietermaritzburg farmer Andile Ngcobo counted among the thousands of visitors to Nampo. To allow for reduced daily capacity amid Covid-19 restrictions, the expo is held over a period of five days. Under the theme “Experience it”, organisers gave visitors a broad overview of the latest trends, equipment, vehicles and so much more offered to the agriculture sector. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Organisers of this year’s Nampo Harvest Day deserve a huge round of applause for pulling off the event despite severe criticism and uncertainty. Food For Mzansi co-founders Ivor Price and Kobus Louwrens shared this view as they, and thousands of others, flocked to Bothaville in the Free State for the five-day event.

“Yes, the farmers’ pilgrimage to Bothaville is all about showcasing the latest agricultural equipment, but it’s also a vote of confidence in a sector that continues to carry the South African economy,” said Price, the publication’s editor-in-chief.

Food For Mzansi commended Grain SA and the thousands of exhibitors for showcasing the great diversity of people, equipment and products offered by the agriculture sector. “It is noteworthy that Nampo is increasingly becoming an inclusive space showcasing the many diverse faces who help to make South Africa a food secure nation,” said Price.

Farmers, lights, action!

Young North West farmers Kabelo Ngesi, Thabo Dithakgwe and Sechaba Colane tried their very best to explore the entire Nampo terrain. Nampo is considered the biggest agricultural expo in the Southern Hemisphere.

The new John Deere X9 1100 – known as the biggest John Deere combine in Africa – was a big hit with Nampo visitors. The giant can harvest 200 tonnes of maize per hour and 100 tonnes of soft grains per hour. The diesel tank holds a whopping 1 250 litres. Pictured are Gauteng beekeepers Desiray Thomas and Kevin Moxham.

Eric Mauwane of Oneo Farms in Gauteng, bounced back after a devastating hail storm hit his vegetable farm last year. The dynamic farmer tells Food For Mzansi he will soon unveil his latest plans.

Erich Prinsloo and Jehoshua de Bruyn, learners at the Reitz Landbou Akademie, were among the hundreds of learners exploring Nampo. The academy is career-oriented and equips learners with the knowledge and skills to meaningfully contribute to the agricultural economy.

Farmers from across the country flocked to the stand hosted by Agri SA executive director Christo van der Rheede and members of his team. Van der Rheede described the recently signed Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan as a step in the right direction to move South Africa forward.

Aquaponics farmer Gugulethu Mahlangu and food safety and quality specialist, Tamsin Davids, also attended Nampo. Davids described it as an amazing first-time experience with so many farmers addressing the issue of transforming in agriculture.

Learners from across South Africa flocked to Peritum Agri Institute’s stand at Nampo. Based in Bloemfontein, Peritum offers a range of national diplomas ideal for working students. In 2023, the institute will also launch an agriculture gap year. Pictured from the left are Odette Shepperson, Belinda Louw, Ivor Price and Amelia Marais.

Corteva Agriscience hosted a series of industry dialogues at its Nampo stand. Experts explored an array of topics, ranging from herbicide resistance to seed applied technologies. The company supports farmers’ needs for tools and choice with a full range of crop protection offerings that, in total, protect more than 250 varieties of plants in approximately 140 countries.

Western Cape agriculture minister Dr Ivan Meyer welcomed Ukrainian ambassador to South Africa, Luibov Abravitova, to Nampo. At a Nation in Conversation discussion, Meyer said he hoped that more farmers would serve on municipal councils. “Farmers can fix things that municipalities can’t. Nampo is, in fact, better run than most municipalities in South Africa.”

With its powerful track record in agricultural finance, Standard Bank is no stranger to Nampo. Among other ideals, the bank says it is committed to developing up-and-coming black farmers through structured, accessible, and relevant training in order to become economically viable commercial farmers. Pictured is Keneilwe Nailana, a senior agribusiness manager at the bank.

Free State Agriculture was well represented by its newly appointed general manager, Gernie Botha, and president Francois Wilken. Wilken described Botha as “a man of integrity, a man on whom you can really rely. His love and affection for the agricultural community of the Free State can be seen in his actions.”

The DA leader, John Steenhuisen, attended Nampo along with members of parliament Annette Steyn and Noko Masipa. Steyn is the DA’s shadow minister for agriculture, land reform and rural development while Masipa sits om the portfolio committee for agriculture.

Representatives of Unisa’s department of agriculture and animal health counted among the hundreds of exhibitors at Nampo. The department offers a variety of undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications in agriculture, including agricultural management and science.

Nampo is better with family. Just ask the Mothusi family who came all the way from Mahikeng in North West to attend the agricultural expo. From the left are Lesedi, Orefile, Ofhemile, Laone and Marcus Mothusi. Marcus is a cattle farmer and says his eldest son dreams of, one day, following in his footsteps.

Liza Bohlmann, the chairperson of Agricultural Writers SA, with Ivor Price, Magda du Toit and Kobus Louwrens. Agricultural Writers SA is a professional association promoting the image and standards of agricultural journalism in South Africa.

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