With the Nampo Harvest Day being cancelled for a second consecutive year, Free State entrepreneurs have suffered great financial losses which have severely impacted their businesses.
Hosted in Bothaville, just more than 200km outside of Johannesburg, Nampo Harvest Day is billed as the largest show of agricultural machinery and livestock in the southern hemisphere.
The event provides an invaluable cash injection for not only the agricultural sector, but also restaurateurs and guest house owners, says Du Toit Wessels, assistant manager: marketing and Nampo.
He adds that Grain SA, the event organiser, had no choice but to cancel the event following a surge of Covid-19 cases in the Free State.
Last year, the event was held in a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers expect that more than 750 exhibitors will be back for the 2022 edition of the event.
A big blow to many towns
“The impact of not hosting Nampo this year is huge!” exclaims Wessels in an interview with Food For Mzansi. “All the people in Bothaville, Orkney and the towns near Nampo Park usually host people during the event. The restaurants also lost out and we normally also give a lot of casual jobs to people.”
According to Wessels, farmers are greatly disappointed that Nampo Harvest Day has been cancelled for two years in a row.
The event has become a pilgrimage for farmers who want to keep abreast of the latest agricultural technologies and machinery.
“Many of the exhibitors have websites, but farmers want to feel and touch and talk to the exhibitors. They are not fond of sitting in front of their laptops to find information,” he explains.
Meanwhile, Hanlie Mouton, public relations officer at Bothaville Info says surrounding towns as far as Potchefstroom in North West are struggling after Nampo’s cancellation. She says in previous years hotels, guest houses and private residents benefited from the thousands of people who booked for the four-day event.