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Nampo 2017 – Key Messages

Elise-Marie Steenkamp reports on the NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show from Bothaville.

A HORTGRO team joined thousands of people and more than 700 exhibitors to attend the annual NAMPO agricultural show. The show which is spread over 24 hectares with a demonstration area that covers 80 hectares, is the biggest one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

For four days, every year in May, the sleepy town of Bothaville in the Free State transforms into a high-tech agri hub with a constant stream of bakkies, 4×4’s, trucks, busses and even aircraft resulting in an ubiquitous red dust cloud in the area.

NAMPO is the agricultural sector’s most relevant platform and market place for innovation, technology, information exchange and discussion. “It is where new friendships and partnerships are forged,” says Toit Wessels, NAMPO assistant manager. This year NAMPO was themed: “Unfold the future.”

So what did Team HORTGRO learn? Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the team, as well as take-home messages from the Nation in Conversation panel members about two of the hottest topics: transformation and women in agriculture.


Team HORTGRO at NAMPO (from left): Mariette Kotze, Hugh Campbell, André Smit, Nic Dicey, Jacques du Preez, Louis van Zyl, Anton Rabe and Dappie Smit.

About NAMPO:

“Innovation is the key to unlocking potential.” – Mariette Kotze, HORTGRO operational manager.

“Innovation and technology.” – Louis van Zyl, HORTGRO general manager.

“We will have to adapt the wealth of technology from the extensive level of field crops for our intensive micro-managed, technical culture and requirements.” – Anton Rabe, HORTGRO executive director.

“Although in the deciduous industry it is difficult to mechanise many activities, we must enhance technology to improve productivity, quality and returns.” – Nicholas Dicey, SAAPPA Chairperson.

“The scale and intensity of technology was impressive. Our challenge is how to adapt the precision farming principles to an orchard with 2000 individual trees in a cost-effective manner. The focus should be on precision farming through specialisation and mechanisation, without losing jobs.” – Andre Smit, SASPA Chairperson.

“Die omvang van ekonomie van skaal en hoe belangrik dit is vir vooruitgang in die huidige boerderyomgewing. Dit is verstommend om te sien hoeveel ander bedrywe en mense ‘n bestaan uit landbou maak, buiten die primêre produsente en landbouwerkers. Dan besef mens hoeveel die bydrae van landbou tot die BBP onderskat word, met betrekking tot werkskepping en deur die waardeketting.” – Jacques du Preez, HORTGRO mark en handel bestuurder.

“Farming is multi-faceted requiring a multitude of skills to harness and effectively utilise a vast array of technologies and tools. NAMPO 2017 brought home how many resources there are out there.  The trick is finding the right technology for the right application.” – Hugh Campbell, HORTGRO Science general manager.

“A positive was the diverse groupings that attended NAMPO. The only way to take agriculture and specifically the deciduous industry forward in South Africa is to work at building trust and by keeping dialogue open.” – Elise-Marie Steenkamp, HORTGRO communications manager.


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Nation in Conversation panellists at NAMPO unpacking the topic: Women in agriculture (from left): Suzanne Paxton (RSG), Gloria Serobe (Whiphold) and Dr Liesel Foster (Dr LA Foster Farming).

About women in agriculture (Nation in Conversation):

“Retain your identity as a woman. Embrace your womanhood. You are not competing with the men. They are your colleagues.” – Dr Liesel Foster, Dr LA Foster Farming.

“Women observe & multitask better than men. Decision making works better with a combination of men & women. Companies with women in leadership roles perform better.” – Lindie Stroebel, Produce Marketing Association.

“We are big on food security because we as women are those who decide what to eat at home.” – Gloria Serobe, Whiphold



About Transformation (Nation in Conversation):

“The consequences of leaving people out of the loop, is dire.” – Herbert Mabuza, former journalist/editor now grower

“Time is not on our side, there is an energy in the country that we can use to our benefit.” Andile Khumalo, Power FM

“When we talk transformation, we don’t just talk black and white. Let’s talk about women.” Andile Khumalo, Power FM

“We need to look at transformation differently. It is not a target to reach but an attitude change.” Charles Rossouw, fruit grower

“Unfortunately there is no handbook on how to transform. I have not come across one farmer that is not willing to help, assist or transfer knowledge.” Chris Venter, AFGRI

“The execution of any agreement is about trust.”  Loyiso Ndlovu, Land Bank

“Contrary to popular belief there are many white farmers who want to help.” Herbert Mabuza

“The most important thing is to promote agriculture as part of the whole system.” Roelf Meyer, In Transformation Initiative

“ ’n Gesentraliseerde instelling om gekoördineerde bystand aan transformasie inisiatiewe sowel as aan die hele waardeketting in landbou te verskaf, gaan binnekort geskep word.” Roelf Meyer, In Transformation Initiative

To see more about the agriculture dialogue topics at NAMPO, visit:

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