This year’s Nampo Harvest Day has specifically been designed to help the South African agriculture industry increase its efficiency through technology, amid global oversupply of agricultural produce, says autonomous and voluntary commodity organisation Grain SA grain economy and marketing manager Dr Dirk Strydom.
“Currently, the industry is under immense pressure because of a lack of profitability. Farmers are struggling to turn a profit because of a global surplus. The oversupply is a result of global favourable growing seasons, leading to higher end-stocks on the international market.”
Strydom says farmers are selling their produce at the same prices that they were selling them ten years ago. With input costs rising and output profits decreasing, he suggests that it is pivotal for farmers to focus their attention on efficient production methods that will increase outputs while decreasing input expenditure.
“The South African agriculture industry needs to be at the forefront of efficiency to remain globally competitive. We need ‘optimum profits with optimal production’, which is where the industry needs to go . . .”
He says the local industry has thus far managed to sustain its growth and profitability by being one of the global leading adopters of the latest technology. Farmers are prioritising efficient production processes that will lower overall costs of production, hence, the quick technological uptake.
To help farmers with the current cost price squeeze, the theme of Grain SA’s fifty-second Nampo Harvest Day Festival – scheduled to take place at Bothaville, in the Free State, from May 15 to 18 – is ‘Efficiency with technology’.
“We want to help farmers achieve the best production prices and efficiency, and help them optimise their production outputs. It’s not just about adopting technology, it’s really about taking the technology you adopt and making it work for you.”
Nampo Harvest Day is the largest agricultural exhibition under private ownership in the southern hemisphere, according to Strydom. He says the annual event showcases the latest in farming technology and practice, from mechanisation to enhanced seed technology adoption. He states that the aim of the exhibition is “to give farmers options and show them what is currently possible in the industry”.
The exhibition has grown steadily in recent years. Strydom outlines that this year’s exhibition is expecting 80 000 attendees, who will have access to more than 750 exhibitors, compared with the 78 648 attendees and 712 exhibitors last year.
He highlights that, in organising this year’s exhibition, it was important to Grain SA to ensure a strong family-feel that mirrors the family drive in industry that he calls “agricultural-culture”. Subsequently, attendees can expect to find stalls suited to all ages and sexes.