Bothaville-A 14-member Namibian delegation, led by Kavango East Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo attended the annual Nampo agricultural exposition in South Africa last week.
The event in the Free State province of South Africa, organised by Grain South Africa, is one of the largest agricultural exhibitions under private ownership in the southern hemisphere.
Mbambo was accompanied by staff members from various ministries, as well as members of Food Namibia, a company hoping to host a similar exposition in the Kavango East Region later this year.
“If you compare what is happening in other parts of the world then it is evident that we still have a lot of catching up to do,” said Dr Mbambo, adding that exhibitors from all over the world were at the Nampo Expo.
“The basis for any development is food and people who have food will always do more. When the stomach is full then the brain is also active,” Mbambo continued.
The first NAMPO event was held 50 years ago on Farm Donkerhoek near Bloemfontein and was attended by 200 producers. This year the annual event attracted more than 700 exhibitors from all over Africa and the rest of the world.
“The entire world is here, because you have people from America, Europe and other parts of Africa. We can learn a lot from this expo, because there is something here for everyone,” Mbambo noted.
One of the exhibits at the massive event that caught Governor Mbambo’s eyes included a group of local farmers who teach communal farmers how to grow their businesses and become successful commercial entities. Another exhibit of particular interest to the governor was a machine that crushes invader bush and converts it to cattle feed for farm animals.
“The range of machines here are so wide and so advanced and just goes to show that we have to do so much more in Namibia to effectively use this new machinery and their digital applications,” said Mbambo.
Grain SA’s Nampo was initially established to enable producers and other role players in the agricultural industry to experience the latest technology and products on offer in the farming industry first-hand and on one terrain.
Nampo also offers producers the opportunity to obtain knowledge from experts in their various agricultural fields by means of debating and discussion panels. A unique aspect of Nampo is that it is a multi-faceted presentation that offers a wide spectrum to the producer, whilst other exhibitions normally only focus on specific area of agriculture.
According to Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA, which owns and organises Nampo, the quality of exhibitors is extremely important.
“Although the event is only in May every year, we already finalise the exhibitors list by January and before the event starts we give exhibitors at least two weeks to set up. The quality of exhibitors is crucial, because we do not want the event to turn into a flea-market,” said de Villiers.
The products and services displayed by this year’s more than 700 exhibitors establish Nampo as a diversified trade exhibition, which offers producers the opportunity to compare a wide variety of products and services and in so doing, enables them to make informed decisions.
De Villiers continued that the most significant aspect of Nampo is to enable farmers to make informed decisions about different equipment and technologies to ensure their farming operations are sustainable and ultimately profitable.