The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented occurrence, and the global pandemic has, in a short space of time, impacted organisations in countless ways. We’re living through a year that is uncharted, and things around us are changing extremely fast.

Following the stringent measures implemented by the South African presidency, which included prohibiting gatherings om more than 100 people, Grain SA has been monitoring the developments of COVID-19. Under the guidance and recommendations of the World Health Organization, the presidency of South Africa and the Department of Health have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 NAMPO Harvest Day, which was scheduled to take place from 12-15 May at NAMPO Park, just outside Bothaville.

Implementing appropriate action plans

The 2020 NAMPO Harvest Day will be postponed to 11-14 August, given that government policies and guidelines permit the postponed date. Grain SA will evaluate and review the date by the end of June this year if necessitated by governmental regulations.

Grain SA is committed to implementing appropriate action plans in relation to the developments of COVID-19. “The health and safety of visitors, exhibitors, staff, sponsors and the entire agricultural community during NAMPO Harvest Day are paramount. An event of this magnitude poses too great a risk to continue during the initially stipulated dates. Guided by these priorities and best practice, the decision to postpone the event was a necessary one,” said Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA.

Economic importance of the event

The NAMPO Harvest Day received 81 345 visitors over four days in 2019 and had 775 exhibitors. There were also a record of 376 aeroplanes and 63 helicopters that descended on NAMPO Park. The economic importance of the NAMPO Harvest Day is absolutely vital to the corporate, medium and small businesses from all over South Africa participating in the show. In addition, visitors and exhibitors to the 2019 NAMPO Harvest Day contributed an average of R28 million to the local economy, notably in the Free State and North West towns of Bothaville, Klerksdorp, Orkney, Potchefstroom and Stilfontein. Many small business owners rely heavily on the income injection made possible as a result of this agricultural platform.

“While we’re taking precautions and doing some things a little differently, our aim is to still present a world-class, diversified agricultural trade exhibition, benefiting our loyal and longstanding partners, the local communities and broader agricultural sector as a whole. As we continue to adapt to the impact brought on by COVID-19, Grain SA will remain committed to applying risk-informed decision-making and keeping all stakeholders informed every step of the way,” said Dirk Strydom, manager of Grain Economy and Marketing.

Commitment to safety

Grain SA will continue to adapt and navigate this situation as a team and more importantly, a community. We recognise that this is a challenging time for all and we remain deeply committed to the safety of the agricultural sector.

We encourage everyone to be kind and considerate and even in the presence of social distancing, we encourage everyone to be there for one another. Let’s all help flatten the curve and support those who need it most. – Press release, Grain SA