The NAMPO Harvest Day, which has been bringing agriculture together for almost six decades, has sadly for the first time had to be cancelled by organisers Grain SA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The show was postponed to August 2020 at the outbreak of the pandemic, but following the announcement of a ban on large gatherings, the 2020 NAMPO Harvest Day held at NAMPO Park will not take place.

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However, this does not mean that farmers will not be able to still enjoy the best that agriculture has to offer. The 2020 NAMPO Harvest Day show, which will be the 54th edition of this iconic agricultural tradeshow, will go on…line!

Find your 2020 Agri-Vision

Aptly themed ‘Find your 2020 Agri-Vision’, who would have known that this year’s theme would ring true in more ways than one. From 9 to 12 September 2020, the virtual NAMPO will be new, exciting and innovative, and connect farmers, suppliers and colleagues with many of their favourite exhibitors and a wealth of online content across the industry and the globe. Grain SA will transform the biggest agricultural tradeshow into a convenient and safe interactive online virtual experience.

In addition, the NAMPO virtual platform will be available with extended show hours from 09:00 to 19:00 and include a Saturday up to 14:00. Visitors will be able to connect through their preferred device, whether a phone, tablet or computer and an internet browser.

“During the pandemic, which is expected to peak in September, we cannot responsibly go ahead with a show that attracts more than 20 000 visitors a day,” said Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA. “Despite months of planning, considering the state of the pandemic throughout, and an initial extension to the original NAMPO Harvest Day date, cancelling the Harvest Day is the only logical route.”

NAMPO Harvest Day will revamp its digital presence with a virtual event that will feature most of what attendees would have experienced at the physical Harvest Day. Exhibitors, who have responded positively to the virtual offering, will be able to feature all their products on the virtual NAMPO platform, and showcase their latest innovations, while visitors will be able to sign up for one-on-one consultations and partake in the latest technical presentations and product demonstrations.

Virtual experience here to stay

In addition, the platform has provided Grain SA with the opportunity to continue with a virtual NAMPO Harvest Day experience beyond this year. The virtual offering will never be able to replace the face-to-face experience that visitors and exhibitors enjoy at NAMPO Park, but will provide future exhibitors with the option to complement their physical presence at NAMPO with a virtual duplicate of their booth, reaching an even wider audience in 2021 and beyond.

The 2020 Harvest Day was taking shape to be yet another remarkable event, and Grain SA is deeply disappointed that grain producers, farmers, agricultural leaders, stakeholders and the public at large will not be able to attend NAMPO in person this year. This decision was not taken lightly and cumulated after lengthy internal discussions as well as valued input from exhibitors and stakeholders.

“The coronavirus pandemic has touched every corner of the world, and although saddened that the 2020 NAMPO Harvest Day will not go ahead, Grain SA’s primary responsibility is making sure that farmers, exhibitors, stakeholders and staff stay safe,” Toit Wessels, assistant manager for NAMPO, said. “At this stage, there is also no indication as to when lockdown restrictions may be lifted, or when it will be safe to be around crowds of people.”

“NAMPO’s vision has always been to create a platform for business where producers can view and access new technology. A virtual platform can still provide this opportunity, ensuring the vision can still be pursued in the comfort of your own environment,” Dr Dirk Strydom, Grain SA’s manager for Grain Economics and Marketing, concluded. While we cannot wait to join the agricultural sector in person again, we are connecting in new ways, adopting and broadening our chance to reach thousands of NAMPO enthusiasts.

Other NAMPO events in 2020

Grain SA is in discussion with its partners NAMPO Cape and NAMPO Alfa Livestock, Hunting and Outdoor. Both events will not be able to take place as originally advertised. The outcome of these discussions will be communicated on 24 July. Should government regulations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic allow for and the postponement of these two events be possible, the event dates will be 24 to 26 September 2020 for NAMPO Cape and 29 31 October 2020 for NAMPO ALFA Livestock, Hunting and Outdoor. – Press release, Grain SA