NAMPO / Nation in Conversation: Substantial NAMPO Attendance Shows Producers Still Have Hope

A new record attendance figure achieved during NAMPO 2018 and the feedback from the exhibitors that they mainly did good business testify to the optimism of the agricultural sector despite all the uncertainties facing South African producers.

This is the view of Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA, after the organisation’s 52nd NAMPO Harvest Day, which was presented successfully during the past week. According to ticket sales, 82 817 visitors streamed through the gates to visit the 746 exhibitors and to enjoy the family atmosphere and farm hospitality that are so unique to the Harvest Day. The private airstrip at NAMPO Park handled 361 aeroplanes and helicopters, ferrying a variety of visitors there, with ease.

‘The growing interest in the NAMPO Harvest Day is encouraging, and it proves that agriculture is still alive and well. To each exhibitor, visitor and staff member: thank you that you came to enjoy the event with us and helped to write the NAMPO story with us. A personal highlight of each NAMPO is meeting various people, talking and building relationships. Those relationships strengthen the hope on which agriculture is built.

‘It is also noteworthy that the number of non-agriculture visitors and numerous media representatives from outside the agricultural media have increased. From formal and informal discussions it is clear that they come to NAMPO because they like it there. The growing interest from black farmers in the show is also a definite plus to Grain SA,’ De Villiers said.

Foreign exhibitors’ interest in NAMPO as a platform for reaching the rest of Africa continues. Approximately 76 international exhibitors were housed in eight international pavilions – which each involved at least eight exhibitors from their country as part of their exhibitions. Representatives from Israel, Poland, England, America, India, France, Italy, Denmark, China, Turkey and Russia participated in the Harvest Day.

Grain SA continuously seeks to retain NAMPO’s sole focus on agriculture. The selection of exhibitors and the items on the programme are consistently arranged with this in mind. This year the Nation in Conversation forum made a strong contribution to the land debate. Fittingly, in the 30th year in which the Farmer Patent Competition was presented, Grain SA and Omnia welcomed the magazine Landbouweekblad as an additional partner.

The poor condition of various public roads in the area of NAMPO Park is of great concern. This places enormous pressure on certain routes and hampers the steady flow of traffic to and from the showgrounds.

The broad agricultural family of the Western Cape can look forward to NAMPO Cape, which will be presented in collaboration with Grain SA at Bredasdorp in the Western Cape from 12 to 14 September 2018. This trade and stock expo is aimed at creating a base as agricultural information provider, market place, network opportunity and gathering place for everyone with an interest in agriculture in the region. Information on NAMPO Cape is available via the website.

Next year’s NAMPO Harvest Day has already been scheduled for 14 to 17 May.


Source: Grain SA

AFGRI Equipment and John Deere – automation data extraordinaire

The AFGRI Equipment and John Deere partnership is proud to announce the implementation of JD Link, a near real-time telematics system connecting all makes and models of agricultural machinery in the field with the farmer’s office and mobile devices.


28 May 2018, Centurion – The partnership between AFGRI Equipment and John Deere dates back to 1962, with AFGRI Equipment benefitting from world-class automation equipment, support and services and John Deere benefitting from the extensive AFGRI Equipment dealer network, spanning South Africa, certain African countries, as well as Western Australia.


“The AFGRI Equipment dealer network is in fact the largest outside of North America,” explains Tinus Prinsloo, CEO of AFGRI. “The JD Link system, which AFGRI Equipment has already started rolling out to farmers, helps collate telematics and a wide range of data from all machines. Vital information to prevent downtime as an example, is available at any time to the farmer, and this, in our opinion, will improve efficiencies even further.”


“The solution enables customers to keep track of their fleet, monitor work progress, manage logistics, access important machine information, analyse and optimise machine performance, receive alert SMS or email messages, perform remote operator support and automate data exchange.”


Prinsloo goes on to explain that this unique system, one of the first of its kind in the market, is invaluable for the future of large-scale commercial farming. “JD Link offers boundless features and benefits – even the most basic data relayed would consist of equipment-specific metrics such as diesel levels, engine temperature and forward speed.


“Second, and probably most exciting, is the efficiency data that becomes available such as hectares completed, average hectares per hour, hitch position and wheel slip. Equipment can even be geo-fenced and time restricted to alert owners of unauthorised usage.”


A third feature is that JD Link acts as a gateway for data to flow to and from machines. Machine critical updates can be carried out over an internet connection or via screen-sharing to allow technicians access to in-cab screens via an internet link, and fault codes can be pushed to the owner, operator or the dealer as they occur.


“What is exciting is that we are now enabling machines and equipment to communicate with one other. This will allow, as examples, machines to adapt guidance tracks to accommodate different working widths of implements,” says Prinsloo.


He comments that while this may sound like a sci-fi movie script, it is in fact agriculture in the twenty-first century, where extracting efficiency down to the smallest aspect counts.


“AFGRI Equipment has always seen value in investing in precision agriculture. We believe that these technologies enable our producers to make more informed decisions by having the correct information available to them when they need it. We have embarked on this journey to collaborate with producers, thereby ushering in the next age of agricultural information technology, automation, management and ultimately profitability for their operations. JD Link forms an important building block in the total strategy of allowing us to achieve this vision for the future,” indicates a proud Prinsloo.


The system can be used across various models and types of equipment, the only limitations being data on certain non-John Deere equipment, and on older and lower spec John Deere tractors.


An additional benefit is that systems other than those from John Deere can be added to the platform, with the result being that the farmer or equipment owner stands to benefit tremendously.

NAMPO / Nation in Conversation: How does the youth see agriculture in South Africa?


There can be no doubt that youth development and job creation are top of mind in South Africa currently, so this session at Nation in Conversation – taking place during NAMPO from the 14th to 18th May –  is sure to attract massive attention as a result.


For the country’s leading agribusiness, AFGRI, one of the first signatories of the Youth Employment Service (YES), commitment to developing South Africa’s youth is non-negotiable. Launched in April this year by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the initiative is aimed at empowering one million unemployed South African youth.


AFGRI was among the first companies to sign-up, along with other leading companies Absa, Discovery, Exxaro, FirstRand, Illovo, Imperial, Investec, MTN, Nedbank, Netcare, Pick n Pay, Sasol, Shoprite, Spar, Step, Uber, Unilever and Woolworths.


Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI Group Holdings says that from his personal perspective there is a deep commitment to and understanding of the plight of youth in our country – and this view is entrenched at AFGRI. “Government needs the assistance of the private sector to manage the unemployment crises in the country and the least we can do is get involved in the offering of intern programmes and training, and through initiatives such as the YES project.”


Across the group, there are also several youth programmes in place, and AFGRI’s Corporate Social Investment (“CSI”) initiatives, focused on the key areas of food security, education support for schools, water security and poverty alleviation, are aimed at having a positive impact on the youth, emerging and commercial farmers, as well as the communities in which the group operates.


To date, AFGRI has supported 20 education projects, reaching over 7,000 learners; 23 food and water security projects, benefiting almost 9,000 community members and learners; six poverty alleviation projects, benefitting over 1,000 community members; and seven employee community initiatives.


The Emerging Farmer Development Initiative is housed in a standalone company called Harvest Time Investments. The programme aims to develop emerging farmers both in South Africa and on the continent and provide the essentials of farming through a diverse range of practical and theoretical training over a five-year period. The overarching rationale for Harvest Time Investments is to ensure sustainable agriculture.


“As a leader in the field of agriculture we are pleased with the tremendous success that our Emerging Farmer and Abba Training Programmes have achieved. What we have learnt from this is that practical experience and application is key, coupled with the support of mentors, access to finance and guidance from agronomists, for example. The result is a lasting formula which supports sustainable food security and most importantly enables the farmer to be economically successful.”


To encourage youth to attend NAMPO this year and give them a first-hand experience of the event, AFGRI has made free tickets available to 44 University of Pretoria students from the Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences.


NAMPO / Nation in Conversation: Agriculture 2035

The Nation in Conversation topic “Agriculture 2035”, focusing on how new technology will change the face of agriculture as we know it today, is sure to spark debate around how to feed a burgeoning global population with natural resources that are already under pressure, as well as the sustainable development of the sector.


For AFGRI, South Africa’s leading agribusiness, innovation is one of the key aspects of remaining relevant to today’s farmers. “At AFGRI we strive to place innovation at the forefront of solutions to enhance productivity, creativity and ultimate value to customers. It is quite simply a way of doing business today,” says Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI Group Holdings.


While innovation is encouraged across all of AFGRI’s products and services, including farming equipment and FinTech products such as the group’s eAccounts offering, AFGRI Technology Services (“ATS”) was set up some 18 months ago to focus on introducing innovation and technology across the agricultural value chain and bringing AgTech solutions to customers.


According to MD Niki Neumann, these are solutions ATS believes will help ensure both the future of agriculture and enable food security. “We are bringing together products and solutions that will solve some of agriculture’s biggest challenges. We aim to be the catalyst of innovation and technology-enabled solutions to drive sustainable agricultural growth across the African and global agricultural value chain.”


Neumann lists some of these challenges to be: the limited access to resources, finance, markets and information; increasing demand for farming efficiency – the constant demand to do more with less at a cheaper price; changing consumer demands, particularly towards increased food traceability and alternate protein sources; the demand to produce more to meet the exponential growth in the population; supply chain inefficiency and wasteful value chains; climate change, decreasing availability of land, water scarcity and changing weather patterns.


“Imagine a world where everyone had access to nutritional food. Imagine a world where 40% of the food produced is not wasted. Imagine a world where there is enough, equally dispersed for all. This is all possible through introducing innovative and inclusive business models, new technology and innovation in the sector. There’s both a positive societal impact, as well as a promising commercial opportunity that advanced, technology-driven agriculture can play, that is yet to be unlocked – agriculture can touch many lives positively.”


Neumann adds that a new frontier in agriculture has started and it’s moving faster than we imagined. “Last year alone there was a reported investment in AgTech start-ups of $10.1 billion. We are already on the back foot as a country in this space. It’s time for us to put technology and innovation forward as a key pillar of the future of the industry. It cannot be a ‘nice to have’, it needs to be adopted as a crucial enabler to the industry. We need to rethink the ordinary.”


With services uniquely centred on the concepts of “grow”, “create”, “build”, “leap” and “unite”, ATS provides a host of offerings, including:


  • Innovation and technology advisory services for farmers and businesses.
  • The design and co-design of new technology-driven business models, digital products and services for the sector.
  • The building of new technology through co-creation and outsourcing services for Ag-specific innovation and digital activities.


“We offer start-ups and entrepreneurs the ability to scale their enterprise and technology with us. Innovation and future-proofing your business is best done by working together. Join our innovation ecosystem to connect with like-minded innovators, entrepreneurs and gain first access to game-changing technology solutions, and to talk to us about partnerships and strategic alliances.”


In the FinTech space, AFGRI has for some time led the pack amongst agricultural businesses with its afore-mentioned eAccounts offering. “In this age of technology, where most financial transactions are done through the touch of a button rather than in the presence of a teller or the bank manager, it is essential for financial services companies to offer top-notch electronic platforms from which clients can transact. eAccounts does just this – it’s a ground-breaking electronic account management solution offered to customers through UNIGRO,” explains Tinus Prinsloo, CEO of AFGRI.


Customers can, from a handling and storage perspective, view and receive invoices and statements, as well as draw detailed reports and information of their respective grain delivered for storage at any of AFGRI Grain Management’s 85 locations across the country. An ability exists to calculate storage rates according to grade and grain type. Customers are also able to access and monitor their procurement contracts, which contain detailed information, as well as movement reports.  Another feature enables farmers to record rainfall on their lands. Future developments on this platform include an insurance and claims functionality.


Of course, when it comes to agricultural equipment, staying at the forefront of innovation is a must. AFGRI Equipment has ensured that farmers in Africa have had access to the finest agricultural equipment through the largest single John Deere franchise on the continent since 1962. What’s more is that AFGRI Equipment can support farmers with mobile servicing and maintenance workshops, ensuring effortless management of an agricultural fleet. Workshops are manned by highly qualified personnel, accredited by John Deere.


What’s more is that to ensure farmers have ground-breaking technology to hand in order to best manage their equipment, the AFGRI Equipment and John Deere partnership are currently implementing JD Link, a near real-time telematics system connecting all makes and models of agricultural machinery in the field with the farmer’s office and mobile devices.


“The JD Link system, which AFGRI Equipment has already started rolling out to farmers, helps collate telematics and a wide range of data from all machines. Vital information to prevent downtime as an example, is available at any time to the farmer, and this, in our opinion, will improve efficiencies even further,” says Prinsloo, adding that AFGRI Equipment would be making more information available on this system in the next few weeks.


The spectacular John Deere machines, along with specialist potato equipment, will be on display at the AFGRI Equipment John Deere stand as well as the new AFGRI stand, H2 at NAMPO – we urge you to come and take look at our latest range.

NAMPO / Nation in Conversation: The importance of economy of scale: Big vs small

One of the debate topics at this year’s Nation in Conversation is around the importance of economies of scale, and the benefits of having an economy of scale in business, and specifically in South African agriculture.


From a business perspective, there is none closer to this subject than AFGRI itself. Now a leading agricultural services company, the group had a humble beginning. Back in 1923, 150 people attended a meeting called to establish the Oos-Transvaalse Landboukoöperasie, with 29 people signing the list of original members.


By 1930, 5,400 tons of maize was being handled by AFGRI – then considered a record, this in fact was hardly enough to fill the tube of one modern silo today. And 42 years later, in 1972 the total business silo capacity was 587,700 metric tons. Today AFGRI’s handling and storage capacity is more than five million tons!


Over the 95 years it has been in business, AFGRI has grown its offerings to encompass a wide variety of services and products, geared to support farmers no matter what their size.


“Constant innovation and in-depth knowledge of the agricultural sector means that we have also kept pace with the changing needs of our customers. We now offer grain management services, financial services, including insurance solutions and a financial transacting platform, agricultural equipment, animal feeds, retail outlets, commodity and currency trading, and commodity hedging amongst others,” says CEO of AFGRI, Tinus Prinsloo.


“This all-encompassing approach that means that farmers need look no further than AFGRI for all their requirements. For us, economy of scale means the ability to offer total support for our customers.”


Inherent to this approach are the lessons learnt from supporting generations of farmers – many of whom also started off small. “As their needs have grown and changed, we’ve been able to map our own growth. Because of our size, we’re also able to invest in the latest farming innovations through our division, AFGRI Technology Services, which is focused on mobilising AgTech to the benefit of South African farmers.”


In partnership with John Deere, AFGRI is the largest John Deere dealer outside of North America, and nothing says “efficiency” better than the equipment, technology and support that is provided through this long-standing partnership. “Here’s a fun fact – in 1963, the year following AFGRI entering into an agreement with John Deere, we sold only 28 tractors, compared to 1972 when we sold 519 John Deere tractors. Now our equipment technology leads the market with innovative solutions and products.”


According to Prinsloo, South African farmers are also world leaders in adopting technology to enhance and economise farming.


To ensure farmers have ground-breaking technology to hand to best manage their equipment, the AFGRI Equipment and John Deere partnership are currently implementing JD Link, a near real-time telematics system connecting most makes and models of agricultural machinery in the field with the farmer’s office and mobile devices.


“The JD Link system, which AFGRI Equipment has already started rolling out to farmers, helps collate telematics and a wide range of data from all machines. Vital information to prevent downtime as an example, is available at any time to the farmer, and this, in our opinion, will improve efficiencies even further,” says Prinsloo, adding that AFGRI Equipment would be making more information available on this system in the next few weeks.


He adds that another logical progression of economy of scale, and the experience gained over more than nine decades of working side by side with South Africa’s farming community, is AFGRI’s involvement in assisting emerging farmers, where the goal is to support their growth path of becoming the commercial farmers of the future.


“By passing on this information and knowledge and offering insight that comes from many years of experience, combined with mentorship where our teams work directly with emerging farmers throughout the process, are able to assist the individual to enhance his/her yields. This puts the farmer in a good position to increase yields and grow more crops, ultimately helping him or her to become the successful commercial farmer of tomorrow.”


Prinsloo concludes that at AFGRI it is not one divisional approach that supports the success of the farmer, no matter whether large or small, but the total offering of AFGRI, which has been moulded over nine decades and which continues to be enhanced upon as requirements and economic challenges change.


NAMPO / Nation in Conversation: Inspirational women in business

With the lead up to this year’s Nation in Conversation debates taking place at NAMPO – from the 15th to the 18th of May – one of the sessions will focus on the role of women in the agricultural sector. While it’s a well-known fact that the number of women participating in the South African agricultural labour market amounts to some 278,000 individuals, roughly a third of the sector’s total labour force, with the World Bank putting women’s share of labour in crop production at an average 40% across the rest of Africa, a perhaps more important issue is how female leadership in the sector is shaping up.


Some progress has been made in the past few years in increasing the number of women in management positions within the sector, with several national agricultural associations and organisations having prominent women at the helm.


For AFGRI, South Africa’s leading agribusiness, now in its 95th year of doing business, the issue of female participation, particularly at a leadership level, has been a firm priority for several years. Testament to this is the fact that Marion Shikwinya has for several years been the Managing Director of the group’s Harvest Time Investments, an initiative focused on the development of the country’s small-scale farmers, many of whom are themselves women.


With the recent appointment of Rivasha Maharaj as CFO, and Thabi Nkosi as Head of Business Development, the agricultural group has taken another stride forward in ensuring more female participation at a senior level.


According to Chris Venter, the CEO of AFGRI Group Holdings, this is an important development for the group: “We need diversity in all key positions of the agricultural sector, particularly because the sector is viewed as one of the mainstays of growth and development in this country. As such, it is important that diversity is prioritised without compromising on the qualifications, skills and experience needed to take the sector – and AFGRI – forward.”


As the new CFO of AFGRI Group Holdings, Maharaj sees her role as an exciting challenge, allowing her the opportunity to drive change and strategy within the business, and in so doing, impact both the financial and social aspects of the group positively.


For Nkosi, an agricultural economist by training and background, the issue of gender parity remains critical. “My inspiration comes from all the women who have beaten the odds to achieve success in various areas. I would like to empower others through my example.”


She views the two most important challenges for the country in terms of agriculture in the next five years as being setting clear policy on the land question, and how South Africa will adapt to the increasing occurrence of extreme weather events brought on by climate change.


According to Harvest Time Investment’s Shikwinya, the issue is a complex one: “The future of agriculture will be impacted by many things, including climate change, consumer demands, availability of arable land, water scarcity, etcetera, and so I believe it’s difficult to determine exactly what the greatest of these challenges will be. And I would say that unless we are as a country able to embrace innovative solutions to ensure sustainable agriculture, we will continue to see challenges. The ability of the sector to thrive in South Africa, particularly in food production, will depend on the ability of producers to adapt to and implement solutions that will be brought about by what could be termed the ‘agri-technovation’ era.”


On the question of the role of women in agriculture, Shikwinya believes women have always been involved in the sector, in one way or another. “Historically, women helped to grow food for their families. They certainly have a proven ability in primary production, although we need to focus more and more on leading female primary producers in our country. The important thing to recognise though, is that primary production is not the only area in which women can contribute to the sector. Women can play a leadership role in terms of driving innovation, influencing decisions in large agricultural services companies, and in policy making in government, as examples. It is, therefore, important that the sector focuses on creating an environment in which women can thrive, no matter the area they chose to be involved in.”

NAMPO / Nation in Conversation: UN decade of family farming

This year AFGRI, one of South Africa’s leading agricultural services company, is proud to again be participating at NAMPO, and in the Nation in Conversation debates taking place between the 14th and 18th of May, at Bothaville in the Free State.  Chris Venter, the CEO of AFGRI Group Holdings, will be one of the panellists in the session focusing on family farming, taking place on Wednesday, 16 May at 11am.


With the emphasis on farming as a family business gaining new momentum with the United Nations’ adoption of a decade of family farming, this discussion will focus on how governments, business and labour can get involved to promote sustainable development to alleviate global hunger. This is particularly apt in South Africa, where most of the farms are owned and managed by families.


For AFGRI, now celebrating its 95th year in business, this topic is close to its heart. The group has after all been supporting farming over the generations, and aims to continue doing so for decades to come.


“With 95 years of experience in the agricultural sector, AFGRI understands what it takes to be a successful farmer. We strive towards constant progression, growth, innovation and forging our vision for food security in South Africa and the rest of the continent. AFGRI will always, as it has done for over 95 years, be with the farmers, for the farmers. We are proud to have been a part of their heritage for generations, and remain passionate about their success and the future farmers to come. From the past, to the present and the future – we support our farmers and recognise their passion,” says CEO of AFGRI, Tinus Prinsloo.


Another major thrust for AFGRI is to support the sector to ensure food security, inextricably linked to its role in the future of farming and sustainable development within the agricultural sector. According to The Food and Agriculture Organisation, the number of people experiencing food insecurity in Africa rose from 220-million people to 224-million people in 2017, attributed to changing weather patterns that led to poor harvests, a loss of livestock, conflict and recurrent droughts on the continent. South Africa’s food security ranking currently stands at 44th out of 113 countries, according to the Global Food Security Index, developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.


“For this reason, our focus is on all farmers, whether they are family farmers, large commercial farmers or small-scale farmers. Each has a role to play in ensuring enough food is produced to prevent South Africans, as well as the people of Africa, from going hungry. Equally important is our support of agriculture that ensure the farmer is commercially successful to ensure sustainability.”


The group’s sustainable development initiatives include Harvest Time Investments, which was launched in 2012 to unlock the potential of emerging farmers and their farms through training, development, and mentorship.


“All-in-all this support, imparting of knowledge and care is to safeguard agriculture for future generations,” concludes Prinsloo.


How does the US compare in terms of family farms?

As in South Africa, family farms play a dominant role in US agriculture. According to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in 2016, these farms accounted for some 97% of farms and 89% of production.


  • Food equals family – 97% of the 2.1 million farms in the United States are family-owned operations.
  • Small business matters – 88% of all US farms are small family farms.
  • Local connections come in small packages – 58% of all direct farm sales to consumers come from small family farms.
  • Big business matters too – 64% of all vegetable sales and 66% of all dairy sales come from the 3% of farms that are large or very large family farms.
  • Farming provides new beginnings – 18% of principal operators on family farms in the US started within the last 10 years.


For South African family farm success stories, catch the @Landbouweekliks series on ViaTV, DStv-channel 147, which is proudly sponsored by AFGRI. One of the family farms featured recently was the Genade Farm in Douglas in the Northern Cape, which belongs to the Bruwer family. Here world-class farm management is carried out by Vickie Bruwer and his three sons.



The Vodacom Bulls catapulted themselves into playoff contention with their 39-33 win (halftime 22-17) against the Cell C Sharks in Round 13 of Vodacom Super Rugby at Loftus Versfeld.

It was the Cell C Sharks who challenged the scoreboard first as fullback Curwin Bosch crossed the whitewash but his efforts were disallowed due to his tripping of fullback Warrick Gelant in the build-up and was shown a yellow card for his efforts.

The Vodacom Bulls made good use of the resulting penalty as the ball was shuffled down the line to outside centre Jesse Kriel who grubbered the pill past the defence to a flying Gelant who scored a converted try.

Kriel continued his fine form as he received the final pass and brushed off a defender to score moments later.

The visitors got onto the board courtesy of Bosch who received an offload in the 23rd minute. Flyhalf Robert du Preez converted to cut the deficit to five points.

The men in light blue were not done with scoring tries as wing Travis Ismaiel did well to stay infield long enough for flank Roelof Smit to scoop up the ball and score.

The Vodacom Bulls found themselves on the wrong side of the referee as lock RG Snyman was sin binned for a late tackle and the Cell C Sharks capitalised on their advantage as flank Jacques Vermeulen scored a converted try.

Pollard and Bosch traded penalties in the dying minutes of the first half as the teams headed to the sheds with the Vodacom Bulls leading 22-17.

The Cell C Sharks started the second half like a house on fire as Du Preez sunk two penalty goals to take the lead for the first time but his efforts were nullified as wing Johnny Kotze received a pop pass from Gelant to score in the corner in the 55th minute.

The visitors suffered their second yellow card of the match as outside centre Lukhanyo Am was ordered off after tackling a player in the air.

Lock Lood de Jager scored the Vodacom Bulls’ fifth try as he used his tall timber to reach out and score in the 67th minute. Pollard converted and added a penalty to gift his team a 39-23 lead with 11 minutes left on the clock.

Springbok flank Jean-Luc continued the ding dong affair as he dotted down a minute later as the Cell C Sharks registered third third try.

Kriel almost bagged his brace only to be denied by the TMO for an earlier infringement in the 75th minute.

With the clock run out, the Cell C Sharks slotted a penalty to earn a bonus point as the Vodacom Bulls secured a 39-33 win at Loftus Versfeld.




Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Warrick Gelant, Jessie Kriel, Roelof Smit, Jonny Kotze, Lood de Jager; Conversions: Handre Pollard (4); Penalty: Pollard.

Cell C Sharks – Tries: Curwin Bosch, Jacques Vermeulen, Jean-Luc du Preez; Conversions: Robert du Preez (2); Penalties: Du Preez (3), Bosch.

Ivor Price at NAMPO 2018

Visit AFGRI at NAMPO Stand H2. From 15 – 18 May 2018


Heart of Zambia’s agriculture

FOR a moment, forget about the Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show, a five-day event organised by the Agricultural and Commercial Show Society of Zambia (ACSZ) in Lusaka leading to Farmers Day, a public holiday.
Think about the Agritech Expo.
But what is it about?
“In the heart of Zambia’s agri-hub, Agritech Expo Zambia is the ultimate business-to-business buying platform for agricultural professionals, from small-scale farmers to commercial enterprises, to engage and conduct business with some of the world’s leading suppliers to the agricultural industry,” the Agritech website reads.
“Establishing a marketplace for regional and international industry professionals, young agripreneurs and farmers of all scales come together in one location to conduct exclusive agribusiness transactions while being educated on the latest global industry trends to advance into the next generation of food production.
“From live crop trials and machinery demonstrations to technical and practical workshops and business lounges for commercial players, Agritech Expo presents the gateway to industry innovations with the leading outdoor exhibition in the region for the agri community. Agritech Expo is simply the only professional business-led event servicing the needs of the entire agri-value chain in Zambia and its neighbouring countries.”
That is what it simply is about.
The Agritech Expo, which started five years ago, has developed into an influential agricultural trade show exposing both small-scale farmers and commercial enterprises to up to date with industry practices.
The concept of the expo was taken from South Africa’s Nampo Agricultural Trade Show, an annual event held in Bothaville since 1974. The show, which is also known as Nampo Harvest Day or Nampo Oesdag, is organised by Grain South Africa and features a large variety of agricultural machinery and livestock.
This year’s Agritech Expo Zambia, which started yesterday under the theme ‘Resilience part of Zambian nature: Applauding every step forward towards the modernisation of Zambian agriculture’, will be officially opened by President Edgar Lungu today at the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART) in Chisamba.
Some of the invited guests include Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo, Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Kampamba Mulenga, the Farmers Expo Board chairman, Ashok Oza, and Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) president Jervis Zimba.
The expo will provide agricultural producers and the public an opportunity to experience what modern agriculture looks like and to witness what is new on the market.
Agritech Expo is owned by ZNFU and enjoys support from Government as well as other stakeholders.
This year’s event has attracted about 20,000 farming professionals and visitors, over 270 local and international exhibitors with 3,500 high-profile delegates, large-scale farmers and about 150 members of the press.
Therefore, the emphasis by Government to make agriculture a major contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) of the country has further enabled GART Research Centre to increase the number of land to be occupied at this year’s expo from 20,000 in the last five years to 70,000.
The expo is a landmark event for Zambia’s agriculture sector, providing a business-to-business platform for agricultural professionals, from small-scale farmers to commercial enterprises by enabling them to engage and conduct business with some of the world’s leading suppliers to the agricultural industry.
The show, which started as a small-scale venture has grown to be one of the most sought after agriculture expos in the region coming in second after South Africa’s Nampo Harvest Day.
There is no doubt that this year’s Agritech Expo is poised to transform the agriculture sector through the provision of innovative services by various exhibitors.
Government has continued to support the event through the provision of better policies and initiatives that are aimed at boosting agriculture in the country.
President Lungu has been championing the economic diversification agenda and the need for Zambia to embrace agriculture and tourism, among other sectors, to help lift the country out of poverty.
That is why the Agritech Expo is welcome.
Despite an outbreak of the Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) in Chibombo and Chisamba districts, the expo is on. Or as they say, all roads lead to Chisamba.
However, the exhibition of cattle and other livestock species will not be allowed at this year’s Agritech Expo.
Consequently, the initiative by Government and ZNFU to subject all participants, including their vehicles, to screening before entering the main arena will help contain the outbreak.
The Agritech Expo is expected to bring with it many financial benefits that will trickle down to other economic sectors such as the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) through the collection of tolls due to increased traffic during the expo period.
And as Zambia focuses more on diversifying its economy, there is need to invest more in the agriculture sector as it plays a strategic role in the development of the country.
Therefore, there is no secret that technology improvement or innovative development should be adapted and applied to the scientific requirements of farmers and agricultural industries to attain better outputs.
Since farming is a scientific business, the Agritech Expo is the way to go if Zambian farmers are to increase their productivity and profitability to promote sustainable food security for the country.
This year’s platinum sponsors are Afgri and John Deere, Saro and Ursus are gold supporters, with the Zambia Daily Mail being the premier media partner.

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