Writes; ‘Makarabo Mats’umunyane
Each and every year since 1967, when Nampo harvest day was started by Grain SA, farmers from all over South Africa look forward to Nampo’s Harvest Day. This is because it is the biggest exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere and it is annually organised for the farmers to display their latest farming products and equipment. Ever since the show started in 1967, it is becoming stronger and stronger each year with exhibitors from all over the world and attendants from overseas and from neighbouring countries like our country Lesotho.
What is even more exciting and important about this show is that demonstrations of machinery exhibited are done practically.
More than 500 companies and institutions are currently taking part in this show. This year the Nampo Harvest Day started on the 14th May and ended on the 18th May.
In this expo, many innovative, creative and inventive entrepreneurs, farmers and engineers were met and they have fascinating projects of which we would like to share. Among the companies that exhibited are Backsaver Farming equipment, Flexipump and ABC Hansen group which we managed to interview. These companies offer farming equipment like maize millers, storage tanks, ox-drawn planters for small scale farmers, irrigation pumps and many other engineering tools.
Backsaver Farming Equipment
Backsaver farming equipment was founded in 2010 by Michris Janse van Rensburg of Free State Bultfontein.
The company is basically focused on building farming equipment for small scale farmers and selling them at affordable prices. A variety of planters are available at Backsaver from light hand fertilizer applicators, maize planters, ox-drawn garlic planters to big machinery that can be drawn by tractors.
When talking to its founder Michris at the Nampo expo, who was given a Sesotho name Mojalefa by his work-mates at his family’s farm, he said his equipment is very easy to handle, time-saving and very efficient. Being a farmer himself, he emphatically pointed out that he understands the farmer’s need very well and therefore his machinery meets the demands of the farmers perfectly. Most importantly, Backsaver has animal drawn planters that are light enough to even be drawn by two men, including award-winning hand maize precision planters which ensure that maize is planted at the same depth and distance. Moreover, the combi planters that are used to apply a combination of both fertilizers and seeds are available together with another award-winning hand fertilizer applicators.
Flexipump is another company that specialises in producing irrigation pumps and newly-invented plug and spray pumps. What is very unique about these products is how easily they can be operated and maintained. David Hutton, the managing director of Flexipump Company was also among many other exhibitors with his newest product, the plug & spray water tank pump.
He started the company in 2017 with his first product as a manual flexipump that is used for irrigation. The irrigation pump saves a lot of time compared to the use of a bucket for fetching water. Instead, we can just have two people, one at the well pumping and another one moving around with a pipe irrigating. This irrigation pump can cover a horizontal distance of about 100m and can draw water from a well that is 6m below the pump and 10m above the pump. It is very easy to use and it can pump about 1 600L of water per hour.
The newly launched flexipump on the other hand uses electricity to operate, it has an optional extra solar panel that can be connected to it and instead of electricity it can operate by solar energy. In terms of energy, it is very energy efficient and can be used by anyone who has a water tank to spread water over a garden or a yard. Unlike other big pumps, it can use only up to 19W energy.
ABC Yokulima; Part of the
ABC Hansen Group
One of the biggest companies that exhibited at the Nampo Harvest day was the ABC Hansen Group and we had an opportunity to have a chat with Mpho Mahlaba. Mpho Mahlaba is the Operations Manager at ABC Yokulima which is a division of the ABC Hansen Group. ABC is a broad company that specialises in supply of large, small and intensive farming storage, ensuring their installation, grain milling, tractor implements, timber processing equipment etc.
ABC Yokulima specialises in offering solutions to subsistence and emerging farmers and agricultural projects. It combines the engineering, technical and agricultural expertise in the ABC Africa Group, for the soil-bound people of the African continent. The main purpose of ABC Yokulima is to strive to enhance agriculture in Africa by Africans through technology and training. It focuses more on training farmers and advising people on agricultural projects and hiring out equipment to starters.
It is no joke that Basotho farmers and youth can benefit from such gatherings and events as this. You get to meet great minds, establish connections and know that your dream can come true when you meet big company founders who also started small. Let us venture into agriculture and unleash our full potential, start our production line, then we will see great progress in our country’s economy.
If you are in the Southern African agricultural community, an agribusiness-minded individual, and have not attended or heard about Nampo, then you have just read the right article.
A wise entrepreneur, Margaret Heffernan says “for good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” On the other hand, Dean Kamen says “I’ve never had a business plan. Every project we’ve ever done was the intersection of somebody with a real need, a real passion to do something, and hustling.” Here is the challenge: see a need, think diligently, find a solution and save a brother from poverty. There is a solution to our problems only if we research, innovate and, most importantly, implement.