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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

AGRI TECH Innovation in

AGRI TECH Innovation in agriculture Danise Smit, Sales and Customer Services Director for RS Components South Africa, reports on the trends that were on display at South Africa’s biggest agricultural festival, NAMPO Harvest Day. From electric vehicles to smart monitoring drone technology, the NAMPO Harvest Day 2022 was an event that shone a spotlight on modern agriculture and various approaches that South Africa should consider in order to move this sector forward and keep up with international markets. Regarded as the largest agricultural exhibition of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, the renowned NAMPO Harvest Day saw thousands of visitors flock to Bothaville in the Free State to gain first-hand insights on the latest advancements in technology, equipment and tools to benefit the agricultural industry in South Africa. The town of Bothaville certainly enjoyed the opportunities presented by NAMPO, as local businesses and boutiques polished their offerings for the influx of people to the usually quiet town. Due to the global pandemic, the NAMPO Harvest Day took a two-year hiatus between 2020 and 2021. To keep in line with Covid-19 regulations the 2022 event took place over five days as opposed to four to accommodate the restricted number of daily visitors to the show. RS Components South Africa was one of the many companies that exhibited. Danise Smit, Sales and Customer Services Director for RS Components South Africa, said that the RS team who attended the show connected with hundreds of new and existing customers. “It was great for us to have face-to-face interactions with the farming community after two years. So much has changed both in technology and in how farming is done. As a company that is always driving innovation to create a better world, it made sense to showcase our IoT and Food Safety solutions. Farming is becoming smarter, more efficient and more sustainable and it’s really exciting to walk that journey with our customers,” she said. At this year’s NAMPO Harvest Day, RS South Africa showcased several sensing and monitoring products and solutions. RS also displayed several RS Pro Food Safe maintenance products for use in food processing and farming. All RS Pro Food Safe products are registered with the National Sanitisation Foundation (NSF), an international public health and safety organisation, demonstrating risk reduction compliance. The handling, preparation, processing and packaging of food products requires machinery with moving parts that encounter foodstuffs. Keeping this equipment clean and lubricated involves the use of nonfood chemical products. NSF certification ensures that such products present a significantly lowered risk to health and assist to effectively eliminate the risk of foodstuff contamination when used appropriately. Drone technology NAMPO Harvest Day 2022 saw the introduction of commercial electric vehicles as well as the evolution of drone technology which can be used for surveying and analysis as well as seed and pesticide dispersion. 36 |

AGRI TECH popular NAMPO Harvest Day. Dr Pieter Taljaard, CEO of Grain SA, said that the Harvest Day provides a much-needed injection into the local economy especially after a two-year hiatus, with many small business owners relying heavily on the income made possible because of this agricultural platform. “Furthermore, the economic importance of NAMPO to the corporate, medium and small businesses from all over South Africa participating in the show cannot be underestimated,” he said. Grain SA’s objective is to use NAMPO as a platform to showcase the role of the commercial agriculture sector in South Africa and to highlight the country’s farming industry as a scientific and sophisticated economic sector that is committed to providing the nation with safe and affordable food. One of the many farmers at the event said that being a maize farmer in South Africa can be very challenging. “The introduction of smart-monitoring technology can help us overcome the many challenges that we face. The drone technology as an example can be used by maize farmers to monitor fields in real time. We can assess which areas of the fields need more attention than others. It is really great and what’s even better is that these technologies are becoming more accessible and affordable to us as farmers,” he said. Grain SA, the organisers of the event, received several new applications for exhibition space for the 54th running of the About RS Components RS Components is a trading brand of RS Group plc (formerly Electrocomponents plc), a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions for designers, builders and maintainers of industrial equipment and operations. We stock more than 700 000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from over 2 500 leading suppliers, and provide a wide range of product and service solutions to over 1.2-million industrial customers. With operations in 32 countries, we trade through multiple channels and ship about 60 000 parcels a day. We support customers across the product lifecycle, whether via innovation and technical support at the design phase, improving time to market and productivity at the build phase or reducing purchasing costs and optimising inventory in the maintenance phase. We offer our customers tailored product and service propositions that are essential for the successful operation of their businesses and help them save time and money. RS Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the year ended 31 March 2021 reported revenue of £2.0-billion. RS Group plc has nine operating brands: RS Components, Allied Electronics & Automation, RS PRO, OKdo, DesignSpark, IESA, Synovos, Needlers and Liscombe. For more information: | 37

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