Throwback Thursday: The founding of NAMPO

Differences between the South African Agricultural Union (with the Maize Board as its mouth piece) and farmers gained momentum in 1964 when a group of Bothaville farmers, amongst others CJ (Crawford) von Abo, took their point of view to the highest agricultural level (SAAU) on behalf of the Northwest Free State.

Amongst others, the farmers of Bothaville suggested to the maize committee of the Free State Agricultural Union that maize producers had to be compensated from the Surplus Stabilisation Fund for losses suffered. The committee was not in favour of that, seeing that the fund was intended for possible losses concerning foreign maize sales. 

Consequently, the inability to settle differences rather strengthened the discord, upon which the South African Maize Producers Institute (SAMPI) was founded in the Bothaville area in 1966. In 1969, Sampi broke away from the South African Maize Speciality Organisation (SAMSO) in 1976. A few years later, it was decided to initiate a “maize parliament” in which both bodies were represented. After a countrywide election in 1980, the two organisations decided to settle disputes by founding the National Maize Producers Organisation (NAMPO) in October 1980. The role of several farmers in the Bothaville district, where the Nampo Head Office, was decisive in building NAMPO as still one of the leading agricultural unions in South Africa by 2009. In this, the role of the then Chairman of Senwes, Mr Japie Grobler, was prominent.