Surprise announcement by Royal Show hosts

20 October 2023

By: Lloyd Phillips

Livestock breeders and other farmers should start preparing themselves for next year’s Royal Agricultural Exhibition that was announced on Friday.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Natal (RAS) continues to finalise the extensive legal processes of moving from its longstanding Pietermaritzburg premises to Mount Verde in neighbouring Hilton. 

However, in a surprise announcement on Friday, the society said it had confirmed a dedicated agricultural event to be held in May 2024 in Pietermaritzburg.

This year saw the last annual Royal Show hosted by the society, comprising large adjoining agricultural and non-agricultural components for the farming and townie communities alike. 

In contrast, next year’s Royal Agricultural Exhibition will focus solely “on livestock competitions and agrarian-related exhibits”.

A statement by the society said: “This represents the next phase in the RAS’s transition to a model that will deepen its commitment to agriculture. To complement a meaningful presence of cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, cage birds and rabbits, the Royal Agricultural Exhibition will include displays of heavy equipment, farming machinery and agri-technology.”

Value-added agricultural products on sale will include leatherware, meat, cheese, wool and clothing. 

The RAS said the exhibition, from May 24 to 29 at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg, will focus on “providing a much-improved experience for livestock breeders and other farmers whilst also affording interested members of the public a dedicated and informative agricultural event”.

More information will be made available as arrangements progress.

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