Turkey-Africa Economic Forum: Minister Shiri seeking Win-Win Agricultural Deals

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By Reason Moses Runyanga in Istanbul

LANDS and agriculture minister Retired Air Chief Marshal Perence Shiri, who was in Turkey attending the Turkey-Africa Economic Forum, said that he is lobbying for investors to invest in the agriculture industry which is in dire need of new modern technologies such as tractors and combine harvesters on a win-win basis.

Minister Shiri further said that for the resuscitation of the agriculture industry, Zimbabwe needs new trade partners and markets and further expressed his confidence in the Turkish business community and markets.

“We are saying to the Turkish government and business community, why don’t you assist us build some capacity so that we can trade better, why don’t you come and invest in some of the manufacturing processes like agro-processing and the textile industry,” he said.

“In the case of Zimbabwe, we are also encouraging them come and invest mainly in the beef and poultry industries. We are asking them to come and partner us in the resuscitation of the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) and give us a head start in the restocking of our herds and flocks,” added Shiri.

Asked on whether investments will be safe in Zimbabwe, given the current liquidity crisis being faced by the country, minister Shiri said:

“Investors should not worry about the security of their investments. We are putting measures to ensure that their investments are secure in Zimbabwe”.

On the side-lines of the Forum, Minister Shiri also met with the Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Ahmet Esref Fakibaba where they discussed and evaluated the possibilities of cooperation between the two countries.

In his drive to secure agricultural cooperation deals during the two day Economic Forum Minister Shiri will be meeting with members of the Turkish business community and delegates from other African countries.

Minister Shiri was accompanied by Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (AGRITEX) Principal Director Joseph Gondo and the Director of Economics and Markets in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Settlement C.T. Bwenje.

The Turkey-Africa Economic Forum is an annual event that seeks to increase Turkish investments in Africa and also create a market for African products. This year’s gathering is being attended by over 33 African diplomats and members of the business community.