Zimbabwe’s premier agriculture expo ends

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By Xinhua

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s premier agriculture expo concluded Saturday, with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their products and services at the annual event.

Running under the theme, Unequalled Business Opportunities, Accessibility, Accountability and Abundance, the 112th Zimbabwe Agricultural Show saw more than 400 exhibitors participating in the annual event.

Speaking while officially opening the expo on Friday in Harare, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is on a two-day visit to the country, said Zimbabwe and Botswana can explore more avenues of cooperation in the fields of crop and livestock production.

“The agricultural sectors of our countries are intertwined. The communities along our common borders share not only familial ties but ways and means of livelihoods such as livestock rearing amongst others,” Masisi said.

“I found it imperative as I avail myself to be part of this event so as to facilitate the exchange of views and experience in the agricultural space for the mutual benefit of our two countries and people,” he added.

Masisi appreciated the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Zimbabwe and Botswana in the agricultural sector, saying collaboration between the two countries will further solidify relations.

In addition, he noted that both countries have unique solutions to offer in enhancing agricultural productivity.

“I have no doubt that we can leverage each other’s strength in areas that we enjoy a comparative and competitive advantage in the agricultural space with the view to further deepen collaborative efforts in this area,” said Masisi.

Furthermore, he said in addition to cooperation in agriculture, the two neighbouring countries will continue enhancing cooperation in other economic spheres.

Masisi mentioned that Botswana and Zimbabwe recently engaged in talks for cooperation in strategic grain reserves and the possibility of Zimbabwe exporting grain to Botswana.

Meanwhile, this year’s edition of the show saw a return to full-scale activities after the last two editions had restrictions due to COVID-19 regulations.

Kundai Katsande, Sales Representative for Kurima Machinery, a local agricultural manufacturing firm, said this year’s trade expo presented more business opportunities for exhibitors.

“We are expecting to benefit a lot because we have been having a whole lot of people, or small scale guys that are the majority of our Zimbabwean farmers, they were here, seeing our products, they were excited that there is something like this (machinery) for them,” he said.

Life Nechavava, Sales Executive for Poly Packaging, a local manufacturer of agricultural packaging materials, said the trade expo is a huge marketing opportunity.

“Our brand is now known. When we started in 2018 we were not known by anyone, a lot of people actually thought that the bags that we were selling were coming from China, India, or South Africa, not knowing that we are manufacturing them locally, so the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show has actually helped us to make people aware that these products are Zimbabwean produced,” he said.

In the category of small-scale farmers, Chipo Dzapasi, a horticulture farmer, showcased her huge pumpkin that had attracted a lot of attention from the public.

“At the Agricultural show, I brought my pumpkin because people have been showing a lot of interest in it, so I said let me go and exhibit it at the show,” she said.

“I urge other farmers to participate in this exhibition because here you learn a lot. Back in our communities, you might be a maize farmer only, but if you come here you will discover a lot of crops that we don’t know of. Through this show you will discover a lot of crops,” Dzapasi added.

Takudzwa Mapanzure, a representative for Zvikomborero farms, said the agricultural show provides an avenue to share business ideas with other farmers.

“We have benefited a lot from participating in the agricultural show this year, and we also have gained some other information and experience because we have interacted with other goat farmers, other cattle farmers,” he said.