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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Dairy value chain to benefit from Belarus mechanisation

Story by John Nhandara

Zimbabwe’s agriculture dairy value chain is set to benefit from the Belarus mechanisation programme, after the Eurasian country pledged to diversify the programme.

This came out when the visiting Belarus Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Leonid Zayats toured two local firms that produce dairy and related products in Harare Wednesday.

Voice: The visiting Belarusian delegation, which is on a mission to establish areas of further cooperation, has expressed keen interest in investing in the country’s dairy value chain

This emerged when the delegation led by Belarus Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Leonid Zayats this Wednesday went on an appreciation tour of Harare based milk processing companies, Dairibord Zimbabwe and Nestle Zimbabwe.

“Our task is to help Zimbabwe expand its production lines, to produce low cost quality products. We are planning to organise supply of raw milk to Zimbabwe. We are planning to help farmers who produce raw milk with our Belarusian technologies. It will help in raising production volumes. We see Zimbabwe as a production hub for the Southern Africa region that is the will of our two Presidents,” Hon Zayats said.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Deputy Minister, Honourable Vangelis Haritatos is confident the investment will capacitate local industry and address the country’s milk requirements deficit.

“Belarus is walking the talk, they are looking at how they can assist the dairy value chain like Dairibord dome of the equipment that is outdated. They are talking about superior technologies they have in supporting our local companies. They are also talking about assisting our farmers who are not producing enough milk. Last year, we produced 91 million litres short of our annual consumption of 130 million, so they have improved genetics for farmers. In the short term they are concerned with supplying raw materials required in the dairy industry,” noted Hon Haritatos.

The engagements between Zimbabwe and Belarus are a culmination of several agreements that were signed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko which saw the Eurasian country supplying buses and agriculture machinery including tractors and combine harvesters.

Later in the day, the delegation paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Frederick Shava and the Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Sekai Nzenza where a number of developmental issues were on the agenda.

Noted Hon Shava, “The engagements we are having are as a result of the bilateral ties between our two Presidents. We managed to prepare MOU in agriculture. We have visited some leading companies in Belarus and we are getting somewhere.”

“Our ministry is happy to visualise cooperation in industrial development. President Mnangagwa gave us the mandate to focus more on value addition. We realise that you have quality cotton and we present an opportunity as low hanging fruit with our land. We look to value chains in dairy soya, pharmaceutical bus, trucks, iron and steel production,” said Minister Nzenza.

The newly-appointed Zimbabwean envoy to Belarus Ambassador Ignatius Mudzimba, who is set to open a new embassy in that country was unveiled to the delegation, testimony to the growing ties between the two countries.

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