By Wellington Makonese
The country’s potential to expand the agricultural economy through mechanisation was on display at the Agricultural Dealers and Manufacturers Association (ADMA) Agricultural Show, which ended in Harare this Saturday.
Zimbabwe’s economy has historically been anchored on agriculture and to ensure that the sector continues on its expansion drive, adoption of new technologies and advanced machinery has been identified as key.
The agriculture machinery and equipment at the just ended AgriShow at the Borrowdale Race Course in Harare revealed a true picture of how the country is able to attain the revised US$10 billion agricultural economy by 2025 if all players come on board.
Mr Lynley Cahill, a farmer said, “This year’s show has been exciting with over 200 exhibitors. We are grateful to government for providing an enabling environment and I believe with our combined efforts and mechanisation we can reach the targets.”
“This has been a great show which shows that we need new technologies to improve. We thank the President for giving us platforms to enhance our knowledge,” noted another farmer, Mr Martin Nohumba.
An exhibitor, Ms Sarah Vale said, “It is quite refreshing to see farmers adopting new equipment, but there also comes the human resources side of things. They need to be trained to use the new equipment.”
With the show giving opportunities to both large- and small-scale farmers to access equipment, calls have been made to promote local productions.
Mr George Creigh-Smith, AgriShow Project Manager noted, “It is good that we have more and more mechanical development at this show. However, I feel to have more local production there is need to reward those already serving the market so that we don’t lose out to the foreign exporters.”
Government revised the agricultural sector growth target from US$8 billion to US$10 billion by 2025 after the initial target was met.
While mechanisation is synonymous with large scale commercial farmers, small scale farmers are now on board as evidenced by the presence of smaller equipment at the show.
In June last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched a US$51 million John Deere Mechanisation Facility and the Belarus Mechanisation Facility, to boost efficiency in agricultural production through use of advanced machinery and equipment.