The Sunday Mail
The Harare Agricultural Show, which is the country’s biggest agricultural showcase, kicks off in the capital tomorrow with a wide array of new sections set to add the excitement and opportunities.
The event, which is running under the theme ‘Enhancing Agricultural Productivity: Managing Climate Change’, will run from tomorrow till Saturday. The opening day has been set aside as a traders’ day.
This year, Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) introduced three new sections to the show. These include the agri-produce, livestock, home industries, arena events and the youth sections.Expectations are high that the show will provide a platform for stakeholders in the agricultural sector and related industries to do business and network.Members of the Rabbit Producers Association of Zimbabwe will exhibit at the show for the first time.
Rabbit farming has taken the country by storm as demand for the meat has increased drastically over recent times.
“As rabbit producers, we will be at the show in full force since we are trying to market the rabbit farming model. Rabbit farming is not a hobby anymore and as such, we want to use the show to reach out to Zimbabweans so that they take up commercial rabbit farming,” said Mr Jonathan Tembo, the chairman of the 2 000-member Association which was formed early last year.
The show is a platform for local, regional and international exhibitors involved in agriculture to showcase their products and services to potential buyers.
One of the show’s major highlights is the Zimbabwe Annual National Agri-business Conference, a joint initiative of ZAS and the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF).
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be the guest speaker at the conference and will present a paper on how to manage climate change for enhanced agricultural productivity.
Among some of the key speakers will be Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. Engineer Gloria Magombo, the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), will deliberate on powering irrigation to mitigate climate change.
Representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Zimbabwe Seed Trade Association and the Meteorological Services department will also be in attendance.
A University of Zimbabwe Crop Science specialist will look into how the country can achieve self-sufficiency in maize production.
Seminars and group discussions on different agricultural topics such as conservation tillage, climate mitigation, horticulture and animal production will also be conducted.
Apart from the Harare show, ZAS has also lined up provincial shows that will be held on different dates in Bindura, Chinhoyi, Gwanda, Chegutu, Marondera, Masvingo and Mutare.
Efforts to get the number of exhibitors that will take part in this year’s edition of the show were fruitless as Ms Heather Madombwe, the head of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Public Relations department, was not picking up her phone.