The Sunday Mail
The Harare Agricultural Show ended yesterday amid mixed feelings from stakeholders that the annual showcase has lost direction on its core purposes.
Critics say it would do justice if the organisers of the show — Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Society (ZAS) — revisited the founding objectives of the event.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Wonder Chabikwa is of the opinion that the annual agricultural event has lost direction and is no longer showcasing agricultural produce.
“Perhaps there is not much understanding on what the event stands for.
“We also wondered at the prize giving ceremony that prizes went to those not involved in agriculture.
“But on the other hand, it can be argued that agriculture is multi-faceted,’’ he said.
Mr Chabikwa said there was also a general agreement that most of the exhibition stands did not portray the true nature of the agricultural sector.
However, some exhibitors felt that the 104th edition of the Harare Agricultural Show has opened business opportunities for them.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail yesterday, exhibitors in the farming section said the event reminded people that agriculture is the key link to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.
“The results from this year’s show are encouraging and we managed to clinch several mega deals with farmers from across the country,” said Mr Trust Chiduku, the marketing manager of Zimbabwe Springsteel, an agricultural implements manufacturing company.
Another exhibitor, Mr Silas Kufarimani, Drip-Tech Irrigation sales executive said, “We are confident we will soon be seeing returns from the transactions we did over the 11-day expo.”
ZAS spokesperson Ms Heather Madombwe also expressed confidence that the annual event had managed to serve its purpose.
“We believe that business deals were clinched during this year’s event,’’ she said.
The event has been running for the past 104 years and seeks to provide a platform that promotes farmers and agro-based companies.