News Column

President to Officially Open Show

August 21, 2014

PRESIDENT Mugabe will officially open the 104th edition of the Harare Agricultural Show tomorrow, running under the theme "Sustaining and transforming Agricultural growth". This comes against the backdrop of his assumption of the Sadc chairmanship and he will be officiating at the event for the seventh time since independence.

Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba confirmed the development last night.

"The President will officially open the show on Friday (tomorrow)," he said.

The 104th edition of the Harare Agricultural Show comes at a time when the country has registered huge strides in the agricultural sector.

The development resonates well with one of the four clusters of Zim-Asset, the Food Security and Nutrition cluster that has since registered remarkable success in the last farming season as evidenced by the bumper crop harvest registered by farmers.

The country is expecting over 1, 4 million tonnes of maize this year, while more than 215 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth US$683 million were sold with positive spin-offs on the economy.

Other observers noted that the bumper harvest had also impacted positively on the country's national herd and the industrial sector, especially agro-based industries.

"We witnessed massive restocking by agro companies in anticipation of the next farming season," said one observer who spoke to the Herald yesterday.

"It is also important to note that the US$128 million injected by Government into the agricultural sector translated into hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to farmers."

This year's show runs from August 20 to 30.

Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) public relations manager, Ms Heather Madombwe, yesterday said the society was ready for the official opening.

"We are excited that President Mugabe is officially opening the show after assuming the Sadc chairmanship at the just ended Summit," she said.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made, said it was an honour to have President Mugabe officially opening the show.

"This is capping the country's premier agriculture show. The agricultural sector is thrilled to have His Excellency opening the show soon after becoming the chairman of Sadc," he said.

Dr Made said the Harare Agricultural Show was not only important to farmers, but to every Zimbabwean and some international participants.

"This year's show comes after a successful agricultural season and signals the start of a new season. We hope the 2014/15 cropping season will be a repeat of last year.

"We have seen positive developments in maize and small grain production and the flue-cured tobacco sector has also registered significant improvement as the crop becomes a major cash crop," he said.

Dr Made applauded farmers for their hard work and contractors who assisted in the production of tobacco during the previous season.

There has been growing interest in the agricultural show over the years with local farmers having the opportunity to showcase their produce, while service providers met with their customers.

The show roared into life yesterday with over 700 exhibitors expected to participate.

It started with a march from Fourth Street to the Exhibition Park.

Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Service officers, drum majorettes, dancers and show goers participated in the march.

Nyau dancers also entertained the people.

The first day of the show was characterised by a low turnout, while some exhibitors were still putting last touches on their stands.

The first few days of the show have been mostly attended by children accompanied by their parents.

Most parents prefer to bring children to the show during the early days, where there will be fewer people and low chances of kids getting lost.

Ms Madombwe said there was lots of entertainers and called on the people to come in large numbers.

She urged parents to bring their children to have fun at the show.

Ms Madombwe said the Red Cross Society would be protecting children through tracking system while the police would be deployed to promote order and security.

Exhibitors interviewed said they did not expect much business on the first day.

The official opening will be spiced up by performances from the Zimbabwe National Dancers, drum majorettes and musicians such as Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah.

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Source: AllAfrica

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