Lesego Valela and Trust Freddy
The 112th edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show started yesterday at the Exhibition Park in Harare, with high expectations from exhibitors on unique business and networking opportunities.
A few exhibitors were still putting last touches to their stands yesterday.
As expected on the first day every year, there was a low turnout of show-goers, but the few who visited said they were impressed by the exhibits.
Proceedings started in the morning with a brands parade march in Harare’s central business district, with exhibitors and sponsors marching from Simon Vengayi Muzenda Street then down along Jason Moyo to the business hub.
This year’s Agricultural Show is open to everyone, with a full programme of business conferences and entertainment events.
In separate interviews, the exhibitors said they were ready and optimistic.
The Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairperson Mr Solo Zawe who is also a cattle farmer said despite the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy, farmers have shown perseverance.
“The agricultural show is back with a bang. As farmers we are here to showcase our products. As farmers we always have perseverance, ready to show off whatever we are doing here out from the farms. We are hoping for a good turnover after Covid-19,” Mr Zawe said.
Another farmer, Mrs Grace Hore from Ward 16 Seke who is exhibiting for the first time said she had come to learn and acquire more skills on farming from fellow farmers and experts.
“This is my first time to participate at the national agricultural show. I have brought my maize and groundnuts. My main aim is to get new ideas therefore I am looking forward to gaining experience from my participation,” she said.
People interviewed said they were impressed by the readiness of most of the exhibitors who were already on their stands unlike in the past years.
Some parents told The Herald that they were more comfortable coming to the show on the first day due to less congestion.
Children can walk around the park and enjoy as there will not be any congestions which is synonymous with the last days.
Some parents were watching rehearsals for the official opening in the Glamis Stadium while some took their children for rides at the amusement park.
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces stand was one of the popular yesterday as people enjoyed seeing and learning about different types of firearms.
Another exhibitor who preferred not to be named said few people had visited their stand and this was synonymous with the first day.
“Usually few people visit the stands on the first day. We expect business to pick up as the show advances,” he said.
The Farmers Festival is also back with top artistes lined up to perform on Friday and Saturday at the Glamis Arena.
This year’s show is running under the theme: “Unequalled Business Opportunities, Accessibility, Accountability and Abundance”.
Tomorrow there will the annual National Agri business Conference which will be held under the theme; “Fostering Economic Growth Through Agricultural Value chains.
On Thursday there will be the Mining and Agriculture Breakfast interface which brings together players and stakeholders in the mining and agriculture value chains to dialogue, network and deepen synergies between the two sectors while the Zimbabwe-Botswana Business Forum will be held on Friday.
With relaxation of Covid-19 protocols, the Farmers Festival is back in full force with top artistes lined up to perform on Friday and Saturday at the Glamis Arena.