Ellen Chasokela Herald Reporter
The Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) has stepped up preparations for this year’s rebranded Zimbabwe Agricultural Show, with focus on increasing capacity in the Exhibition Park and transforming the show from a display platform to an opportunity ecosystem.
This year’s show, which runs under the theme; “Technology, Innovation, Modernisation, Adopt, Accentuate, Accelerate”, is slated for August 26 to 31.
The rebranding of the show, which used to be called the Harare Agricultural Show to the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show, comes as part of efforts to give it a national outlook.
Addressing journalists yesterday, ZAS chief executive Dr Anxious Masuka said this year’s show has several exciting programmes, which they hope will attract many exhibitors.
This has seen ZAS increasing exhibition space to accommodate the anticipated jump in exhibitors.
“The space uptake has been incredible and we are marginally above last year despite the difficult operating environment. We have added (new) 2 000 square metres in terms of hall capacity and we are at 8 000 square metres in terms of outdoor capacity; so altogether, we are planning an increase from 80 000 square metres of exhibition to at least 90 000 square metres,” said Dr Masuka.
He said on the first day of the show, ZAS has lined up a programme dubbed “make-local buy-local”, where the organisers are encouraging farmers and businesses to focus on import substitution while priming business for export.
Dr Masuka said the move was in support of Government’s local content strategy and the industrial policy that say companies ought to highlight what local products they are making so that they can be available on local markets.
“On the fourth day, in support of devolution by the Government, we have a dedicated local Government conference where we accept local urban authorities (and) rural district councils to come and not only highlight what services and products they have but showcase the investment opportunities that are available and also discuss the challenges and opportunities they face individually and collectively in terms of devolution,” he said.
ZAS will also have the micro-enterprises section in line with the informalisation of the economy.