Mash West farmers target Dubai fresh food market
Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
THERE is a huge drive to rally farmers in Mashonaland West to produce fresh food for export markets, targeting nations such as the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai, being a largely desert country, imports a lot of agricultural produce, and farmers in Mashonaland West are now planning to boost production and export their produce to the country.
During a recent handover of prizes donated by Zimplats to winners from last year’s provincial agriculture show, Mashonaland West Show Society chairperson Mr Godfrey Mavhankeni said there was huge appetite for farm produce in the Middle East.
“Let us take agriculture as a business and look beyond. They (farmers) should start exporting their produce. Dubai has huge demand for chickens and green vegetables,” he said.
“Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka, is on record calling farmers to make agriculture a business and we should rally behind him.”
Mr Mavhankeni said delegates from the Dubai-Zimbabwe Business Council will attend this year’s Mashonaland West Agriculture Show, which is expected to run from early August.
The show is expected to open business links for local and communal farmers.
Overall winner Mrs Furena Marufu, from Birimawe in Hurungwe district, said she was ready to produce for any market, including Dubai and other international markets.
Mrs Marufu walked away with a new scotch cart.
Ms Ratidzo Matsika from Zvimba district, who won a plough, said she was ready to produce chickens for the UAE market.
The show society farmers’ committee chairman, Mr Richard Chambwe, lauded the participation of Zimplats in the annual event, saying it was in line with efforts by the corporate world in supporting agriculture.
“We have roped in schools and tertiary institutions to participate and exhibit in the show this year,” Mr Chambwe said.
Zimplats head of corporate affairs and communication, Mrs Busi Chindove, said they were happy to honour their commitment to support agriculture and farming excellence.
This year, the Mashonaland West Agricultural Show is expected to run from August 3 to 6, under the theme, fostering a self-sufficient future, retaining a heritage .
The Government has come up with strategies to transform the agriculture sector into a US$8,2 billion industry by 2025.