Zambian Expo creates business opportunities for Zim’s agro-industries Agritech Expo attracted companies from Germany, South Africa, Zambia and other countries where agricultural implements and inputs are in demand

Fildah Gwati

THE Agritech Expo held in Zambia last week presented a platform for countries including Zimbabwe to foster regional partnerships, introduce cutting-edge agricultural technologies and promote business expansion opportunities.

The event attracted companies from Germany, South Africa, Zambia and other countries where agricultural implements and inputs are in demand every year.

The national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade facilitated the participation of nine Zimbabwean companies that included Afrostring, Bain, Humson, Millibrand, Agrirocket and National Tested Seeds. The companies also exhibited at the event.

ZimTrade client advisor Mrs Vivinah Matswetu-Ndlovu expressed optimism Zimbabwean companies had managed to forge partnerships and strike deals that could signal the beginning of new chapters in their business operations.

She said: “We had nine companies that were with us in Zambia who were part of agriculture implements and inputs suppliers who were hoping to strike partnerships and sign deals with participating countries. We are hopeful that they will be able to open businesses in Zambia.”

Agrirocket Engineer Chamunorwa Kapita who was among the exhibitors concurred and saying they had exhibited their smart agriculture structures that included greenhouses, tankers and animal handling equipment, which allow farmers to produce more using less.

“We showed that our technology as Zimbabwe is contributing a lot to our region.”

According to Trade Map, Zimbabwe’s exports of agricultural inputs and implements to Zambia grew from US$1, 77 million in 2018 to US$2, 56 million in 2022, mainly being driven by fertiliser, seed and agro-chemicals.  Seed and fertiliser innovation is an area where local companies can make an impact in the Zambian market.

ZimTrade chief executive officer Allan Majuru said that as interest in local products continued to grow, Zimbabwe is poised to further expand its influence across the African continent.

“Zimbabwean companies can also export irrigation systems to Zambia, where access to water is crucial for successful farming,.

With advancements in technology use and the growing focus on sustainability, one key area where Zimbabwean companies can excel in is the production of precision agriculture technology. This includes GPS-guided tractors and drones for crop monitoring, and software for data analysis.  These tools can help Zambian farmers make informed decisions about planting and irrigation, which ultimately improve their yields and profitability.

Mr Majuru said that, by offering high-quality seed that is tailored to the local climate and soil conditions, as well as innovative fertilisers that improve nutrient uptake and crop health, local companies can help Zambian farmers achieve better results in their fields.

“It is critical for local companies to familiarise themselves with Zambia’s import regulations, customs procedures, tariffs and documentation requirements. It is also mandatory to comply with all the import regulations and standards to avoid delays or issues at the border as this may be costly to the business.

“Suppliers must ensure their products meet Zambian quality standards and certification requirements. Obtaining the necessary certifications and complying with relevant standards will be essential for market access and consumer trust. The choice of a distributor can make or break the success of her products,” said Mr Majuru.

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