Tendai Rupapa in Foshan, China
Zimbabwe will soon adopt China’s advanced irrigation technology, boost training and job opportunities for its citizenry through a deal struck with a Chinese agriculture equipment firm — China Lesso Group.
The company deals in agricultural equipment, home equipment and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products.
A high-powered Zimbabwean delegation led by First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is passionate about Zimbabwe’s economic revival, toured the company yesterday.
The week-long tour undertaken by the First Lady and her delegation is meant to unlock massive benefits for the country’s citizens.
Amai Mnangagwa invited the China Lesso Group to set up manufacturing plants in Zimbabwe and the firm’s directors welcomed the invite, saying they would work on it.
The group showed willingness to offer training to relevant ministries on irrigation at their international research institute here.
Amai Mnangagwa said she wanted development for the country and it was every citizen’s responsibility to work towards the transformation of the country.
“As a citizen and as a mother, I have done my part. We are rebuilding our country and I urge everyone to work hard so that we fulfil our vision. The engagements we had here, we should take them seriously because our Chinese friends are willing to help us.”
The First Lady said Zimbabweans needed a changed mindset and to stop painting the country black.
“We need growth and it is time for everyone to work hard. Our President needs our support as the country is in its transition period. Let us put our heads together and work for Zimbabwe, it is our country.”
Mrs Madeline Magwenzi, representing the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Climate and Rural Resettlement, said Lesso displayed advanced irrigation technology.
Because of expected poor rains in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa this season, irrigation would be the answer to beat food shortages.
Mrs Magwenzi said while Zimbabwe had embraced drip irrigation which was water conservative, here they had learnt about micro irrigation where water was released directly onto the plant root.
“This is smart water management because it irrigates according to plant water requirements. This technology would be very handy for Zimbabwe irrigation production during this climate change period.
“This reduces loss through evaporation, loss through wastage between the pipe and plant, loss of leakages along the pipeline and loss through overwatering. The system is water conservative and efficient,” she said.
Rains currently being received in Zimbabwe, Mrs Magwenzi observed, were not enough to sustain irrigation using normal means hence this new technology would produce optimally as it worked on specific amounts per plant.
The First Lady said she was moving with the “Zimbabwe is open for business” policy, saying if the country was developed, it could take advantage of its geographical position to trade with other countries.
Mr Fu Jiangbo, the vice general manager of Tianying Agricultural Facility Company of China Lesso, who was representing his country, expressed willingness to set up a plant in Zimbabwe.
He said as soon as they finished
their internal deliberations as a company, they would send emissaries to do a feasibility study.
He said their chief executive would guide them in assessing market availability, while the feasibility study will help them in choosing the right project to start with in Zimbabwe.
The First Lady was invited to China as patron of Angel of Hope Foundation and at the end of the meeting, the two parties signed a letter of intention to carry out in-depth cooperation.
Part of the letter read: “Part B (Angel of Hope) will facilitate introductions to the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture to enable them to purchase water-saving irrigation equipment. Part A (Lesso Group) will support in the form of training and technical service.”