‘Zimbabwe Agricultural Show not losing lustre’

01 Sep, 2023 - 00:09 0 Views
‘Zimbabwe Agricultural Show not losing lustre’ Zimbabwe Agricultural Society

eBusiness Weekly

Oliver Kazunga

THE Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS), organisers of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show, an annual event in its 113th edition, have dismissed criticism that the trade showcase is losing lustre by adopting a multi-sectoral approach akin to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

ZITF is the country’s premier multi-sectoral trade showcase attracting local, regional and international participants in different sectors that include, mining, tourism, agriculture, education, manufacturing and engineering, among others and is held annually at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo.

On the other hand, the Zimbabwe Agriculture Show which at its inception was solely a specialised event for the farming sector, has now been transformed to attract other sectors that include exhibitors in mining, tourism and education, among others.

In this context, some critics have suggested that as a result of the multi-sectoral stance organisers of the agriculture show have taken, the event has been transformed into a replica of the ZITF.

The critics believe that it is for this reason that major dealers in the farming sector were shunning the ZAS-organised fair opting to participate at the Agricultural Dealers and Manufacturers Association’s fair, a specialised and annual event that is traditionally held in Harare.

In an interview at the ongoing Zimbabwe Agriculture Show, ZAS chief executive officer, Dr Andrew Matibiri said: “The Zimbabwe Agriculture Show does not in any way compete with the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, rather the two events complement each other and even their names are different.

“This show is focused on agriculture whereas the one in Bulawayo is focused on commerce and international trade.

“However, the actors may be the same because we are talking about the same players and industries participating in both but we don’t compete against each other.

“And then, there are also others (Agricultural Dealers and Manufacturers Association) again it’s a show that is held by members of that private entity to showcase what they have, mostly to large-scale commercial farmers.”

Matibiri said their show is a mass event where everyone is allowed to come and participate and the entry fees have deliberately been kept low for people to attend.

“ADMA has always participated in the agriculture show and this year they have taken up a bigger space but of course when they come to the agriculture show, they are now exhibiting at a different level where they will be trying to show equipment and facilities which are more geared towards the small or medium-scale producers,” he said.

As of Tuesday morning, the ZAS boss said 95 percent of the exhibition space had been taken up.

“And I am sure it will all be taken up by the end of this week. The numbers of people coming through, the numbers started off a bit slowly on Monday, but they are now rising nicely and the conferences are going quite well.

“We started off with the Smart Agriculture Conference that was held on Monday and that went very well, yesterday (Monday), there was the Diplomat League function on smart agriculture and it went very well and today we hosted the Annual National Agri-business Conference again it was oversubscribed and gone very well,” he said.

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