...as President Mnangagwa warns detractors

Allan Mayana

Members of the general public have welcomed the new approach by Government to give mandate to community and traditional leaders in bringing about closure and national healing on the Gukurahundi issue.

Staff  Reporter

Every year, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS), formerly known as the Harare Agricultural Show, draws over 200,000 attendees, a testament to its growing popularity and significance in the region. As the 2024 edition approaches, excitement and anticipation are reaching a fever pitch, promising a vibrant and dynamic showcase of agricultural innovation and business opportunities.The rebranding from the Harare Agricultural Show to the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show reflects a broader vision that extends beyond the capital, emphasizing the event's national significance. This shift aims to highlight the diverse agricultural potential across Zimbabwe's various regions, from the lush fields of Mashonaland to the fertile plains of Matabeleland. The show has become a crucial platform for farmers, agribusinesses, and stakeholders to converge, share knowledge, and foster partnerships.

This year's theme, "Innovate, Grow, Sustain," encapsulates the essence of the 2024 show. It underscores the importance of embracing new technologies and practices to drive agricultural growth and sustainability in Zimbabwe. With climate change posing significant challenges to traditional farming methods, innovation is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The show will feature an array of exhibits and demonstrations that highlight cutting-edge solutions in precision farming, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture.

One of the key attractions of the 2024 Zimbabwe Agricultural Show is the Innovation Pavilion. This dedicated space will showcase the latest advancements in agricultural technology, from drone-assisted crop monitoring to AI-driven soil analysis. These innovations are set to revolutionize farming practices, making them more efficient and environmentally friendly. By providing a platform for technology startups and established companies to demonstrate their products, the show fosters an environment of collaboration and learning.

During a recent post-Cabinet media briefing, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Dr. Jenfan Muswere, announced that this year’s Zimbabwe Agricultural Show will feature exhibitors from different countries. “To date, 52,218 square meters of the available 78,224 square meters for commercial exhibitions have been taken up by 208 exhibitors. Exhibitors from Pakistan, Japan, the Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, and Turkey have shown interest in participating at this year’s Zimbabwe Agricultural Show,” said Minister Muswere.

The inclusion of international exhibitors from diverse countries significantly enhances the scope and impact of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show. By attracting participants from Pakistan, Japan, the Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, and neighboring African nations, the show underscores its reputation as a premier agricultural event with global reach. This international presence introduces a variety of perspectives, technologies, and innovations that can be instrumental in addressing local agricultural challenges and driving development.

Zimbabwe Agricultural Show is not just about technology; it is also a celebration of Zimbabwe's rich agricultural heritage. The Livestock Pavilion will feature an impressive array of cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry, underscoring the country's strong livestock industry. Farmers will have the opportunity to showcase their best breeds, exchange knowledge on animal husbandry, and compete for prestigious awards. This year, a special focus will be placed on indigenous breeds, highlighting their resilience and adaptability to local conditions.

 Agriculture in Zimbabwe is more than just an economic activity; it is a way of life that sustains millions of people. The show will spotlight smallholder farmers, who are the backbone of the country's agricultural sector. These farmers often face significant challenges, including limited access to markets, financing, and modern farming techniques. The show aims to address these issues by providing a platform for smallholders to connect with buyers, financial institutions, and extension services.

The Business Pavilion will be another highlight of the 2024 show. This area is dedicated to facilitating business-to-business interactions, fostering partnerships, and exploring investment opportunities. Agribusinesses, both large and small, will have the chance to network, negotiate deals, and showcase their products and services. The pavilion will also host seminars and workshops on critical topics such as market trends, export opportunities, and value chain development.

Education and capacity building are central to the show's mission. The Youth Pavilion will engage young people, encouraging them to pursue careers in agriculture and agribusiness. Interactive workshops, competitions, and mentorship programs will inspire the next generation of farmers and entrepreneurs. By nurturing young talent, the show aims to ensure the future sustainability and growth of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector.

The 2024 Zimbabwe Agricultural Show is also committed to sustainability. The event organizers have implemented several green initiatives to minimize the show's environmental impact. These include waste reduction measures, recycling programs, and the use of renewable energy sources. Exhibitors are encouraged to adopt eco-friendly practices, and visitors will be educated on sustainable living through interactive displays and activities.

Food security is a pressing issue in Zimbabwe, and the show will address this critical challenge head-on. The Food Security Pavilion will bring together experts, policymakers, and farmers to discuss strategies for ensuring a stable and nutritious food supply. Topics such as climate-resilient crops, irrigation techniques, and post-harvest management will be covered. By facilitating these discussions, the show aims to contribute to national efforts to achieve food security and improve livelihoods.

The Zimbabwe Agricultural Show is more than just a trade fair; it is a cultural event that brings together people from all walks of life. The Entertainment Pavilion will feature a variety of performances, from traditional dances and music to contemporary acts. This vibrant cultural showcase reflects the diversity and richness of Zimbabwean heritage. It provides a space for relaxation and enjoyment, allowing visitors to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Zimbabwean people.

As the final preparations for the 2024 Zimbabwe Agricultural Show continue, the sense of anticipation is palpable. This year's event promises to be the most successful, yet offering a unique blend of innovation, business opportunities, and cultural celebration. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector and a beacon of hope for a prosperous future.

In conclusion, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show has grown into a cornerstone event that not only showcases the best of the country's agricultural potential but also fosters innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. As the 2024 edition approaches, the excitement is building for what promises to be an extraordinary event. For farmers, businesses, and visitors alike, the show is an opportunity to connect, learn, and celebrate the vital role of agriculture in Zimbabwe's economy and society. With its broad appeal and diverse offerings, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show is set to inspire and drive positive change in the agricultural landscape.

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