Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter
FOREIGN exhibitors who are participating at this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) have said they want to consolidate trade and investment opportunities with Zimbabwe.
The 112th edition of ZAS, which began in Harare on Monday and ends on Saturday, is being held under the theme, “Unequalled Business Opportunities: Accessibility, Accountability and Abundance”.
The show, the first to be staged under a normal environment in two years following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, has attracted over 600 exhibitors including three foreign countries -Botswana, Malawi and India.
ZAS’ mandate is to promote agriculture and facilitate rural agricultural development in Zimbabwe.
“Botswana is here to participate at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show because it sees this as a great opportunity to increase further trade relations between the two countries.
“We are looking for opportunities in terms of market access as well as trying to lure people within Zimbabwe and the region to essentially come to Botswana and maybe set up shop or invest in Botswana.
“We are also trying to get products from Botswana into the Zimbabwean market so that we are having a stronger export in terms of bringing products to other countries,” said Botswana Investment and Trade Centre corporate affairs manager Leatile Bakwena.
“The key thing in being at ZAS is to drive exports from Botswana and also further meet other stakeholders and see potential opportunities of doing business further.”
He said Botswana offered various opportunities in the agricultural sector.
At their pavilion, Botswana is exhibiting a variety of products from the agro-processing sector as well as hardware and farming implements.
“We are trying to promote an export driven economy; we are also trying to create further employment for Batswana,” said Mr Bakwena.
Me n Them Enterprises and Empowering Women managing director Mirreille Nkata, whose company was exhibiting under the Malawian Embassy banner, said her organisation was in the country to explore export opportunities for their products.
“We are exhibiting here to seek export opportunities for our products like cassava flour, Malawi rice, and cassava starch. We are here to do business with Zimbabwe, and we have so many products that we are exporting from Zimbabwe like margarine, and even the fruits,” she said.
India, which was also participating at this year’s ZAS through one of its tertiary education institutions, Parul University, said it was looking forward to enrolling more Zimbabwean students for different programmes in the fields such as engineering and technology, arts, management studies and law, among others.
“Parul University is a cultural global institution with over 65 nationalities and about the number of students we have about 2 000 including international students.
“And approximately 700+ students from Zimbabwe have been enrolled with the university since 2015,” said Parul University sales and marketing officer Ms Melania Hofa.