Zim firms optimistic of clinching deals at Agritech Expo

National Tested Seeds employees Tariro Chikodzore (left) and Gift Mazara posing for a photo at the Agritech Expo in Zambia yesterday

ZIMBABWEAN agricultural and implements firms taking part at the Agritech Expo underway in Zambia are optimistic of clinching business deals.

ZimTrade, the country’s trade development and promotion organisation, brought in nine companies to the expo, which began yesterday and runs up to tomorrow at the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust in Chisamba. Chisamba is  about 100km out of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. 

The expo is a premier event in Zambia for showcasing the latest agricultural technology, products and services.

It brings together suppliers and farmers of all scales to showcase products and educate customers on new methods and services available in the market.

Exhibitors who spoke to NewsDay Business expressed optimism of clinching business deals and tap into the export business.

“We are here to push the Bain brand agricultural equipment that we manufacture in Zimbabwe, but we are targeting to market the product throughout Africa,” William Bain client relationship officer Mary Machingaidze said.

“This is our third-time coming for the Agritech Expo. We do have some product lines like our dam scoops, our small harrows that we have been pushing on the Zambian market.”

National Tested Seeds seed production manager Tariro Chikodzore said their aim was to increase their brand visibility.

“We have been in Zimbabwe since 1978, so now we are trying to expand into the region. We want to expand and do relations with most probably the Zambian government.”

Mealie Brand senior marketing officer Tatenda Mutonhodza promised quality, affordable and reliable service from their ISO 9001: 2015 certified factory, as well as on time back up.

Mealie Brand is a division of  Victoria Fall Stock Exchange-listed Zimplow Holdings.

“We manufacture mechanisation solutions to smallholder farmers in sub Saharan African countries. From breaking the ground, planting, and managing the crop, harvesting post-harvest and transportation to the farmer,” he said.

“We develop products to address farmer needs, for example, Magoye ripper was designed for farmers in Magoye area in Zambia.”

Humuson Complex head of operations Zambia Rumbidzayi Sewera said: “We engaged ZimTrade to participate in this Agritech Expo, hoping to expand our territory in Zambia, raising awareness about our products. Our target market are farmers.”

“So, we are hoping that through this exhibition, our product is more visible and also we meet stakeholders. We had El Niño this past season and because our product is climate proof and climate smart, we are hoping that we meet organisations like non-governmental organisations and government institutions which target specifically small-scale farmers.”

ZimTrade client advisor Vivinah Matswetu-Ndlovu said participating at the Agritech Expo presents an opportunity for local suppliers to get new markets for their products and services and hence begin trade.

“We are here because it’s an international exhibition,” she told NewsDayBusiness.

“So, the hope is that the companies that we brought here are able to get international exposure, not just for the local partners or potential partners, but international ones as well.

“We are hoping that by the time we leave, the companies here would have signed some business deals. They would have formed partnerships with either distributors that are based here, or at least with other companies that are in the similar business with them, where they can interact from the Zimbabwean side as well as the Zambian side.”

The products being exhibited include farm equipment, combine harvesters, garden equipment, landscaping, seeds, plants, net shading, poultry, fish farming, cut flowers, fertilisers, dairy, canning and processing, composting equipment, crop production and other related products.

Agricultural inputs and implements, according to ZimTrade, present lucrative export opportunities for local manufacturers.

According to the TradeMap, the exports of agricultural inputs and implements grew to US$828 billion in 2022 from US$606 billion in 2019.

According to the expo organisers, the 2023 edition of the expo attracted over 150 exhibitors and 20 000 agricultural business visitors from countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

This year more than 200 exhibitors are taking part.

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