HARARE (Xinhua) — China on Tuesday donated an assortment of agricultural equipment to Zimbabwe to help the southern African country boost its agricultural production through improved technology.
The equipment, worth about 136,000 U.S. dollars, will be used by both Zimbabwean officials and senior Chinese agricultural experts that are currently in the country for a three-year exchange program.
Accepting the donation, Zimbabwean deputy minister of agriculture Douglas Karoro said the equipment will boost the growth of Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector, the backbone of the country’s economy.
“Zimbabwe is working hard to improve its economy under Vision 2030 and this vision is very much underpinned by sound and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector,” he said.
“This donation of equipment is therefore very important as it will contribute immensely towards improved productivity in the agricultural sector,” he added.
The donated equipment includes a tractor for farmer training, submersible pumps, incubators, silent cutting machines, milking equipment, artificial insemination kits, fishing nets and laboratory equipment.
Tong Yu’e, director for the center of international cooperation service in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, said the equipment, donated under China aid agricultural, technical cooperation project, will help the transfer of Chinese agricultural technology to Zimbabwe.
She said since the start of the China-Zimbabwe technical exchange project a few years ago, the center had send a total of 47 agricultural experts in five teams to Zimbabwe.
The current fifth team comprises 10 agricultural experts and will stay for a longer period of three years compared to 1 to 2 years for the previous teams.
Karoro commended their longer stay, saying this will enable them to develop and conclude their projects to the full.
“For the current phase the main tasks of the experts is to perform trials, demonstrations and training in area such as crops, animal husbandry and agricultural machinery to better disseminate Chinese experience and technology in the different fields and to meet the needs of Zimbabwe,” Tong said.
She hoped that the equipment will provide support to the work of the ministry of agriculture in Zimbabwe and underpin the smooth advancement of the China-Zimbabwe technical cooperation project.
Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said China will continue to support Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector given the pivotal role it plays in the country’s economy.
“Agriculture plays an important part in Zimbabwe’s economy and therefore China has positioned agriculture as one of important areas of our bilateral cooperation,” he said.
He said Zimbabwe is better placed to fight poverty and accelerate socio-economic development through improved agricultural technology.