via Agricultural show a waste: farmers | The Zimbabwean by Farai Mabeza
Farmers are not benefitting from the Harare Agricultural Show as non-agricultural exhibitors take precedence, the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union has said. ZCFU President Wonder Chabikwa said there were too many exhibitors that were not involved in farming. “It’s an agricultural show in name only. The bulk of the exhibitors are not agricultural,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, which manages the show, last week revealed that it had registered 745 commercial and industrial exhibitors compared to last year’s 750.
In the livestock and agricultural produce sectors, ZAS said it had 295 and 360 exhibitors while in home-industries there were 300 entries. ZAS said its main aim was to accommodate exhibitors from all walks of life and engage foreign companies based locally. Regional and international countries at the show include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, South Africa and Israel.
Economist John Robertson said the quality of local exhibitions was affected by the collapse of the local manufacturing sector.
“These days all we have are people acting as agents of imported goods where we used to have local manufacturers. We used to have local luxury goods, footwear, household goods and machinery but now the show is dominated by imports,” Robertson said.
The show is running from August 23 to 31 at the Exhibition Park.