Zim, Chinese firm seal massive agric deal

Source: Zim, Chinese firm seal massive agric deal | The Herald December 30, 2019

Zim, Chinese firm seal massive agric deal
China Lesso Group Limited general manager Mr Yi Biao (left) and Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement acting Chief Director Strategic Planning and Business Development Mr Bwenje Clemence Taderera sign a Memorandum of Understanding on agriculture in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Reporter
Zimbabwe and China Lesso Group yesterday signed an agricultural cooperation agreement under which 12 800 hectares will be put under irrigation for the production of over 60 000 tonnes of maize each season.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr Bwenje Clemence Taderera, the acting chief director (for) strategic planning and business development in the Ministry of Agriculture and Mr Yi Biao Luo, the general manager of China Lesso Group.

China Lesso Group is a top firm in the manufacture and sale of farming equipment and machinery.

Zimbabwe will soon dispatch a team to assess the equipment, its suitability to local needs, and proceed with the deal if all works out.

Speaking to journalists after the signing of the MoU, the Chinese firm’s head of the seven-member delegation, Mr Tang Hai Bo, said his company was excited with the development.

“We are glad to sign an agreement with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement today,” he said.

“So, in future we will work hard on the agreement we signed today and improve the agriculture sector of Zimbabwe. We are going to provide advanced technology to Zimbabwe,” said Mr Tang.

Mr Taderera hailed the MoU, describing it as strategic in Zimbabwe’s fight against climate change which has affected rainfall patterns.

“We have agreed to develop 12 800 hectares of land and that will be developed to drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and also some centre pivots,” he said.

“We are also going to have that being solar-powered in light of climate change where we have seen a decline in water for irrigation and power generation.”

He said the agreement was expected to be implemented next year.

“Now we are going to visit China Lesso to assess the equipment, its suitability and satisfy ourselves that this equipment will be suitable for our environment,” he said.

“The trip to China is also meant to finalise in terms of quantities, in terms of the prices, once that has been done within the next few months, implementation can be done.”

Mr Taderera said they needed to negotiate terms of payment with Treasury so that the necessary resources were provided for the Agriculture ministry to proceed with the transaction.

The China Lesso Group delegation, which has been in the country since last week, offered to partner the Government in the development of irrigation schemes using latest technologies that conserve water.

The delegation was invited by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa after she visited the company during her recent trip to China.

During the past week, the Chinese delegation toured eight farms in Mashonaland West, Midlands and Matabeleland South provinces to assess irrigation technologies being used by local farmers.

The delegation also toured President Mnangagwa’s Pricabe Farm in Sherwood on the outskirts of Kwekwe. It also met Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri and officials from his ministry to discuss possible partnerships, which culminated in the signing of the agreement.


  • comment-avatar
    GoRobin 3 years ago

    What a jolly for some in the Dictatorship.

  • comment-avatar
    GoRobin 3 years ago

    …and since when did the Ruler of the Dictatorship become a farmer. Oh well, it is a dictatorship anyway so he can do whatever he likes.

  • comment-avatar
    Jane High 3 years ago

    Water is set to become the most sought after commodity in Africa. Why are we setting up huge irrigated crop systems? Surely a massive scheme introducing drought resistant local crops is by far the best use if limited land AND Water? Oh but wait…how would the Chinese they be able to sell us all their technology which is their motive here? Oops…ok just use up all the,water …who cares…as long as we buy all their equipment hey?

  • comment-avatar
    njalo 3 years ago

    Let us be practical.

    The article mentions twelve thousand, eight hundred (12,800) hectares.

    Will that be a cumulative total of area including many provinces or will it be just one place, district or province in Zimbabwe?

    Also, whilst we are on this proposed new and grand project, may I ask why the authorities did not just take over an existing under-performing irrigation scheme and prepare it for the trial undertaking with the CHINESE?.

    Also, how will the nation of Zimbabwe be informed of the results and better still, the quarterly progress reports.

  • comment-avatar
    njalo 3 years ago

    The article also mentions that the farm owned by Mnangagwa is on the outskirts of the city of Kwe Kwe.

    Does that farm have uninterrupted mains power supply from ZESA?
    If not, what measures are in place to overcome the effects of an unreliable mains power supply?

    Would I be disrespectful if I asked for the daily/weekly operating Costs of that business entity?

  • comment-avatar

    China is colonising Zimbabwe but the ruling elite are too stupid to realise it.

  • comment-avatar
    Saddened 3 years ago

    So lets look back and read history. Zimbabweans took the land from Zimbabweans (of a different colour), stole all the irrigation equipment and sold it. Broke the dams, gave the best farms to ministers (or ministers families) who then did not farm and decimated all the wildlife. Now the government is giving 12,800 hectares – much larger that any allowable single farm entity by law – to the Chinese to irrigate and farm on.
    Yep makes sense to me.