The Harare Agricultural Show, Zimbabwe’s biggest farming exhibition, started on 27 August 2018, with 575 local and foreign exhibitors participating. The event will run until 1 September.
Zimbabwe Agricultural Society chief executive officer, Anxious Masuka, said the show had attracted 14% more exhibitors than last year. “We are happy with the turnout of exhibitors and the quality of exhibits,” he said.
“We are optimistic that up to 180 000 people will pass through the gates over five days as we want this to be a people’s show. We hope that Harare Agricultural Show 2018 will be successful and beneficial to the broad range of participants who are here in terms of business, linkages and so on.”
This year’s edition, which was opened by newly inaugurated President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is running under the theme “Field to Industry. Produce. Connect. Develop.”
Its highlights include a discussion on the need for Zimbabweans to buy locally made products, a mining and agriculture interface and an agribusiness forum.
Commercial exhibition space taken up this year is 85 730m2, up from 79 730m2 in 2017, representing a 7,5% increase.
The show has suffered declining exhibitor interest since 2000 due to the economic collapse triggered by the government’s compulsory acquisition of farmland from whites.
Although statistics from the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society show an increase in the number of commercial exhibitors and space occupied, it remains subdued when compared to the pre-2000 era when an average of 1 000 exhibitors used to take part.
However, Masuka said there was a general positive sentiment in the markets and among people because of the pro-business policies that Mnangagwa’s government has come up with since he assumed office for the first time last November.