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July 22, 2008

Zimbabwe imports combine harvesters

Zimbabwe's minister of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanisation and Irrigation, Joseph Made, has said the country's land reform programme has created market opportunities for engineering companies to invest towards the modernisation of agriculture.

This follows the visit by representatives from John Deere South Africa who are seeking to invest in the technological advancement of the agricultural industry.

Showing the representatives part of the 70 combine harvesters received from John Deere at Bak storage in Harare, Made said technology was robust and would boost production significantly.

"The country is poised for higher technology and the land reform has created a market for investment to boost food and crop production. What is critical is the issue of effective use of the equipment and this can be achieved with the highest level of commitment by farmers, companies that give support services, manpower in the field of agricultural engineering, technicians and operators," Made said.

The provision of the 70 combine harvesters is part of a long programme of modernising and adequately equipping farmers. The consignment includes 50 -115 horsepower and 20-200 horsepower combines.

These small to medium combine harvesters are expected to cater for the needs of communal and small-scale farmers in irrigation schemes.

In phases one, two and three of the mechanisation programme larger combines for bigger hectarage were distributed.

Also, 1 500 motorbikes were received for strengthening the capacity of institutions linked to the mechanisation of the industry.

John Deere is an American Company involved in high technology agricultural engineering. The Mechanisation Manager of Afgri South Africa, Patrick Roux, who was part of the team touring Bak Storage, said their company was looking at future opportunities and these may include investing in tobacco together with Salt Lakes Holdings.

The Herald

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