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May 17, 2009

Zimbabwe imports more agricultural equipment from China

More than 300 tractors and other farming implements arrived in Zimbabwe from China last week under a 40-million-U.S. dollar government-supported scheme being facilitated by Farmers World Holdings, The Sunday Mail said.

Other implements in the consignment include 300 disc harrows, 300 ploughs, more than 100 generators of different sizes, excavators, front-end loaders, 300 reapers, 30-ton trucks, 10-tonne trucks, 30 combine harvesters, electric motors for irrigation, irrigation sprinklers and pipes, the newspaper said.

This is the second phase of the program run by Farmers World in partnership with the government.

The first phase was launched in 2006 with 25 million dollars worth of implements being delivered to the country.

Farmers World chief executive Edward Raradza said the consignment that arrived in May had 384 tractors of different sizes. He said farmers needing the equipment were expected to pay a 20 percent deposit. The balance was to be paid over five years at an interest rate of 4 percent.

He said those without cash for deposit could pay using their current crops or livestock with a value equivalent to 20 percent deposit. The prices of the tractors will range from 28,000 dollars to 61,000 dollars. Farmers were urged to buy generators to guarantee power supplies, especially during the winter wheat season.

Raradza said only productive farmers were expected to benefit under the scheme as was the case in the previous one. "We want productive farmers only to come forward for the equipment. Our teams are there to visit the farmers who want to access the equipment to check on their productivity."

He said all the equipment was fully insured unlike in the first phase where farmers were required to insure on their own.


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