A total of 1 635 tractors, 16 combine harvesters and other farming implements, including boom sprayers valued at US$66 million were commissioned last week by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Belarusian counterpart, Aleksandr Loukashenko.
The farming machinery is part of Zimbabwe’s Phase 2 of the Belarus Mechanisation Facility and the machinery was handed over to the government in Pomona, Harare at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering.
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Aftrade DMCC, a Belarus company, will deliver the machinery. President Lukashenko is on a three-day visit to Zimbabwe.
Aftrade will also build grain storage facilities in Zimbabwe. In 2020, President Mnangagwa announced Zimbabwe needed 40 000 tractors and at that time only 9 000 were available to work the country’s 4 130 000ha of arable land.
“But it is just the beginning. We have launched the third phase of the programme to the tune of over US$66 million. It provides for shipping over 3 700 tractors, 60 harvesters to the local agrarians within the next 1.5 years,” Lukashenko said.
Aftrade and MTZ, one of Europe’s biggest tractor exporters, will supply at least 3 575 tractors to Zimbabwe between 2023 and 2024. Aftrade has distribution rights for MTZ equipment in Zimbabwe.
“The Zimbabwean market opened for Belarus machinery several years ago thanks to our reliable partner, Aftrade DMCC. We are glad that today we are talking about strategic partnership that envisages work on a systematic perspective basis,” the MTZ director general, c who is also in Zimbabwe, said.
The new tractors add to the 1 800 tractors and combine harvesters MTZ has already supplied to Zimbabwe, Vovk said, giving his equipment credit for part of Zimbabwe’s record 2022 winter wheat harvest.
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“We know that last year, for the first time in the past 50 years, the country fully provided itself with grain. It is gratifying that the country succeeded also thanks to Belarus machinery,” he said.
Other Aftrade partners currently in Zimbabwe for business talks are; Bobruiskagromash, which makes trailed agricultural machinery such as balers and fertiliser spreaders, and Lidselmash.