New Delhi, March 11 IANS | 4 months ago

Zimbabwe Tuesday invited Indian companies to partner it in "kick-starting" its agricultural development after a series of setbacks to the sector.


"I'm advocating that you come and accompany some of our farmers in food production, in maximising the output from the land", Zimbabwe's Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises Sithembiso G. Nyoni said at a plenary here on "India Inc support in creating affordable food security in Africa" during the on-going 10th CII-Exim Bank conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership.

"Let us have joint ventures so that we can make our countries great," the Zimbabwean minister said, pointing out that her country's campaigns from early this century to expropriate colonialists' lands, and the international sanctions on Zimbabwe during the decade had been big factors for declining agriculture.

She said 76 percent of Zimbabwe's agriculture is in the form of small enterprises.

Besides partnerships for the food production, Zimbabwe wanted partnering for value addition so that it could export, the minister said.

"We want value addition and then to export to India," Nyoni said echoing a demand for many African countries, as it engages more with the world and in newer ways than in the traditional mould of resources exporters.

Nyoni went on to offer specific partnership proposals whereby an Indian company can import mangoes from Zimbabwe during the flowering season in India.

"We'd also like you to help set up agro-processing plants to make mango, guava juices and then export to India. We'd like you to transfer your small machines technology to Zimbabweans, so that they can take it up and build the machines themselves," the minister said.

(Posted on 11-03-2014)