As Zimbabwe and Belarus continue to upscale bilateral relations there will be more major cooperation in the agricultural sector through technology transfers mainly targeting the dairy industry.
A Belarusian delegation led by General Victor Sheiman paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House yesterday at the behest of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
The delegation’s visit follows President Lukashenko’s historic three-day State visit in January during which several deals were signed.
Belarus, the world’s largest dairy producer per capita, boasts new technologies for production, processing and marketing of dairy products. It also has plans to establish a state-of-the-art dairy facility in Zimbabwe to improve national milk production.
Milk production in Zimbabwe is now expanding at a rate of 36 percent this year as support by the Government to dairy farmers continues to bear fruit. From an output of 75 million litres of raw milk in 2020, the country’s dairy farmers now produce around 91,4 million litres.
Speaking after the meeting, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Fredrick Shava said it was a follow up on deals signed between President Mnangagwa and President Lukashenko.
“We have good relations and as you know we have embassies in each other’s country and we are pursuing issues in agriculture especially in dairy. We think we can benefit from their technology. They have fantastic dairies in Belarus,” he said.
The visit by President Lukashenko to Zimbabwe was a first of its kind to Sub-Saharan Africa and signified Zimbabwe’s growing global influence and success of President Mnangagwa’s policy of “a friend to all and enemy to none” and also the Zimbabwe is Open for Business Mantra.
During the visit, Zimbabwe and Belarus signed eight bilateral agreements in the areas of education, agriculture and economic cooperation.
The two leaders also launched the Second Phase of the Farm Mechanisation Programme and Zimbabwe took delivery of an additional 1 300 tractors, 14 combine harvesters and disc harrows.
The first phase saw 474 tractors, 60 combine harvesters, 210 planters and 5 low-bed trucks being delivered to the country and distributed to farmers through the Land Bank and CBZ.