Local manufacturers have started production of agricultural implements worth US $ 13.5 million to use as attachments for imported tractors at John Deere and Belarus facilities.
Last year, the country imported tractors to John Deere and Belarus facilities as part of the government’s efforts to transform the agricultural sector and ensure that the industry becomes the escape route from poverty and a a prerequisite for the country’s economic growth and prosperity.
Some of the implements for use with tractors will be imported.
In an update on mechanization projects and programs, the chief director of land development, agriculture, fisheries, water and irrigation for water and land development Irrigation Engineer Tinayeshe Mutazu said the farm implements to be made locally included 500 routers, 650 disc plows, 800 disc harrows, 500 boom sprayers and 200 maize shells.
“The production of 250 disc harrows and 450 disc plows has started and a 50 disc plow has been delivered,” he said.
Eng Mutazu said that as part of the first phase of the mechanization projects, all equipment was delivered except for a combine which was damaged during transport and returned to Belarus.
“The equipment includes 474 tractors, 59 combines, 210 seeders and five low bed trucks.
“The Treasury is still signing contracts with banks for the distribution of equipment to beneficiaries.
“However, training for operators of government institutions started in June,” he said.
Eng Mutazu said that in the second phase, the government concludes the signing of the supply contract for the second phase.
“This will unlock 1,337 tractors, 16 combines and five disc harrows. The equipment will be distributed to beneficiaries through local banks,” he said.
The facility will provide three- to five-year loans to participating farmers in the country’s eight provinces at an interest rate of 5 percent.
The Ministry of Lands continued to implement innovative agricultural programs and adopt sound policies to further revitalize the sector.
Agricultural mechanization is important in Zimbabwe because it lowers production costs and increases competitiveness while allowing farmers to take advantage of economies of scale.
The government has encouraged agricultural mechanization so that farmers can increase their productivity and compete globally.