President Mugabe hands over tractor keys to the overall best exhibitor Mrs Irene Musakwa of Murehwa, while deputy president of Zimbabwe Show Society Mr Ivan Craig looks on at the 107th edition of the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday. —(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)
Thousands of people attended the event, with show organisers estimating over 250 000 will have attended the six-day event when it ends today.
It was a fun-filled day for families, with a variety of activities to entertain showgoers.
These included horse riding, face-painting — which is popular with children — while the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)stand attracted huge traffic as the public got a glimpse of some of the weapons in the country’s arsenal.
First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe views products on display at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development stand at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday. – (Picture by Innocent Makawa)
Soon after arrival, the President began his tour of exhibition stands with a visit to the Julius Nyerere Agriculture Processing Centre, that housed exhibitions of various fruits and vegetables, before touring the Seed Co stand where he was shown various seed varieties.
He then proceeded to the Command Agriculture Exhibition Centre, a new entrant to the event showcasing the programme that, along with the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme, contributed significantly to this year’s bumper harvest and national food self-sufficiency.
The President then toured the livestock section and ended at the Gushungo Holdings stand.
Gushungo Holdings, a dairy company owned by the First Family, scooped two prizes at the show.
The company was the overall winner in the livestock section, while Alpha and Omega Dairy products, its subsidiary, took the first prize in the value-addition and beneficiation category.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Christopher Mushohwe speaks to Air Zimbabwe Chief Operations Officer Simba Chikore at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday. – (Picture by Shelton Muchena)
The Command Agriculture stand was awarded two prizes for best display in the agricultural value chain and overall best exhibitor in commercial entries from all winning stands.
The award was received by the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Joseph Made.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces took the Securities Services trophy for best stand exhibited by a member of the Zimbabwe Security Services.
President Mugabe hands over the Best Security Exhibitor trophy to Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantino Chiwenga at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday. – (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)
The award was received by ZDF Commander General Dr Constantino Guveya Chiwenga.
Econet Wireless was awarded the best overall stand by a licensed postal and telecommunications operator.
The First Lady also toured several stands among them Belvedere Teachers College, Tobacco Research Board, Agriculture Produce Market, Home Industries, Pro Brands, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Gushungo Holdings and Zimbabwe Farmers Union.
Soon after lunch, the formal proceedings started with the arrival of service chiefs at the Glamis Arena followed by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Zimbabwe Power Signals band and the guard of honour took their positions in the arena for the official opening.
In no time, the parade was in place and ready for inspection by the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Mugabe.
Warrant Officer Moffat Moyo handed over the parade to the Parade Commander, Major Nathan Tonderai Tozvireva.
The Director of Music and two Detachment Commanders joined the parade.
President Mugabe and the First Lady then arrived and soon after the National Anthem was played, led by the ever-lively Zimbabwe Power Signals band.
After the National Anthem, Major Tozvireva invited President Mugabe to inspect the guard of honour, which was made up of the two detachments – male and female.
There was a fly past by Air Force of Zimbabwe Planes in diamond formation when the National Anthem was being played.
Mbare Chimurenga Choir also provided entertainment as they belted songs in appreciation of President Mugabe’s leadership.
In his opening remarks, president of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society Mr Ngoni Kudenga said this year’s event had grown from the previous years, with the introduction of two new sections.
“Since 2015, we have seen year on year growth of space taken by exhibitors and this is commendable,” he said. “We have the traditional sections that include livestock, home industry, agriculture produce and tobacco and in addition to that we have added the cotton section.
“In addition to that we have a new section called the 11 tonne Plus Club where over 80 farmers have volunteered to have their maize crop assessed to see if they can harvest at least 11 tonnes per hectare.
“To date, over 35 have passed, with the highest yield being 21 tonnes per hectare.”
Mr Kudenga said there was also a Miners Club, while a schools day where there were competitions and essay writing and quizzes for school children was part of the agricultural show.