On January 30, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, paid a working visit to hand over in a special ceremony Belarusian agricultural vehicles, tractors and equipment to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare, Zimbabwe.
“First of all, I want to thank the Americans and the entire Western world for having imposed sanctions against us. Otherwise, American and German tractors would have come instead of Belarusian ones to this huge field,” Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian leader noted that in Zimbabwe there are the friends of Belarus, with whom Minsk is building cooperation for the sake of achieving the common good.
After years of negotiations, Zimbabwe finally recieved its US$58 million farm mechanization facility from Belarus, while another deal worth US$100 million signed, according reports from the Zimbabwe’s presidency in Harare.
Zimbabwe and Belarus agreed on assembling 3000 tractors, agreed on the supply to Zimbabwe different kinds of machinery and equipment made in Belarus for agriculture and timber industry. Both have further agreed to establish a mechanization programme for the farming and timber industries.
It provides for over 800 units of equipment to be delivered in two batches. These include among others: 60 self-propelled grain harvesters, 210 precision seed drills, 474 tractors of different power capacities, fifth wheel trucks with semi-trailers for transportation of heavy equipment and four dump trucks.
The agreement makes provision for other equipment such as six semi-trailers with hydraulic manipulator for transportation of construction machinery, 10 drop-side trucks, firefighting equipment critical in forest business, cities and other communities and emergency rescue operations. The equipment also includes 30 motorcycles and a complete set of spare parts for every type of machinery and equipment delivered.
Zimbabwe has been looking foreign partners from other countries to transfer technology and industrialize its ailing economy. The report said that the Government had launched a similar facility from a U.S. company, John Deere, estimated at US$50 million intended to boost agricultural production. Negotiations are also underway with Chinese manufacturers to set up bus assembling plants locally after government recently procured buses from the Asian country.
Zimbabwe and Belarus officials noted that the unique relationship would help in technical skills transfer and transform agricultural sector in Zimbabwe. “The implementation of the project involves an approach that includes not only full responsibility regarding warranty and service support, provision of spare parts, training of local specialists, but also providing advanced technologies, comprehensive decisions and solutions in agriculture for every agricultural period from cultivation, seeding, irrigation, planting to crop harvesting,” according to the report from the Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture.
In addition to the statement, the Belarus cooperation deal and the commissioned John Deere project for the supply of agriculture mechanization equipment were a culmination of the re-engagement policy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The principle for re-engagement and engagement is open to all the countries in the world. Zimbabwe is ready to cooperate in business with external countries and for the benefit of the people. President Mnangagwa has reiterated that Zimbabwe is open for business.
Mnangagwa’s working visits to Minsk has helped to break barriers that have impeded progress in its economic diplomacy and to seek an increased business cooperation with Belarus, an ex-Soviet republic and a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. The member of the Eurasian Economic Union are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa. Mineral exports, gold, agriculture, and tourism are the main foreign currency earners of this country. The mining sector remains very lucrative. Its commercial farming sector is traditionally another source of exports and foreign exchange. In southern African region, it is the biggest trading partner of South Africa. Zimbabwe is one of the members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)