Nyore Madzianike Senior Reporter
THE Manicaland Agricultural Show which kicked off on Wednesday on a slow note is expected to be bigger and better compared to yesteryears. Minister of State for Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs, Retired Brigadier-General Ambrose Mutinhiri, will officially open the show today.
Manicaland Agricultural Show Society administrator Mr Edmund Nenguke, expressed hope that attendance by both members of the public and exhibitors will increase as the week progresses.
“Today (Wednesday) was mostly a preparation day and it cannot be used to judge the turnout of people at the show. We are expecting that exhibitors will increase as the week progresses,” he said.
Mr Nenguke said last year there were about 160 exhibitors and this year the number had gradually increased. On the business front, Mr Nenguke said this year there would be new exhibitors in the form of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company, Willowton and many Small to Medium Enterprises representatives.
“We have created a very conducive environment for our exhibitors. As a society we have invested a lot to attract more business for our clients compared to previous years. This will be a platform for farmers to interact with service providers, creating linkages with the private sector, Government departments and development partners,” added Mr Nenguke.
Mr Nenguke also allayed fears that there would be no cattle at this year’s show in the wake of foot and mouth outbreaks that rocked some districts, for instance, Chipinge during the course of the year, saying veterinary doctors had visited the concerned districts and quarantined the affected herds, which would enable unaffected cattle to be brought to the show.
In the livestock category there will be cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits and broilers to name just a few. He also indicated that they had enlisted the services of 50 Zimbabwe Republic Police officers, hired a private security company, Guard Alert, whose details will be armed and patrolling with dogs while they have also contracted 20 extra guards to guarantee security for the event.
Manicaland’s only commercial radio station, Diamond FM, is also broadcasting from the showground, while Zimpapers has its various products on display at its stand.