|Gwanda Agricultural Show set to expand|
|Saturday, 04 August 2012 15:19|
Business ReporterTHE Gwanda Agricultural Show Society is planning to construct more pavilions at the show grounds after an overwhelming response to the annual event that resulted in additional tents being erected to accommodate other exhibitors for this year’s event held in Gwanda last week.
In an interview at the sidelines of the show, South Western District Show Society president, Mr Misheck Ndlovu, said they were overwhelmed by the turnout and said this year was a turning point in the history of the town.
“All the space has been taken up and we have had to erect additional tents to accommodate the growing number of exhibitors,” he said.
Mr Ndlovu said for the first time since the history of the agricultural show, the organisers have created a platform for exhibitors to interact and share ideas as well as present each other with business ideas.
“For us this is a big step, we have seen such events being held elsewhere and having such a platform for our exhibitors helps them share ideas and we also get to know how to improve the exhibition,” he said.
The 55th edition which was held from 2-4 August ran under the theme “Shifting from relief to sustainable development”.
Last year there were 47 exhibitors and this year the number increased to 75 signifying a positive growth.
One of the most visited stands at the show was the Department of Livestock Production and Development as most farmers in the region are at a risk of losing their livestock to drought.
Provincial Beef and Grassland production specialist, Mr Geofrey Hove, said they were trying to put in place mitigatory measures of drought and advised farmers on how they can counter the loss of livestock especially cattle.
“We are advising farmers to destock. By reducing the numbers of animals starting with older ones as they are the first to be affected by drought,” he said.
Mr Hove said the massive relocation of animals posed a real challenge as there was likely to be overgrazing in the areas where they are being taken to and urged the responsible people to help the farmers.
“We have received reports of animals that have died especially in Bulilima and in most areas like Beitbridge, and Mangwe the veld condition is bad and the farmers are heavily affected,” he said.
The livestock production and development team said they were conducting training with farmers on how to establish fodder plots and store stover in order to provide supplementary feeding to livestock.
The fodder plots had plants that included leucerne which is said to be high in protein content, tinatia which is used to reinforce pastures and can be used as a stockfeed as well as star grass which is resistant to overgrazing among other plants.
Other exhibitors at the showcase included Pioneer and Seedco seed houses, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Environmental Management Agency, some banks and insurance companies.