Harare — GOVERNMENT is committed to fostering a strong working relationship with China in agricultural development, Vice-President Joice Mujuru said yesterday.
Speaking after meeting a high-powered delegation from the China National Machinery and Equipment Company in Harare, Cde Mujuru hailed co-operation between the two governments.
"I would like to express our gratitude to the Chinese Government for being an all-weather friend from the days of our liberation struggle. The arrival of the equipment fits in well with our Government's Look East policy and vision of empowering our people as enunciated by President Mugabe," she said. Government was happy with the progress made by the Chinese company in the delivery of components for assembling 1 000 tractors and 1 500 motorbikes.
"We have already received most of the equipment we ordered from China and this equipment is being used to assemble tractors and motorbikes at various centres in the country," she said.
The Vice-President hailed the Chinese company for sub-contracting Zimbabwean companies to provide back up service.
"I would also like to express Government's commitment to ensure that the equipment is put under good use while we are also grateful to CNMEC for providing experts who are helping in assembling the equipment," she said. CNMEC general manager, Mr Yang Yinan said his company was committed to honour its contract with the Zimbabwe Government.
"We have managed to bring most of the equipment we have been contracted to deliver to Zimbabwe except for components of 70 combine harvesters that are currently at Beira in Mozambique and would be in the country soon," he said.
Mr Yang said his company was contracted to provide services to the Ministries of Agriculture, Agriculture Engineering, Mechanisation, and Irrigation and Water Resources and Infrastructural Development as part of a US$20 million contract signed between the two governments in 2006.
The team is in the country following up on the delivery of the equipment that has been ordered by the Government as part of the soon to be launched Fourth Phase of the Agricultural Mechanisation Programme.
The company, one of China's largest State-owned firms, has been contracted to deliver components of tractors,
combine harvesters, irrigation equipment, agro-chemicals, fertilizers and motorbikes for agriculture extension officers.