21 November 2009

Zimbabwe: Sino-Zim in Contract Farming Negotiations

Harare — Zimbabwe and China are negotiating arrangements for contract farming as the Asian giant steps up efforts to assist the country's agrarian reforms.

This was revealed by Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Joey Bimha at a symposium on China-Africa and China-Zimbabwe relations.

"There are indeed ongoing negotiations for contract farming arrangements in the agricultural sector. The greatest impact of Chinese involvement in Zimbabwe has been in the agricultural sector, which as you know is the backbone of the economy," he said.

China has provided US$260 million to Zimbabwe to support the agricultural sector for the purchase of inputs and machinery.

"We have been able to acquire equipment, implements and critical inputs for the revival of this sector.

"This support for the agricultural mechanisation programme has been complemented by the secondment of experts in the areas of animal disease control, fisheries and grain," said Ambassador Bimha.

Zimbabwe has also been designated as one of the 10 countries in Africa to host the first 10 agricultural demonstration centres in Africa.

Apart from the support in agriculture, China has also supported the countriy's mining and manufacturing sectors with the China-Africa Development Fund acquiring shareholdings in Zimasco and uranium joint ventures with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Company.

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Xin Shunkang, yesterday said they had provided at least US$300 million to the country in the past three years and urged the strengthening of ties between the two countries.

"In the past three years, the total amount of aid that the Chinese Government provided to the Zimbabwean Government is approximately US$300 million.

"Let's make joint efforts to push China-Africa, China-Zimbabwe friendship to a new height," he said.

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