Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made has appealed to the Indian business community to invest in agriculture in the country because of the various unexplored opportunities in that sector.
Addressing delegates that attended a one-day Zimbabwe-India investment conference on Tuesday, Made said livestock production was expected to increase to 25 million head of cattle from the current five million in the next 20 years.
He said dairy cow production was expected to increase to 200 000 from the current 33 000.
“Zimbabwe is a diversified country with over 23 types of crops and 15 types of livestock and India is a major player in agriculture. We would like to see participation from India,” said Made.
He said agriculture accounted for over 60% of raw materials required by the local industry indicating the huge potential the sector has to grow,
particularly if the availability of fertiliser improved.
The minister said there was likely to be a jump in the country’s fertiliser requirements as the agriculture sector continued to recover.
“There is need for rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure and irrigation equipment such as centre pivots, micro-jets, drip irrigation equipment, water pumps and other attendant equipment,” said Made.
He said 5 000 tractors would be required in the next 10 years and several other types of heavy equipment if the country was to successfully utilise its land.
Made said there was an opportunity to develop potentially irrigable land of 5 000 000 hectares in the next 20 years.
The visiting Indian business delegation in the country this week said it was interested in exploring agricultural opportunities in Zimbabwe despite economic challenges facing the country.