National Association of Agricultural Show Societies of Zimbabwe launched
The National Association of Agricultural Show Societies of Zimbabwe has been urged to play a facilitatory and catalytic role in ensuring that agricultural Show Societies remain relevant in the sector’s development of the country.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the Association on 5 May 2017, Zimbabwe Agricultural Society Life Vice President Dr Robbie Mupawose said Show Societies must share ideas and learn from each other.
“I remember a time when the Harare Show Society was nearly broke- depending on income from gate takings alone. After my visit to Australia as a guest at their Show in Melbourne, I learnt that business stands and exhibits were major sources of income. We introduced the concept here and we survived,” said Dr Mupawose.
According to Dr Mupawose the current macroeconomic environment has seen revenue for many Show Societies coming down substantially.
He said sustaining operations of the Societies has been a major challenge as in many instances annual membership fees are insignificant.
“Corporate sponsorship is dwindling and exhibitors and show goer numbers fluctuate annually but overally are on the decline,” said Dr Mupawose adding that the only way of improving operational performance, containing costs and streamlining activities is to have a common platform to meet, discuss and share ideas on how to improve the collective image of Shows.
Mashonaland West Agricultural Society Patron and Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, in a speech read on his behalf, said it was symbolic to be part of something new and innovative especially if it was as historic as the formation of the National Association of Agricultural Show Societies of Zimbabwe.
He said although it has taken quite a long time and a number of meetings and discussions for the Association to be launched, the various Societies were always focused and optimistic that they would get to this day.
“I must appreciate such efforts and heartily thank all the agricultural societies for working together for the common cause which should assist in facilitating agricultural development in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The launch which was held in Andy Millar Conference Centre at the Exhibition Park saw all 15 Show Societies in the country appending their signatures to the Constitution that will bind the Association.
The event was also attended by representatives from the Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Ministry, Ambassador Mary Mubi from the Office of the President and Cabinet, ZAS executive council members and various farmer’s unions and stakeholders in the agriculture sector.