Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Zimbabwe imports farm equipment from Iran

AngolaPress - Info: "Zimbabwe imports farm equipment from Iran

Harare, Zimbabwe, 09/08 - Agriculture officials in Zimbabwe said Tuesday the country had ordered hundreds of tractors and combine harvesters from Iran to back up the government`s controversial land reforms.

The first consignment of 23 combine harvesters, worth millions of dollars, arrived in the southern African country from Iran Tuesday, and officials said over 400 other farm equipment, including tractors, were on their way.

"The equipment is going to play a major role in strengthening the ongoing agrarian reforms, and will be available for use by new farmers," said Joseph Matowanyika, head of a state-owned farming group.

"Other consignments of the equipment is on the way and in total we are getting 430 tractors and combine harvesters from the Islamic Republic of Iran," he revealed.

He did not, however, give a value for Zimbabwe`s order of the farm equipment, but Iran has given the country a US$15 million agricultural grant.

The southern African country has seized thousands of farms from white farmers, who owned the bulk of the country`s arable land, to resettle landless Black peasants to economically empower them. But lack of equipment has constrained most resettled farmers, forcing the government to seek credit lines and other support from friendly countries."


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