2021 Agricultural Show a Success Despite Covid
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
This year’s 111th Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS) lived up to its billing despite the many obstacles presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Agricultural Show returned last week after a one-year Covid-induced hiatus. The Show took place from 27 September to 1 October in its usual location at the Showgrounds on Samora Machel Ave. This year's Show ran under the theme “Synergies for Growth – Co-operate. Collaborate. Complement” to rally support for agriculture and its value chains for increased “production, productivity and profitability”.
The Show was held in strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols which required - among other things - for all exhibitors and visitors to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Those who were not vaccinated were required to produce a negative Covid-19 test certificate from a test taken no later than 48 hours before the start of the Show. Throughout the week Zimbabwe Red Cross Society in partnership with ZAS stationed outside the Showgrounds where visitors were able to receive free Covid tests, whilst inside the Showgrounds other booths were offering free covid vaccinations.
Speaking on the sidelines, ZAS chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri said that this year’s Show sought to bring together new and established businesses to reach out to potential customers.
"Space uptake is 50,000 square metres compared to 40,200 square metres from 2020, from all sectors of the economy, signifying increasing confidence in the Show as a centre for interaction between business and potential customers despite challenges that surround the effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic,” said Dr Matibiri.
Overall, there were fewer visitors to the Show this year than in previous editions, due to the lack of some of the popular ZAS activities. Fireworks did not draw the same spectacle as in previous editions and children’s activities and games were scrapped again due to Covid regulations.
However, popular stands at this year’s Show included the Department of Civil Registry which was issuing out national identity documents as well as the ZINARA stand which was flooded by motorists who wanted to take advantage of the licensing authority’s promotion during the Show.