DON'T MISS : Talking Africa Podcast – Mozambique's insurgency: After Palma, what comes next?

Russia eyes Zimbabwe as entry point into African market

By UNKNOWN
Posted on Tuesday, 9 December 2014 15:29

There is a growing demand for agricultural produce in Russia, which is under sanctions from the European Union and has in turn imposed an embargo on basic foods, as well as meat and many other products, from Western countries.

The company will also ensure that an assembly plant is built in Zimbabwe to supply the African markets

Russia is seeking alternative markets and products subject to the one year embargo on beef, pork, poultry, fish, fruit, vegetables, cheese, milk and other dairy products from the US, Canada, the European Union, Norway and Australia.

Setting up an agricultural base in Zimbabwe might help mitigate food shortages.

On Monday, a 12 member Russian delegation, comprising of technical expects, led by Igor Avakumo, pitched proposals to their Zimbabwean counterparts.

The proposals range from setting up an agricultural equipment manufacturing plant, citrus production, food processing, water purification, veterinary education, poultry and production of vegetable seeds.

The head of the Russian delegation, Avakumo said Zimbabwe may bridge the food shortage gap.

“We do not plant much of our citrus in Russia because we have a small vegetative season, but we need citrus more, so Zimbabwe may come and fill in the gap and be key in terms of supply,” he said.

“Russia is one of the major global suppliers of agricultural equipment, we manufacture tractors and combine harvesters, we are ready to sell tractors and these combine harvesters to Zimbabwe.

“The company will also ensure that an assembly plant is built in Zimbabwe to supply the African markets, the prices we offer are 15% less compared to competitors such as John Deere and Massey Ferguson tractors.”

Russia, like China, has strong political ties with Zimbabwe, which began when Moscow helped train independence fighters in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 2008 Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution by Western countries to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Presently, Russia’s major investment in Zimbabwe is a joint-venture diamond and gold mining company in eastern Zimbabwe, DTZ-OZGEO, and Moscow is also planning a joint platinum mining operation outside the capital Harare.

Joseph Made, the Zimbabwean Agriculture minister said the southern African country stood to benefit from the Russian proposal.

Zimbabwe’s beef industry has been struggling since the European Union (EU) banned meat imports from the African nation in 2001, following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Understand Africa's tomorrow... today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

View subscription options