Iran, Zimbabwe to boost agriculture ties amid its expanding presence in Africa
Iran and Zimbabwe plan to boost their cooperation in the agriculture sector amid Iran’s efforts to increase its presence in export markets in Africa.
Iran’s agriculture minister Javad Sadatinejad said after a meeting with his Zimbabwean counterpart Anxious Jongwe Masuka in Tehran on Monday that the two had discussed a wide range of projects to boost bilateral agriculture ties.
Sadatinejad said Iranian companies can engage in contract farming in Zimbabwe while providing technical support to the African country’s farming sector.
He said Iran is ready to offer its technology on farming mechanization and on pesticides and fertilizers to Zimbabwe, a country that heavily relies on agriculture to meet its economic demands.
The minister said Iran and Zimbabwe had also discussed a potential swap mechanism under which Iran can supply up to $100 million worth of urea per year to Zimbabwe in return for importing sugar from the African country.
“Despite the good political relations between the two countries, the size of economic ties does not match the existing capacities,” said Sadatinejad.
He said that Zimbabwe can also use Iranian trade capacities for re-exporting of its agriculture products to a market of 300 million people in the region.
Masuka, for his part, said Zimbawe plans to import tractors from Iran to respond to an unmet demand of up to 20,000 in his country.
The official, who leads Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, said his country would need Iran’s assistance on modernization of the agricultural machinery, on fishery and on agricultural chemicals.