Home » Governance » Mugabe Receives U.S.$38 Million Brazil Tractors

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has challenged farmers to ensure Zimbabwe regains its net food exporter status as he commissioned new agricultural equipment worth about $38 million in Harare Friday.

The equipment, which includes tractors, fertiliser spreaders and irrigation kits, is the first tranche secured under a loan facility agreed with Brazil.

Mugabe said the South American country extended the US$98 million deal under “favourable” terms and challenged beneficiaries to repay back the low interest rate loan from increased yields.

“Let us not disappoint those who help us, let us inspire them as well,” he said.

“But of course it is not giving us on a charitable, generous basis merely. Yes, generous they are but it is on a reciprocal basis where they extend a loan which carries a mere two percent.

“Inotonyadza kutaura. If you go to America and Britain they will say you are lying there are no loans of that nature. Certainly there are no loans in their environments. How can there be any soft loans where people are just thinking of sanctions and punishing others?

“How they can continue to rule the world and never want to teach our people in Africa how they can transform and have their own industries? It is just oppression, oppression and more oppression they think about. We say down with them with these tractors.”

The Brazil deal would also help Zimbabwe blunt the impact of sanctions imposed by the West.

“We got this equipment as our national equipment, as our instrument to raise our standards of living, to say here we are Zimbabwe, down with your sanctions you Americans and you Europeans,” President Mugabe said.

“We are succeeding with the help of those who are our friends indeed. A friend in need is a friend indeed and Brazil is such a friend.

“Let us go and be more productive and produce not just for our stomachs but also for export so we can have external earnings coming in.”

Speaking at the same event, agriculture minister Joseph Made said just 30 percent of the tractors in Zimbabwe were currently functional.

“Zimbabwe has 15 092 tractors, of which 30 percent are not functioning,” said Made.

“The total number of tractors in the country falls far below the national requirement of between 40 000 and 50 000 units.

“The programme will contribute to the Zim-Asset irrigation development which targets a functional area under irrigation to be increased from 150 000 hectares to 200 000 hectares by 2018.”

Source : New Zimbabwe