HARARE, ZIMBABWE — The first batch of modern farm machinery has shipped to Harare, Zimbabwe, as part of a $58 million deal between Belarus and Zimbabwe.

The shipment includes 20 grain harvesters for grain and maize, 100 tractors and 52 seed drills. The second batch is expected in December.

“This deal brings Belarusian expertise in agriculture and engineering to Zimbabwe,” said Alexander Zingman, Zimbabwe’s Honorary Consul to Belarus. “Both countries have been expanding ties since 2015 and this deal is a win-win for both.”

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa had called for a comprehensive project to modernize and mechanize the entire agricultural sector. The country is reeling from the economic effects of the coronavirus, a disastrous drought and Cyclone Idai last year, leaving more than 5 million people in need of food aid.

The agriculture deal was signed in 2018, with Belarus providing farming machinery and advanced technology to Zimbabwe, as well as training for local farmers in cultivation, seeding, irrigation and crop harvesting. It also provided the project with long-term financing for the acquisition of equipment.

AFTRADE DMCC represents all the leading manufacturers in Belarus. It has set up a servicing center in Harare to provide spare parts and warranty services. Mobile service vehicles will also cater to farming communities in the provinces.

Belarusian technical specialists have been sent to Zimbabwe for one year to provide training to farmers in modern farming techniques. Zimbabwean specialists will get two months training in Belarus.

“This project will enable Zimbabwean farmers to boost the productivity of their land and to reduce their losses through timely crops harvesting,” Zingman said.