HARARE, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday opened the first- ever training course on agricultural machinery and equipment in Zimbabwe as the first step to put into action the China-aid agricultural technology demonstration center.
Officiating the opening ceremony, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development, N. Masoka, said since the center was launched in April, the ministry has been waiting for this day that is marking the beginning of activities under this program.
"I want to recognize the role being played by the Chinese government in establishment of this center," Masoka said in his speech read by Principal Director of the Ministry Reston J. Muzamhindo.
As a beneficiary of this aid, Zimbabwe is very grateful to the Chinese government for this technical cooperation gesture which will facilitate the growth of the agricultural sector through various activities that are expected to be carried out at this center, Masoka said.
"This is a training of trainers course that aims to build the capacity of our technical staff so that they can train other groups who will come to the center for training," he said.
Han Bing, counsellor of economic and commercial section of the Chinese Embassy in Harare, said the opening of the training course symbolizes the two countries taking a new level in agricultural technology exchanges and cooperation.
China and Zimbabwe enjoy very profound and traditional relations of friendship. The mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Zimbabwe in all fields has yielded fruitful results and brought tangible benefits to the two peoples, Han said.
He said the Chinese government and its people have spared no effort to help the Zimbabweans in building their homeland, developing the economy, improving living standards, reducing poverty and fighting natural disasters.
Remarkable success has been made especially in the agricultural sector, the official declared.
The Chinese government has donated the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center at Gwebi College of Agriculture. The purpose is to transfer the Chinese technology in agriculture and agricultural machinery while training local farmers, demonstrating cultivation skill and carrying out agronomy trials.
Han said agriculture in Zimbabwe has a very great potential of development and that the two countries of China and Zimbabwe have a very broad prospects for cooperation in this area.
"Relying on the platform of agricultural technology demonstration center, I hope that the center can do the best for Zimbabwe's agriculture to make more contribution to the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe," he said.
The Chinese government has also provided Zimbabwe with agricultural machinery and equipment in the forms of governmental aid and concessional loans of 80 million U. S. dollars.
The Chinese government has so far dispatched 15 senior agricultural experts to Zimbabwe and, in the second half of this year, there will be 10 more Chinese senior agricultural experts coming to work in Zimbabwe.