Birds banned from Harare Agric Show
By Wallace Mawire
HARARE – The Harare Agricultural Show’s (HAS) 107th edition has banned the display of live birds at this year’s show because of fears the Avian Influenza virus might spread.
The show is set to be held on 21 to 26 August, in Harare. But according to a statement released by Dr Anxious Masuka, CEO of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Society (ZAS), the hosts of the annual agricultural showcase event, birds of all species, including chickens, will not feature at this year’s show.
Masuka said that under the livestock section of the show, there is a wide array of entries.
He added that judges for the section will be drawn from South Africa, with a strong contingent of local counterparts.
“However, there should be rich representation from the dairy, beef, goats, sheep and piggery sectors. Competition is bound to be stiff,” he said.
Some countries in the SADC region like Zimbabwe have been reporting a resurgence of the Avian Influenza virus and recently one of the country’s major chicken producers, Irvines reportedly had to cull at least 10,000 birds due to fear of spread of the virus.
The Zimbabwe Agricultural Show society, the hosts of the show, however report that preparations for this year’s show are exciting as they are buoyed by an improved economic enthusiasm buttressed on a most successful agricultural season, which is expected to see Zimbabwe’s ascendance and leap into food security status after many years, according to Masuka.
Over 250,000 visitors are expected to grace the event with plans in the pipeline to boost attendance to at least 500,000 visitors annually in the next few years.