John Deere has agreed to a deal with the government of Zimbabwe to sell the country 1,300 farm tractors valued at about $50 million, according to an Aug. 2, 2019 report in The Herald. The tractors will be distributed to farmers on loan through Agribank. Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri said the tractors will help farmers boost production and be competitive.

“We have entered into some contract arrangement for the supply of agricultural equipment. In modern agriculture, for one to be competitive, he or she should be able to till land at the least minimum cost and this is the benefit we will derive from this arrangement.

“We have a requirement of 40,000 tractors and we only have 12,000, of which not all of them are serviceable, hence we should have a deliberate means of introducing new equipment. I am aware John Deere is one of the best agricultural manufacturing companies that produce some of the best tractors in the world,” he said. 

“We are greatly honored to associate ourselves with the company. We are now looking forward to receiving the equipment and we hope we will be able to receive it before the start of the summer season. Farmers are keenly waiting to receive the equipment; 1,300 tractors have some positive impact, though we have over 50,000 A2 farmers.” 

“We would want to come up with more similar arrangements for the acquisition of equipment. We will be happy if John Deere could increase the numbers. 

The country has 4,130,000 hectares of arable land, with one million hectares under animal and manual draught [draft] power. The area under motorized draught power is 500,000 hectares, leaving the area requiring farm mechanization on 2.8 million hectares. Currently, the country requires 40,000 tractors and only has 12,000, of which 9,000 are functional and 3,000 require repairs. This deficit of farm machinery and implements has been affecting agricultural production and productivity, hence [the] Government’s intervention in sourcing machinery.