Leonard Ncube/Nomvelo Siziba, Victoria Falls Reporters
THE 2019 Victoria Falls Agricultural Show failed to live up to expectations as children dominated the attendance with exhibitors falling far short of the target.
Although show organiser, Mr Tendai Moyo, had said 150 exhibitors would take part from 75 in 2018 only 30, excluding small to medium entrepreneurs, showcased their products and services.
Exhibitors patiently waited for the official opening, which only took place around 6PM on Friday.
It was officiated by Agriseeds sales and marketing director, Mr Ivan Craig.
Originally Vice President Kembo Mohadi was expected to open the show.
From Thursday until the last day, children were the majority with a handful of adults coming on Saturday afternoon for entertainment.
Exhibitors expressed concern about poor organisation saying the show, which targets to go international by 2021, might end up missing out.
The prize giving ceremony was only done with the aid of artificial lighting after 6PM with only a few exhibitors present.
In his official speech, Mr Craig challenged organisers to aim bigger.
“An exhibition without people is not a show. This show has grown big but not yet bigger hence we have to look forward to a bigger show,” he said.
He encouraged the organisers to look for alternative land for a permanent venue for the show and relocate from Chinotimba Stadium.
Mr Craig called on every citizen in every economic sector to harvest water to mitigate climate change effects.
As has become the norm, tourism players including operators and hotels, snubbed the show despite the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority exhibiting.
“This show is not only about agriculture but we are marketing tourism as well hence exhibitors you are not wasting your time by coming here as you are also enhancing food and nutrition, which is key to the country’s agenda,” he said.
Victoria Falls deputy mayor Councillor Patricia Mwale said the show has potential to transform the resort town into a critical player in the country and region’s supply chain. — @ncubeleon