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21 June 2024, 10:46

Belarus ready to share best practices in agricultural technology with Eswatini

MINSK, 21 June (BelTA) – A delegation of the Kingdom of Eswatini led by Prime Minister Russell Dlamini has toured Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ trademark) and studied Belarus’ industrial potential, BelTA has learned.

Minsk Tractor Works views Africa as a very important and promising market. The delegation of the Kingdom of Eswatini was shown the entire line-up of the company’s agricultural equipment - tractors with a capacity of 9hp to 200hp, including several units of Bobruiskagromash trailers and adds-on. As Eswatini is an agricultural country, MTZ can offer it a full range of its equipment.

The agricultural machinery like the one on display is already in operation in Africa, said MTZ Deputy Director General for Marketing - Marketing Director Mikhail Kadnikov.

“Over the past three years, we have supplied machinery to more than 20 African countries. I think that partners from the Kingdom of Eswatini can see how we work by the example of other countries, including Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt, and Sudan. We have maintenance centers in all the African countries where our products are used - this is a must for us. We will launch production operations in those countries where large-scale projects can be implemented.”

MTZ's export diversification is going on very well this year, he added.

“I think Eswatini will be one of those countries that will help us maintain momentum. This region looks very promising. We must ramp up the supply of equipment, explore new markets,” the deputy director general emphasized.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Eswatini to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Communities Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu outlined the areas of interest for Eswatini.

“We want to explore the possibilities of economic cooperation. Belarus is an industrialized country, and it is also self-sufficient in food. We want to study and adopt Belarus’ best practices in this field in order to become self-sufficient, too. We are also considering the possibility of cooperation,” he told reporters. “Development of human capital is another priority for us. Minsk has excellent infrastructure, it is a very clean city. In addition to the economy, we would like to learn more about the culture and way of life of Belarusians and invite them to Eswatini.”

The delegation of the Kingdom of Eswatini saw the exposition of equipment, toured workshops of the plant to see how the manufacturing process is organized. The prime minister of Eswatini was given a tour of the MTZ museum. After that, negotiations took place.

During the negotiations, First Deputy Industry Minister Aleksandr Ogorodnikov recalled that at the meeting with Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko that took place earlier on 20 June, some export figures were named; in particular, the export of Belarusian food products over the past year approached $8 billion.

“Some 30 years ago, nearly 1.2 million people worked in the Belarusian agricultural sector, today their number is about 300,000, i.e. four times fewer people are employed in this sector now. Yet, in the past we barely exported food products and did not provide for ourselves 100%. Over these 30 years, together with our partners from the agricultural sector and the National Academy of Sciences, we have developed a set of machines based on a tractor that can be recreated anywhere in the world. This has helped us achieve such results,” he said.

First Deputy Industry Minister Aleksandr Ogorodnikov noted that Belarus is ready to cooperate with the Kingdom of Eswatini and help it become more food secure.

“We are ready to offer the Kingdom of Eswatini tractors, an entire set of trailers and attachments that your agriculture needs, and also set up a maintenance service that will help farmers maintain equipment in an operating mode 24/7. And most importantly, we are ready to teach your people to use and repair this equipment, i.e. we can train tractor operators, repairmen and technicians who can train others,” he remarked.
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