By Ndafadza Madanha
TOP Germany post harvest equipment manufacturer and distributor Riela say it is impressed by the business enquiries it has received at the on-going 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
Riela representative at the fair Godfrey Marange who is based in Germany says he is hopeful the enquiries received during the business days will translate into concrete deals for the firm.
“We are happy with the number of visitors who are coming to our stand the traffic is high and once I return to Germany I will be able to make follow ups and I am confident we shall be able to do some considerable business in the country. At Riela we have a motto that says no customer is too big or small; our products are size affordable and designed to meet the specifications of farmers”.
He added that once the company establishes there is sufficient demand for its products in the country consideration will be given to setting up an assembly plant and ultimately a production facility.
“Once we have established that there is demand for our products then we move in first with an assembly and if the market shows appetite for our products a production line. We have capacity to tailor make products that meet the requirements of our customers and Riela was customer focused as it developed its products in consultation with farmers which ensures our products are size affordable”
Post harvest management entails drying, cleaning, sorting and packing of a crop immediately after harvest. The instant a crop is removed from the ground, or separated from its parent plant, it begins to deteriorate.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in many developing countries, overall post-harvest losses of cereals and grain legumes of about 10 to 15 percent are fairly common. In some regions of Africa and Latin America, higher rates are found: up to 50 percent of the quantities harvested.
Marange said the company was showcasing some of its equipment such as compact feed mills, shelling machines, mobile dryers, water tanks, vegetable and fruit dryers and silos.
He said shelling machines, vegetable and fruit dryers as well as water tanks are some of the products that had received huge interest from.
He said the company was keen to expand into Africa and has a solid track-record attained over 50 years of operations in Germany and Eastern Europe.
Marange said the company has already started operations in Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and a number of post harvest facilities have been set up in the countries.
Riela local representatives Rhodha Mafemba and Loice Vava said prior to the ZITF they have been looking for opportunities and are confident the market has huge appetite for post harvest technology.
Mafemba said they are working with a number of agriculture colleges and universities to equip with the post harvest management skills, literature and equipment.
She said the availability of manual threshing equipment for small holder farmers was demonstration that the company had solutions for every level of production”.