This is the kind of capacity building cooperation that Africa needs - and it is coming from the much-maligned Iran, to the much maligned Zimbabwe. And they're doing it through a JOINT VENTURE, not a parastatal sellout. And I love thos Massey-Ferguson tractors - not huge, and the right horsepower for 100 to 200 hectare fields. From The Herald: DC intensifies tractor joint venture bidBy Walter MuchinguriTHE Industrial Development Corporation has intensified its bid to implement a joint venture project between Zimbabwe and Iran to establish a tractor manufacturing plant, stalled last year at the height of economic challenges.Officials from IDC and Motec Holdings left the country last week for Iran where they are engaging the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company and the Iran Foreign Investment Company.IDC’s public relations manager, Mr Derrick Sibanda said the trip had been necessitated by the fact that there was a change in management at ITMCO and IFIC during the period that the project had been dormant."It was essential that we make an official travel to Iran to engage the new management because it is different to the management that came here sometime last year."We also feel that the economic situation has improved since the coming of the inclusive Government and the issue of the country risk is almost non-existent, we envisage that ourpartners are more receptive to Zimbabwe as a country," he said.The delegation is also hoping to secure the release of a US$4 million grant that was extended by the Iranian Government to the Zimbabwean Government to set up the tractor manufacturing business.The funds are crucial in the implementation of the projects in the initial stages.Before progress on the project was stalled officials from the IDC, ITMCO and IFIC had in March last year signed a shareholding agreement for a joint tractor manufacturing company, Motira that was supposed to produce the tractors locally.Motira was expected to initially assemble Massey Ferguson tractors from completely knocked down kits from Iran at Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries. before venturing into full-scale production on establishment of a foundry plant that would manufacture kits locally.Apart from assembling, producing and selling tractors, Motira was also expected to offer after-sale service of the whole range of agricultural tractors and implements of the Massey Ferguson brand.The foundry plant was targeted at producing about 5 000 units per annum in line with the capacity of the WMMI plant.The venture was expected to boost production capacity at WMMI, which was currently down to 20 percent and that of other local companies.ITMCO was given a 55 percent stake in Motira while IDC had a 45 percent stake although the shareholding would be reviewed at a later stage to take into consideration the country’s empowerment laws.The issue of shareholding had been a sticky factor in the negotiations for the setting up of the tractor company.At the time IDC’s finance manager, Mr Peter Madara and his chairman Dr Charles Utete signed on behalf of IDC while IFIC general manager Dr Mehdi Reza Darvishzadeh and ITMCO deputy general manager Mr Mirmohammad Hossein Kanani signed on behalf of their companies.The ceremony was witnessed by the then Islamic Republic of Iran ambassador Mr Rasoul Momeni, Agriculture Engineering, Mechanisation and Irrigation Minister Dr Joseph Made and the then permanent secretaries for Agriculture Engineering, Mechanisation and Irrigation and Industry and International trade, Dr Shadreck Mlambo and Dr Christian Katsande respectively witnessed the signing ceremony.
MrK,Encouraging news! I am upset with Iranian internal security forces (and Nokia/Siemens), but there is nothing wrong with Iranian tractor manufactures. Massey Ferguson is a very old Canadian company, and the all time best seller of farm machinery. They have a long legacy of establishing licensed manufacture and assembly of their designs. ITMCO has been producing MF tractors since the mid-seventies, and has already launched a similar joint venture for assembly in Tajikistan under the corporate name TajIran. This would be very good for Zimbabwe and the region, especially if they advance from assembly to component manufacture.
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