Blessings Chidakwa-Herald Reporter
ANOTHER billionaire, Mr. Shashank Kumar, co-founder and managing director of DeHaat, arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday to explore business opportunities.
DeHaat is an Indian technology company that connects smallholder farmers to suppliers, technology and expertise.
His visit follows the arrival of another delegation of billionaires who landed in Harare on Monday to explore and set up businesses.
Mr Kumar landed at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday afternoon and was greeted by Prevail Group Managing Director Mr Paul Tungwarara and another investor already in the country Mr Javaid Farooqui.
Mr. Kumar expressed his gratitude for being in the country as a guest of President Mnangagwa. It is also part of the Zimbabwe Global Investment vehicle.
“DeHaat is a proven technology and platform in India that works with over 1.2 million small and marginal farmers.
“We help them put everything under one roof, what crop to grow from, how to grow. We have technology that helps them maximize farm income so they can afford better livelihoods.
“The purpose of the visit is therefore to understand and assess the opportunities in agriculture and related investments in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr. Farooqui, another co-founder of DeHaat, said that with the world becoming increasingly digital, farmers should also embrace digital technology to improve their businesses.
“DeHaat has created technology to communicate with farmers. Basically, soil tests, environment and climate should be monitored as well as the impact of pesticides. So everything has to be digital so that we can get data, analyze it and improve services in the country.
“There are other technologies that basically help farmers reconnect to us to give them the right information at the right time about their crops, the soil conditions and the production they are generating,” he said.
Mr Farooqui said that in a digital world, farmers simply need a mobile phone to get information.
“They can just take a picture of their farm and upload it to us and we’ll know what the problem is. Everything is digital,” he said.
Farooqui also thanked Mr. Tungwarara for bringing them to the country after a meeting in Dubai where he explained the vast investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.
For his part, Mr. Tungwarara said he was happy to receive Mr. Kumar, who comes from a billion-dollar company.
“We are so happy to have them and I believe that the government will welcome them because it is a program that will improve the lives of people even in the villages. We need the program to be rolled out, I am sure they are ready “, did he declare.
The delegation is led by UAE billionaire investor Mr. Shaji Ul Mulk, who arrived on Monday along with other investors.