NAASSZ striving to raise provincial show standards

by Editorial Team
4 minutes read

NAASSZ striving to raise provincial show standards

The National Association of Agricultural Show Societies of Zimbabwe (NAASSZ), which was formed two years ago, is pushing to raise standards in the way that provincial agricultural show societies run their events and affairs, the association’s president has said.

Speaking with Business Events, NAASSZ president, Godfrey Mavankeni said that although the organisation was hamstrung by a number of challenges it was determined to ensure that provincial show societies ran their organisations and annual shows in a professional manner in order to meet the association’s objectives.

“Apart from our main objective of raising standards through instilling into NAASSZ membership the core values of integrity, punctuality, fairness, accountability, general standards of best practice and teamwork between organisers, venue providers, service providers and their sub-contractors, we are working towards speaking with one voice, putting in places systems and sharing notes to develop the agricultural sector,” he said.

Regarding the progress which the association has made so far, Mavankeni highlighted that the association’s activities, like those of other business organisations, were being affected by the ongoing economic challenges which negatively impacted on its progress.

“Our operations are being affected by the economic challenges which are affecting our members and, consequently, the association. Due to the ongoing economic challenges some societies have not been able to consistently contribute to the association’s budget making it difficult for the latter to carry out business visits to the former in their provinces. Thankfully, some of our stakeholders chip in financially to fill the gap and ensure that the business of the association does not come to a standstill,” said Mavankeni.

“We also have the problems with corporate governance issues in some societies. I am sure you have heard of some infighting in one of the district show societies in this province (Mashonaland West),” he said in apparent reference to the Kadoma Agricultural Show Society the bickering of whose show executive spilt into the public domain at the end of July.

“Some societies are experiencing challenges with respect to marketing their events. This is in terms of both the requisite skills and the necessary funding to mount marketing campaigns to publicise their events,” he said. 

Asked about the successes which the association had registered so far, Mavankeni indicated that the main milestone was coming together of the 15 societies together into one body. 

“For decades societies ran their own affairs independent of the others, therefore to us their coming together is a major achievement. It has enabled us to co-ordinate and synchronise events thereby dealing with the past situation where shows could be held on the same day making it difficult for regular exhibitors such as seed houses to decide which events to participate in. We are not yet completely out of the coinciding show dates scenario but we are getting there. The ideal situation that we are striving for is having district and provincial shows held during the three month period from May to the end of July so that by August we will all be focusing on the national show, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show,” Mavankeni said.

Mavankeni said that going forward the association would push for societies transform themselves into fully fledged businesses complete with schedules of events such as training workshops among others which run all year round. 

“Show societies should not just be about the show week. They should be businesses in the business of developing agriculture in their respective districts and provinces. This calls for the appointment of full time secretariats whose salaries and wages should be met through fundraising activities. They should partner with the private sector and other stakeholders to build infrastructure such as exhibition halls which can be hired out during the off show season. There is quite a lot that societies can do at their show grounds to transform themselves into viable businesses without departing from their agricultural development mandate,” said Mavankeni.



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