Under the stewardship of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, the Harare Show, which started out as a small show of agricultural and horticultural produce, has evolved into a many-faceted event, and the showground has evolved into a full Exhibition Park.
Both the Harare Show and Exhibition Park – which now provides much of the revenue to sustain the show are run by ZAS. The Societys dual objectives, established with it in 1895, are the holding of an annual agricultural show and promotion of agriculture, on the one hand and the provision of a community and entertainment facility for the people of Harare, on the other.
In 1997, exactly 100 years after the first show, it became apparent that ploughing back the revenue earned from show to show would no longer sustain it, the society commercialized its assets to broaden its revenue base.
This transition to a commercial park has enabled ZAS to diversify its operations and to serve its stakeholders in more ways – as the park has evolved into a business park, a venue for a growing number of private and commercial events and functions, as well as a registered examination centre.
The annual Harare Agricultural Show is a shop window for agriculture, commerce and industry. Many challenges have been faced over the years. Sometimes drought and foot and mouth disease took their toll and show entries were diminished. It was not always possible to stage a show when there were outbreaks of rinderpest or East Coast Fever and during WW II, when the grounds were requisitioned as a military cantonment. More recently, the virtual collapse of commercial agriculture took its toll.Post published in: News