Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Horticulture exports drop

Horticulture exports drop

Tabitha Mutenga Staff Reporter 

HORTICULTURE export receipts declined to $30 million in 2017 from $61 million in 2016. 

Horticulture earnings have been on the decline since the start of the land reform programme, albeit increas­ing slightly in 2013 and 2014. 

A lot of efforts are, however, underway to ensure that the sector returns to its former glory as one of the leading foreign currency earners. 

Statistics from ZimTrade show that produce ranging from vegetables, fresh and dried vegetables to fruits and live plants earned the country” $29,7 million. 

Citrus fruits and nuts were the leading foreign currency earners, bringing in about $18.4 million. 

To expand exports, according to the ZimTrade January newsletter: “A Zimbabwean delegation to China in De­cember 2017, facilitated agreements that could see Zim­babwean oranges hitting Chinese supermarket shelves as early as June this year.” 

During the mission, the China Industrial International Group Zimbabwe, which supports local business to access China’s $23 trillion economy, managed to secure orders amounting to 45 000 tonnes of oranges annually. 

“The market value of 45 000 tonnes is in the region of $18 million, which presents an opportunity for local grow­ers to increase their production,” the newsletter said. 

Zimbabwe experienced a rapid growth in the horti­culture sector in the mid-1980s. Growth peaked in the 1998/99 season. At its peak, the country exported 59 200 tonnes of fresh produce, earning about $143 million.

In 1999, horticulture contributed 4,5 percent to the country’s gross domestic product second only to tobacco in the agricultural sector. 

The European Union remains the biggest export market for Zimbabwean horticulture produce, with the sector re­cording steady growth in exports to that market. 

According to Trademap, which provides trade statistics for international business development, in 2012 Zimba­bwe earned $49 million, $66 million in 2013, $73 million in 2014, $64 million in 2015 and $61 million in 2016.

By February 2018, the country had exported produce worth $970 973. 


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