Zimbabwe's horticulture sector is set to contribute 10 percent of the country’s total export earnings in the near future riding on anticipated rise in demand from new markets across the globe, according to Zimtrade.
In 2018 horticultural exports recorded more than US$112 million compared to US$50,9 million earnings in 2017. Exporters believe the jump in exports was driven partly by the supply of produce the country was previously not exporting.
Zimtrade has said the horticulture sector was strategic to the economy given its potential in job creation, poverty alleviation and generating foreign currency along the value chain. ZimTrade described horticulture as a “sleeping giant” that could be used to turn around the economy.
“We want to take our place as one of the largest contributors of exports. In the near future we are targeting to return back to the 10 percent contribution of the country’s total exports,” Zimtrade said.
“Last year’s total exports were at around US$3,2 billion and we are targeting the horticultural exports to reach 10 percent of that amount (US$320m). This will be done through working together with established companies, small scale growers and the outside world.”
Horticulture is viewed as a “low hanging fruit” given the short term nature of its products such as passion fruit, fine beans, peas, blueberries, carrots, baby corn, baby marrow, courgettes, chillies and broccoli. Zimtrade also said farmers could capitalise on “super-foods” that are increasingly becoming popular in developed markets such as avocados, moringa, turmeric, berries and broccoli.
“Asia, especially China, also presents an opportunity on the basis of the size of those markets and growing consumer demand in line with rising consumer spending power,” said Zimtrade.