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Zimbabwe government to set up horticulture department

The Zimbabwean government is considering setting up a horticulture department, committed to creating a conducive regulatory environment for the sector to adequately thrive, a senior official revealed.

Zimbabwe`s horticultural sector continues to face a number of challenges, the biggest one being on the regulatory environment. This has seen the sector`s contribution to the country`s export earnings declining over the past year.

According to statistics provided by the trade development and promotion body, ZimTrade, the horticulture sector’s contribution to total exports decreased from 2 percent in 2018 to 1,5 percent in 2019, with the aggregate value of exports decreasing from US$19,5 million between Feb-Apr 2018 to US$13,5 million between Feb-Apr 2019.

The decline was mainly due to a drop in exports of leguminous vegetables, nuts and citrus fruits.

The decrease was also attributed to several constraints that have impacted negatively on the competitiveness of the sector, including a lack of foreign currency, regulatory issues, as well as climate and logistical challenges, said ZimTrade.

In recent years, the government has been on a drive to boost performance of the sector and it earlier this year launched the Zimbabwe  Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion project (ZIM-SHEP) which is expected to boost production and improve livelihoods of people in farming communities. According to an article on, it will contribute towards the realisation of the national vision of a middle income economy by 2030.

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