As Zimbabwe targets food self-sufficiency, the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) will open market hubs for horticulture produce. According to chief executive officer Mr Clever Isaya , this would allow farmers access to structured and organised markets.
Potatoes are regarded as a national strategic crop in Zimbabwe. Starting with Harare, AMA said it will open a stand-alone mass market for potatoes to accommodate the recent increase in volumes. Mbare Musika is Zimbabwe’s largest formal market for potatoes and other horticulture products, accounting for the majority of volumes traded per week.
However, amid the market’s lack of expansion to accommodate a growing number of farmers who want to sell their fresh produce, several new ways to circumvent that dilemma are being used.
Mr Isaya said lack of access to markets has been a perennial challenge for farmers, leading to subdued trade volumes: “Creation of these market hubs will boost sales and the horticultural subsector contribution to the economy.”
Isaya told zimbabwesituation.com that to increase the national export value from horticulture, modern technologies needed to be adopted and implemented in areas of production and marketing.
As plans to grow the agriculture sector continue, President Mnangagwa recently launched the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy that is expected to lead to a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025.