Zimbabwean horticulture parties have called for long-term financing schemes to support the sector, which entails crops that need time before they start paying back. Although Zimbabwe holds huge potential to supply global markets with horticultural produce, many players in the sector - excluding big corporates - have struggled to grow their output due to funding issues.
A number of horticulturists have since resorted to companies that offer contract farming to small and large-scale farmers, which is seen as more profitable and sustainable. Zimbabwe exports citrus fruits including oranges, grapefruit and lemons as well as subtropical fruits, which include bananas, mangoes, passion fruit, and deciduous fruits like peaches, apricots, plums, nectarine, apples, and pears.
Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust (ZADT) chief executive officer Godfrey Chinoera said most in the horticulture sector did not possess adequate capital or strong balance sheets to scale up their operations.
"We need funding designed for long-term investments including new activities and initiatives. Most of the horticulture industry players do not have adequate capital or strong balance sheets to scale up or partake in long-term investments, regardless of what you do, balance sheets are limited to a certain amount of money unless you complement it by maybe equity or other investors.