The Beitbridge district in Matabeleland South is becoming the prime citrus fruit production hub in Zimbabwe amid calls for the government and its partners to invest more towards building the capacity of citrus farmers to increase production volumes.
Zimbabwe used to have about 10 000 hectares of land under citrus farming but at the moment estimates indicate this has dwindled to around 5 000 hectares with citrus production having shifted from the northern part (Mazowe) to the southern part (Beitbridge).
Recently, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry- and Commerce, Dr Mavis Sibanda, said increasing production levels in the sector was critical. This comes amid concerns over subdued output levels in horticulture at a time the Government is targeting to increase GDP contributions from the sector to over 10 percent. Sibanda said citrus production, in particular, has huge potential to turn around the Matabeleland South economy, create jobs and also feed into the national fiscus.