The horticultural sector is headed for exciting times as the country is now exporting apples to Bangladesh after the conclusion of a massive export deal.
The lucrative deal brings hope to the recovery of the horticultural sector, which is one of the key pillars of the economy in terms of attracting foreign currency earnings.
With a huge demand of apples in the Bangladesh market, the deal implemented through agro-firm, Ariston Services, is set to break new ground for the horticultural sector.
“We are very pleased to have the first exports leaving for the Bangladesh market and we expect to have more volumes to that market in the future. This is a very good opportunity not only for us but the country at large,” says Obedience Chimbadzwa, Production Manager at Claremont Estate, Ariston Management Services.
Twenty-one tonnes of the commodity are set for shipment in the first phase, while further tonnage for export is expected to hit two hundred and ten tonnes this season.
Heather Mcsorley, a horticultural consultant, says, “This is a very exciting development from the horticultural industry. We have worked very hard with the Ministry of Agriculture and Zimtrade and today we arrived excited to see the first shipment of the fruits to Bangladesh.”
Enhanced volumes will mean an improvement of export receipts from the horticultural sector, which recorded a decline in production last year.
This development will be critical in setting the pace for the horticultural sector to contribute 10 percent to the country’s total export earnings.
Tatenda Marume, ZimTrade export development manager, says Zimbabwe has the potential to generate more than $ 1 billion from horticultural exports around the world based on the country’s favorable climatic conditions and private sector involvement.
Some of the products that already contribute to the country’s export earnings are citrus fruits at 32 percent, flowers at 25 percent and peas at 19 percent.