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CUT exports rock melons to UAE

CUT exports rock melons to UAE

Story by Wellington Makonese

CHINHOYI University of Technology (CUT) has made inroads in the export market through a partnership with the country’s trade promotion body – ZIMTRADE.

The University is exporting rock melons to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with prospects of engaging the local community for an outgrower scheme to meet export demand.

The rock melon has a niche market in the UAE owing to its vast healthy advantages, prompting CUT to utilise part of its farms under the agro industrial initiatives to meet export demand.

The institution, with the assistance of ZIMTRADE, has exported over twenty tonnes of rock melon while exploring other ways of expanding the volume of the produce.

CUT Director Research and Post Graduate Studies, Professor Robert Musindire said they are looking at ways of embarking on outgrower schemes for the local community to benefit from the export market.

“We have done two hectares of rock melons, and we had 45 tonnes per hectare. We have managed to export 20 tonnes of the crop to the United Arab Emirates. We are also engaging ZIMTRADE to ensure that we expand our markets for the crop such that we can also rope in communities for an out grower scheme,” he said.

ZIMTRADE chief executive officer Mr Allan Majuru said the United Arab Emirates trade mission is bearing fruit due to increased demand for locally produced goods.

“We had a visit to the UAE to scout for horticultural produce market and in the process, we secured a market for rock melon. We went to the university to also engage local communities considering the crop just needs three months to ripen,” he said.

The total global unrealised export potential of melons stands at over US$1.1 billion.

Markets with greatest potential for world’s export of fresh melons are United States, France and Germany, while the UAE alone has an untapped potential of over US$20 million which ZIMTRADE is working towards tapping into.

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