ZIMBABWEAN companies are exporting an array of fresh produce to the European market after clinching orders amounting to US$8m at the Fruit Logistica Show held in Germany early this year.
Among the fresh produce that are exported by the companies are peaches, mange tout, sugar snap peas and blueberries. In Europe the demand for these “super foods” is big and the market is estimated to be worth US$80billion.
In an interview Zimtrade chief executive, Allan Majaru said the renewed interest in Zimbabwe fresh produce internationally was partly attributable to the commitment by the Mnangagwa administration not to allow disruptions on productive farms.
Majuru said the deals amounting to US$8m struck at this year’s edition of the Fruit Logistica Show represented a huge leap from the US$600 thousand achieved last year.
“We went to Fruit Logistica with a number of firms this year and we received orders of US$8m up from the US$600 thousand we received last year and this is partly as a result of the new clarity by the new administration on issues to do with land and this has created confidence with buyers who are now guaranteed of supply. Already the local firms are supplying the markets”.
Majuru said his organization was looking at broadening markets for Zimbabwe fresh produce to encompass the SADC and Middle East region.
Already Zimtrade has conducted market research for Dubai and Angola.
Majuru said his organization was training 46 small scale farmers in Chimanimani to grow Victoria pineapples for the European market.
The farmers are expected to start exporting pineapples early next year once they receive the necessary certification.
Horticulture was once a significant earner of foreign currency with the sector contributing 15% of total exports in 2009 however, last year the figure stood at less than one percent of total exports.