Citrus project eyes Chinese market Acting Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa

Walter Nyamukondiwa Mashonaland West Bureau

Citrus plantations are being established along Mupfure River in Chegutu for export, including a 50 000 tonne export quota to China.

With growing demand for citrus fruits, which are rich in Vitamin C, in the world’s second most populous country, Zimbabwe is expected to play a significant role in helping to meet demand.

Speaking in Chegutu, Zimbabwe’s former ambassador to China Christopher Mutsvangwa said there had been an agreement with contacts in China towards meeting a 50 000-tonne quota per year.

“We have solid plans to line fruit orchards along Mupfure River and we have already agreed with contacts in China and other areas for the export of 50 000 tonnes of citrus including oranges,” said Amb Mutsvangwa.

“We know that there are other areas like Beitbridge where citrus fruits are grown in a big way but Chegutu is coming in to complement them in meeting demand.”

The country’s citrus production has been growing steadily over the years with levels expected to increase to nearly 150 000 tonnes by 2026.

According to the Report Linker website, Zimbabwe ranks 53rd in the world in citrus production behind countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India and the Phillippines.

Once implemented, the project will be a game-changer in and around Chegutu employing a lot of people including youths.

Several projects, including expansion of Pickstone Peerless Mine, which will employ an extra 340 people increases Chegutu district’s contribution to provincial and national Gross Domestic Product.

Zimbabwe has been cooperating with China in various fields including mining, agriculture, infrastructure development and health including during the Covid-19 global pandemic where the country donated vaccines to save the lives.

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