Value addition increases fruit export earnings 77pc Statistics from Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) show that fruit export earnings increased from US$2 405 885 in 2022 to US$4 257 285 in 2023. In volume terms it rose from 10 252 066 to 11 254 498 kilogrammes.

Edgar Vhera-Agriculture Specialist Writer

EXPORT earnings from horticulture’s fruit section rose 77 percent from US$2 million in 2022 to US$4 million last year, as the sector continued on a positive trajectory anchored on increased value addition by local producers.

Statistics from Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) show that fruit export earnings increased from US$2 405 885 in 2022 to US$4 257 285 in 2023. In volume terms it rose from 10 252 066 to 11 254 498 kilogrammes.

The country’s horticulture promotion body, Horticultural Development Council (HDC) attributed the rise to fruit exports’ resilience in the face of growing pressures in both global and domestic markets. 

HDC chief executive officer Mrs Linda Niesen said this demonstrated the horticulture industry’s strong potential for further growth. 

“As you are aware, HDC is actively supporting the national vision to grow horticulture to a
US$1 billion industry by 2030. Achieving this requires a joint effort by all stakeholders to grow volumes across the sector, through working towards a policy environment that builds investor confidence,” she said. As HDC, we are playing our role in boosting production by increasing the number of growers, she added. 

In its endeavour to grow the horticulture sector, the HDC has come up with many initiatives such as the ‘Hub and Spoke’ model, which links key players in the value chain to emerging growers, thus ensuring shared and inclusive growth in the industry.

The horticulture hub has the packhouse/aggregation centre/processor in the middle surrounded by spokes.

The spokes which are linked to the hub have farmers practising sustainable agricultural production, organisations providing extension services, capacity building/training, technology, finance, micro-industries and compliance.

At the second edition of the horticulture investment forum last year in Harare, the HDC said it required US$1, 2 billion investments to achieve a US$1 billion annual horticulture sector by 2030 and create 150 000 jobs. It said the sector had to grow 30 percent annually to reach the target.

The fresh and processed produce section requires an investment of US$350 million to have an annual value of output of around US$510 million.

The fruits section has the deciduous and other fruits segments. The deciduous fruit unit has fresh or dried banana plantains, bananas as well as fresh or dried guavas, mangoes and mangosteens.

The other fruit section comprises fresh apples, fresh peaches including nectarines, fresh plums and sloes, prepared or preserved pineapples, apricots and other fruits, other mixtures, other apple juices unfermented, other single fruit juices (excluding grapefruit and orange) unfermented, other juice of any other single fruit or vegetable as well as mixtures of juices, unfermented and not containing added spirit.  

To show the impact of value addition, juices from any single fruit or vegetable had the largest growth of 144 percent from US$1 267 734 in 2022 to US$3 090 123 last year.

  

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