Govt to establish authority for horticulture

via Govt to establish authority for horticulture | The Herald January 23, 2015

GOVERNMENT intends to establish an authority to promote the growth of the horticultural industry, Agriculture, Irrigation and Mechanisation Minister Dr Joseph Made has said.He said the sector was critical to the Zim-Asset programme and an entity that would promote growth of the industry was necessary. The industry has potential to generate foreign currency and if local farmers are capacitated, it can create thousands of jobs.

“This will help us to properly re-organise the industry and make it attractive to investors,” Dr Made said without giving time lines on when it would start operating. Currently, Zimbabwe’s horticultural activities are co-ordinated by the Horticultural Promotion Council.

The organisation promotes and represents the interests of all producers of horticultural produce and liaises with all processors, exporters, traders, shippers of such produce as well as other businesses involved in the horticultural industry.

The country used to be one of the largest exporters of a wide range of horticultural products in Africa, supplying overseas markets including Europe and the Middle East.

For instance, citrus exports peaked in 2001 at 45 000 tonnes, being 60 percent of fresh produce output.

Zimbabwe also became a valuable exporter of cut flowers, and by 2001, it ranked as the second largest in Africa, behind Kenya, second among African, Caribbean and Pacific exporters, and was the fifth biggest exporter to the European Union.

However, production has been falling with the country now importing a number of horticultural products.

As such, Dr Made said the Government would review fresh produce imports in view of banning importation of products which farmers can sufficiently produce for the local market.

“We are importing tomatoes and vegetables and I think it is unacceptable,” said Dr Made. “We need to capacitate local farmers and if they are given adequate resources, we should be able to export. It will not take time to re-establish our export base.” He added companies that are importing should assist local producers.

“We are determined to re-establish our horticultural production to levels of prior years.”

Meanwhile, Russia has expressed interests in Zimbabwe’s fresh produce and is looking at ways of capacitating local farmers to increase production.

Russia responded to the European Union sanctions against Russian banks and businesses by banning all imports of fresh produce from Europe and it is now looking at alternative markets.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Expat 7 years ago

    So what the Old Idiot is saying is the land redistribution programme is a failure!!! Of course the importation of fresh produce is only for the citizens that have travelled or been exposed to quality products and are prepared to purchase quality. Just like the tobacco we no longer produce quality so now we have to import just so the cigarettes produced meet a certan standard – putting a seed in the ground is the easy part, and even kids at school do it, running a viable opperation is proftably, is the crux of the matter, and that is where hundreds of years of practiced competent farmers were moved off because what they stood for, to bring in seed planters to take there place, farming is a lot more than that it is a business that requires the individule to be competent in multi faceted fields in order to be succesful!

  • comment-avatar
    Expat 7 years ago

    So what the Old Idiot is saying is the land redistribution program is a failure!!! Of course the importation of fresh produce is only for the citizens that have traveled or been exposed to quality products and are prepared to purchase quality. Just like the tobacco, we no longer produce quality, so now we have to import just so the cigarettes produced meet a certain standard – putting a seed in the ground is the easy part, and even kids at school do it. Running a viable operation profitably, is the crux of the matter, and that is where hundreds of years of experienced, practiced and competent farmers were moved off because what they stood for, to bring in seed planters to take there place, farming is a lot more than that, it is a business that requires the individual to be competent in multi faceted fields in order to be successful!

  • comment-avatar
    Doeis 7 years ago

    Be interesting to see how the “new farmers” ressurect the citrus trees that have been totally neglected through ignorance. If they can’t grow them to EuropGap standards, how the hell will they manage the pack houses which also have to conform to standards. And furthermore, who in the outside world will risk buying a crop from someone who has stolen the property. The buyers overseas are totally aware about the perils of receiving stolen goods.

  • comment-avatar
    wensil 7 years ago

    “For instance, citrus exports peaked in 2001 “, not surprised to see it was 2001 and all hell broke loose. 14 years later who would be foolish enough to pour into such a corrupt environment where policies are decided on racial lines? No way.