Story by Kenias Chivuzhe
The increasing demand for Zimbabwean organic agriculture products in foreign markets has seen farmers in Mutasa and Nyanga working relentlessly to tap into export markets.
United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean Ethel Choto who visited the country this festive season speaks on the vast opportunities presented by the reduction of food supplies in the UK.
“The moving out of the UK from the EU has created huge markets for Zimbabwean products due to food shortages. There is an opportunity for people in the diaspora to team up with Zimbabweans in order to exploit the situation in the UK. At the moment, there are food shortages and the shops are half empty. There is now a good opportunity for Zimbabwe to increase food production and harness the opportunity,” she said.
As part of ways to capacitate local farmers to tap into vast opportunities overseas, the local trade promotion body, ZimTrade, recently organised a trade mission to the UK.
Honde Valley-based Macadamia Empowerment Group Founder Alvis Nyanhongo who was part of the Zimbabwean delegation to the UK, speaks on the strides made to improve local farmers’ capacity to supply foreign markets.
“We are a grouping of 1 500 smallholder farmers who are into macadamia and other high-value trees. We are now targeting 5 000 smallholder farmers within the next 12 months in order to meet the demand in the UK. This follows the recent Zimbabwe-UK trade mission that was facilitated by Zimtrade. We have to make sure we produce quality products, from macadamia nuts, avocados, coffee, leaches and other fruit trees. We are determined to pull resources in order to meet the high volumes of products required in foreign markets.”
Meanwhile, a Makoni-based farmer Happiness Nyakuedzwa who is into goat and poultry projects is also eyeing the regional market.
“After having realised the high demand for goat meat and poultry products in the country and beyond, I was motivated to start these projects. I now have hundreds of goats and the dream is to grow big and supply both the domestic and regional markets,” said Nyakuedzwa.
The steady growth of the agriculture sector is expected to ensure Zimbabwe retains its breadbasket status in the region.