Govt to scrap hor­ti­cul­ture ex­port per­mits

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

How­ever, the coun­try has re­alised only about $54m from ex­ports of hor­ti­cul­tural pro­duce in 2015 alone, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa said.

While last year’s fig­ure was up from $49 mil­lion recorded in 2014, the earn­ings are minute when com­pared to $1.2 bil­lion an­nual ex­port earn­ings for Kenya, for in­stance.

“In or­der to fur­ther pro­mote hor­ti­cul­tural pro­duc­tion and ex­ports, Gov­ern­ment is work­ing with iden­ti­fied part­ners, in­clud­ing those from Europe and China in sup­port­ing small-scale farm­ers,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa while pre­sent­ing his mid-term fis­cal pol­icy re­view state­ment last Thurs­day.

“Fur­ther sup­port will in­clude in­cen­tives tar­get­ing crops such as flow­ers, fruits, cof­fee, tea and other crops that have quick turn-around.

“Ex­port re­stric­tions in the form of per­mits will be re­moved as part of the ease of do­ing busi­ness.”

As part of mea­sures to im­prove agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity, the min­is­ter said con­certed ef­forts would be di­rected to­wards tar­geted sup­port for re­search, train­ing and ex­ten­sion ser­vices, largely through ca­pac­i­tat­ing ex­ten­sion, train­ing and re­search in­sti­tu­tions.

Zim­babwe is still a long way off from mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant strides into the EU mar­ket, whose to­tal 2015 im­ports from around the world amounted to a stag­ger­ing $59,39 bil­lion.

By com­par­i­son Zim­babwe’s hor­ti­cul­tural ex­ports to the EU last year amounted to a mere 0,10 per­cent of the re­gional bloc’s over­all hor­ti­cul­tural im­ports mar­ket. Zim­babwe’s sig­nif­i­cant mar­kets for hor­ti­cul­tural prod­ucts in the EU in 2015 were the Nether­lands, United King­dom and Ger­many.

Other key mar­kets in­clude France, Por­tu­gal and Spain. Sur­vey sta­tis­tics in­di­cate that Nether­lands, the United King­dom, Ger­many, France, Por­tu­gal and Spain have gen­er­ally main­tained the trend of be­ing the top tak­ers of Zim­babwe’s hor­ti­cul­tural prod­ucts be­tween 2012 and 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to the Hor­ti­cul­tural Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil of Zim­babwe (HPCZ), the main ex­port crops in­clude tem­per­ate fruits (ap­ple, pear, peach, plum, apri­cot, nec­tarine and grape); trop­i­cal fruits and veg­eta­bles (baby corn, but­ter­nut, cit­rus, chilli, gem squash, kiwi, ly­chee, mango, pas­sion fruit, pineap­ple and tamar­illo); out of sea­son fruit and veg­eta­bles (as­para­gus, baby car­rots, fine beans, cherry toma­toes, cour­gettes, mange tout peas, melon, straw­ber­ries and sweet corn), and flow­ers (protea, roses, chrysan­the­mum, li­a­tris, aster, ch­e­lone, eu­phor­bia, tra­che­lium, ammi ma­jus, stat­ice and del­phinium). — @Pros­perNdlovu

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