Farm­ers in Chi­nese mar­ket break­through

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Sun­day Mail Re­porter

ZIM­BAB­WEAN farm­ers will from next year have greater ac­cess to the huge Chi­nese mar­ket in what is be­ing hailed as a land­mark de­vel­op­ment in the post-Fast Track Land Re­form era.

This fol­lows a visit to Zim­babwe by Chi­nese agri­cul­tural ex­perts in Au­gust to con­duct mar­ket re­search for cit­rus fruits and other or­ganic pro­duce.

At a re­cep­tion to mark the 68th An­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China last week, Bei­jing’s chief diplo­mat to Harare, Am­bas­sador Huang Ping, said there was a huge mar­ket in the Asian pow­er­house for Zim­babwe’s pro­duce.

“Last month, a team of agri­cul­tural ex­perts from China vis­ited Zim­babwe to con­duct re­search on ex­port­ing cit­rus to China.

“If ev­ery­thing goes smoothly, we will see Zim­bab­wean cit­rus on the Chi­nese mar­ket next year.

“We are confident that in the fu­ture, more or­ganic and fresh Zim­bab­wean agri­cul­tural pro­duce will be ex­ported to China, more Chi­nese com­pa­nies will in­vest in the agri­cul­tural area and our agri­cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion will pro­duce more fruit­ful re­sults.

“China has huge de­mand for or­ganic agri­cul­tural food. For ex­am­ple, the avo­ca­dos ex­ported from Mex­ico to China sell at up to US$2 each in Chi­nese mar­ket.

“Road­run­ners are priced at US$25 each in China.

“In short words, what Zim­babwe has is ex­actly what we need in China, and the price mar­gin is un­be­liev­able.”

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe as­sisted in se­cur­ing agri­cul­tural mar­kets dur­ing his visit to China in Jan­uary this year.

Zim­babwe is also ex­plor­ing Chi­nese mar­kets for agri­cul­ture prod­ucts such as hor­ti­cul­ture, beef, poul­try and stock feeds.

Am­bas­sador Ping said re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries were marked by suc­cess sto­ries like “the Kariba South Hy­dropower Sta­tion Ex­pan­sion, the TelOne com­mu­ni­ca­tion project and the Netone project”.

“And more projects, such as the Hwange Power Sta­tion Ex­pan­sion, Harare in­ter­na­tional air­port ex­pan­sion, which has been re­named to Robert Gabriel Mu­gabe Air­port, are in the pipe­line.

“All of these projects will lay a solid foun­da­tion for Zim­babwe’s econ­omy to take off and we are ex­pect­ing more projects fi­nanced, con­tracted and in­vested by the Chi­nese side,” he added.

Am­bas­sador Ping sug­gested there was need for greater mar­ket­ing of Zim­babwe in China.

“Frankly speak­ing, Chi­nese peo­ple know very lit­tle about Zim­babwe and back in China I found that most of the on­line news and ar­ti­cles about Zim­babwe are out­dated and even mis­taken.

“In 2016, the num­ber of Chi­nese out­bound tourists reached 135 mil­lion, while few are com­ing to Zim­babwe.”

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