Farmers in Chinese market breakthrough
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know very little about Zimbabwe and back in China I found that most of the online news and articles about Zimbabwe are outdated and even mistaken.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.”