Cabinet approves major horticulture fund

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Business | 0 comments


Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa

Government has set up a US$30 million horticulture project meant to enhance production of fresh produce in Zimbabwe.

The Horticulture Export Revolving Fund is being set up in order to support export-oriented horticultural production companies with their foreign currency requirements.

Addressing media at yesterday`s Post Cabinet brief, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government is using part of the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finance the fund.

“In the agriculture productive sector, priority has been placed on horticulture and irrigation development. Treasury has, therefore, engaged stakeholders in the horticulture export sector on the modalities for the establishment of the Horticulture Export Revolving Fund, in line with the Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Horticulture is one of the key sub-sectors of the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe, with substantial potential of successful production across all agro-ecological regions. Zimbabwe was among the top three horticulture producers in the world after the Netherlands and Equador up to 2002.

The Second Republic intends, through the Revolving Fund, to restore Zimbabwe’s former glory.


“Currently, the industry contributes US$77 million to the country’s export revenue and employs about 18 700 people. Horticulture is a major foreign currency earner and is projected to contribute US$300 million annually in export earnings by 2030.

To attain and sustain this level of growth, the Horticulture Export Revolving Fund will address the major challenge of unavailability and lack of access to appropriately structured financing for short to long-term expenditures,” added Minister Mutsvangwa.

The Fund is also meant to close the funding gap in the value addition and beneficiation of fresh produce.

Value addition increases return on investment by offering a diversified group of off-takers for horticultural farmers, even for lower grade produce.

Another key highlight under the Fund is the establishment of value-addition facilities close to production bases in order to unlock the country’s horticultural smallholder potential

The facility will be accessed through the normal banking channels, with applicants or intended beneficiaries submitting their requests to participating banks with the requisite information.

Government and the participating banks will monitor and evaluate the use of resources advanced to borrowers.


To ensure viability of the facility, a Multi-Sector Coordination Committee has been set up to undertake periodical reviews of the performance of the Fund in terms of amount paid out, number of beneficiaries and non-performing loans.

The Committee shall also periodically assess how the deployment of resources through spot visits to beneficiaries and review beneficiary export firms for programme monitoring and evaluation.

The Second Republic’s current engagement and re-engagement efforts has seen markets for horticulture which had closed begin to open up. The Fund will ensure the capacitation of ZimTrade and the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) to enable them to open up verifiable markets for horticultural farmers.

As stipulated in the National Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan, the Fund will be used to develop the Hub and Spoke model to create markets for surrounding communities and also bring in a number of services in rural areas.

Beyond production, the Fund also makes provisions for logistics and cold chain facilities, a move which will lower post-harvest losses and facilitate market access. Mentorship programmes will also receive support under the Fund.