Zim Horticulture set for a rebound

by | Dec 15, 2021 | Business, Local News | 0 comments


Brian Rungano Temba


Zimbabwe’s return to its former glory of being the food basket of Southern Africa is likely to materialize through the recently approved Horticulture Recovery Growth Plan (HRGP).


Government of Zimbabwe has through the National Budget of 2022 reserved USD $30 million towards a revolving horticulture export fund.


Farmers around Zimbabwe have applauded this move by government saying it will breath new life into a sector that has struggled for funding over the years.


Horticulture is one of the low hanging fruits within the Agriculture value chain with some products being ready for export in a matter of 3 months.


It is expected that the policy will create the much needed financial cushion in horticulture as it is a capital intensive endeavour

The facility will help evade blackballing in international trade as sanctions have been having an adverse effect on the establishment of markets for beginners.


Speaking to the press on the impact of the HRGP fund, Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) Executive Director Mr Paul Zakariya said that the Horticulture Revolving Fund was a great initiative by the Second Republic.


” We already have the best climate for fruit and vegetable production in the region and our blueberries and peas can be harvested and hit the market earlier than most producers in the region”.


“With this added advantage the access to appropriate and patient funding will enable local farmers to increase production and satisfy market demand,” said Mr Zakariya.


Mr Zakariya explained that the agriculture industry is very capital intensive and growth is only possible with targeted funding.


“We however need to ensure that we have disciplined farmers to ensure that the revolving fund is accessed by many farmers,” he added.


ZFU has been engaging Urban farmers to partake in Horticulture as a business and to utilise the many markets that have been opened by government and parastatals.


The recent influx of young farmers has seen more youths showing interest in partaking in agriculture profitably.


Some of the most popular like Terrence (Machiavelli) Maphosa have branched into fowl rearing. However research has proven that it is most profitable to turn one’s farm into a self sufficient ecosystem where the discharge from chicken runs and fish ponds can be used as organic manure in Horticulture gardens. In return the refuse from the gardens is food for pigs and cattle.


In 1999 Zimbabwe was exporting12 151 tonnes of horticulture produce while in 2004 it increased by 43 percent to 17 417 tonnes of horticulture produce in exports.


By then Horticulture accounted for 19 percent of the total exports by volume and 26 percent in value.

And it is growing by an approximated 17.5 percent annually.


Production and exports are expected to double with the additional water reserves established through the Second Republic’s dam construction projects under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

Such dams as Machekeranwa, Gwayi-Shangani, Tugwi-Mukosi, Sengwa and Marowanyati are ready to support horticulture projects countrywide.


All year round Horticulture will be possible in areas that were traditionally known to be dry such as Mwenezi, Chivi and Chiredzi.


Among the export destinations of Zimbabwean Horticulture products is the United Kingdom which boasts the highest importer of Zimbabwean fruit and vegetables.


The UK consumes up to 63 per cent of Zimbabwe’s total horticulture exports while the Netherlands and Germany claim 15 and 4 per cent respectively.