Horticultural producers in Zimbabwe provide some of the best produce on the world market, from flowers and fruit through to vegetables. Between 2015 and 2016, exports from this sector topped $72 million. With renewed market research and development, this sector of the agricultural industry can once more be a key forex earner.
Horticulture is not only a source of employment for many people in Zimbabwe, but feeds into other sectors of industry locally, be it greenhouse, shade cloth, seed, plant, irrigation or chemical providers. It also has a huge ready market, including local and international players.
Export Flower Growers Association of Zimbabwe (EFGAZ) chairman, Gorden Makoni, told ZiMunda Farming that the organisers of Hortiflor saw opportunities opening up again for the revival of this industry. “We know the work that needs to be done and we know we can do it, together. It is with this in mind that organisers have brought together everyone with a stake in this industry, with the common goal of working together and rebuilding horticulture in Zimbabwe,” Makoni said.
Makoni addressed the opening three-day HortiFlor Expo in October. This show, the first of its kind in over 18 years, brought together farmers, growers, breeders, investors and buyers with the singular purpose of increasing horticulture export in Zimbabwe.
“The flower industry is going through remarkable growth, buoyed by the four rising stars – Colombia, Kenya, Ecuador and Ethiopia. The US market is on the upswing, the Russian market is declining but the Netherlands remains the fulcrum of the global flower trade.
“In the late nineties to early 2000, Zimbabwe was only second to Kenya in Africa and third in the world in flower production. This exhibition reminds us that we have work to do – that is to take back our spot which was snatched by Ethiopia.
“Global floral value was estimated at US55 Billion in 2016, and it is our sincere hope in the next five years we will also be part of that 55 billion-dollar
market by contributing our fair share to global Flower trade.
“Zimbabwe has some of the best climate in the world for cut-flower production and horticulture. We need to use this advantage against our competitors as it puts us in good stead. There is an abundance of land here and the government needs to spearhead land utilisation and ensure land suitable for flower production be allocated for such.
“As we focus our efforts on summer cut flowers, it is essential to point out the beauty of our most suitable areas being Goromonzi, Ruwa, Marondera and Eastern Highlands as our own Navasha Region to spearhead a flower industry hub. “We call upon government to lead development by ensuring this beautiful industry is well-funded the way mining is funded; the land tenure issue is stabilised, as currently, we cannot use it as collateral to increase production.
“We need all the value chain linkages to make sure a growth in one has the domino effect on all up- and downstream industries, including, but not limited to marketing, freight forwarding, finance, input suppliers, agro chemicals, greenhouse, packaging, irrigation, refrigerated trucks and cold room facilities,”
Makoni said in conclusion.
Colourful and exciting stands from nearly 50 exhibitors from all over the world displayed what they had to offer. All sectors of the horticultural industry were on hand to offer advice on the latest products and service available; from greenhouses, irrigation suppliers, fertiliser and chemicals dealers, rose
breeders, and freighting and forwarding agents.
Source: Julie Havercroft (Zimunda Farming).
Monday Sept. 16, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m.
Tuesday Sept. 17, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m.
Wednesday Sept. 18, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 04:00 p.m.
The Harare International Conference Centre
1 Pennefather Avenue, Samora Machel West
P.O. Box 625
1000 AP Amsterdam
Mrs. Patricia Peláez