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Diversify markets to increase exports, ZimTrade

Horticulture has a niche market in Europe

Diversify markets to increase exports, ZimTrade

By Edward Mukaro

ZIMBABWE needs to diversify export markets in order to gain traction in the market, a ZimTrade official has said.

The country’s agro-produce has been previously mainstreamed in traditional channels, which have turned out to be the major export destination, due to their stature, in Europe.

Speaking in an interview with this publication, ZimTrade export development manager, Tatenda Marume said: “Over the past years, Zimbabwe’s exports into Europe have been following traditional channels through either the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. These countries have happened to be the major export destinations by virtue of them also being hubs of export in Europe. 

“Previously, Italy has mainly been served through exports that enter through the Netherlands and offered as a basket of goods. However, the need to diversify our destination markets has open new horizons into non-traditional markets such as Italy.

“The need to diversify our destination markets has open new horizons into non-traditional markets such as Italy,” he said.

Marume added that ZimTrade’s participation at Macfrut is testament to the trade body’s desire to increase direct exports to Italy.

“We will continue to engage Italian buyers on a B2B basis as a means of gaining traction in that market. We will also be working closely with our foreign mission in Rome as part of their economic diplomacy drive to open new avenues for our exporters.

“Being part of EU, Italy is a signatory to the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union countries which allows us to export goods duty and quota-free,” he said.

ZimTrade constantly advises companies of the benefits of the EPA through training, seminars, among other platforms.

Macfrut is one of the leading fresh fruit and vegetable shows in Europe, which attracts a wide variety and good mix of visitors, including small and medium scale buyers, which works well for local farmers.

Visitors were coming from different submarkets, which also included Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and other countries such as Spain, Germany, and France.

Macfrut also highlighted the resurgence of the Italian and European horticultural markets after the COVID- 19 induced challenges. 

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