Zimbabwe’s Horticulture Sector Set to Boom with UAE Investment

Dubai-based firm to invest in production and export of fresh products

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe’s horticulture sector is poised for a major boost as a Dubai-based firm plans to invest in the production and export of fresh fruits and vegetables. The firm, Ali Gholami Vegetables and Fruits LLC, is a leading supplier of a wide variety of fresh products for the Gulf region.

The firm’s representatives met with Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga yesterday to discuss their investment plans, which are expected to result in a substantial increase in horticulture exports. The firm has already visited several farms and is ready to sign an agreement and start the investment.

The investment results from the horticulture cooperation agreement between Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates, signed in 2021 during VP Chiwenga’s visit to the Expo 2020 Dubai. The agreement aims to promote trade and investment in the horticulture sector, contributing about 6.5 percent to total agricultural output and 0.7 percent of Zimbabwe’s total gross domestic product.

According to ZimTrade, Zimbabwe’s horticulture exports 2021 grew by 6.8 percent to US$64.6 million from US$59.5 million recorded in 2020. The main export products were macadamia nuts, citrus, vegetables, and flowers. The main export markets were South Africa, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates.

VP Chiwenga said the firm’s investment was a welcome development to help Zimbabwe reclaim its position as a top horticultural exporter in the region. He said the government was committed to creating a conducive environment for investors and supporting the growth and transformation of the horticulture sector.

Ali Gholami Vegetables and Fruits LLC chief executive Mr Javed Gholami said Zimbabwe had a huge potential in horticulture, and they were looking forward to working with local farmers and stakeholders. He said they would hire a lot of specialists and employ a lot of people. He said they would target the export market worldwide, especially the Gulf region, where there was a high demand for fresh products.

Zimbabwe’s horticulture sector has been recovering from the effects of the land reform program, which disrupted the large-scale commercial operations that used to dominate the industry. However, with the emergence of new players, including indigenous farmers and foreign investors, the sector is showing signs of resilience and innovation.

Zimbabwe has a comparative advantage in horticulture due to its favorable climate, soil, and water resources. The sector also offers opportunities for value addition, employment creation, income generation, and foreign currency earnings. With the right support and investments, the sector can play a key role in the economic development and food security of the country.

Source: The Herald 


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