Chinhoyi University Targets Major Rock Melon Exports to Dubai

CUT Aims to Deliver 30 Tonnes of Rock Melon to UAE, Expanding Agricultural Export Initiatives

by Adenike Adeodun

Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), a dynamic hub of agricultural innovation in Zimbabwe, is set to significantly impact the international market. The university has its sights set on exporting a substantial 25 to 30 tonnes of rock melon to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, within this year. This ambitious goal follows the successful export of eight tonnes to Dubai, facilitated by ZimTrade under the national trade development and promotion cluster program.

Oswel Ushe, the general manager of CUT Farm, shared insights during a farm tour, highlighting the university’s commitment to embracing innovative agriculture. The upcoming planting cycle in February aims to optimize production before the onset of frost periods. CUT’s agricultural endeavors have already seen success, with plans to expand and diversify their market reach.

This year, CUT is aiming to implement a 10-interval planting cycle, adjusting the frequency based on market demand. The focus on staggered planting ensures a continuous supply throughout the year, barring the frosty months of May and June. The university is poised to cater to growing demands, with potential buyers expressing interest in larger quantities.

The project, which initially started with an investment of around US$50,000 per hectare, has been entirely funded by the university, with significant support from the government for other initiatives. CUT plans to establish a robust cold chain system to preserve the produce and minimize post-harvest losses.

Fungai Chatiza, a senior lecturer at CUT, emphasized the importance of infrastructure such as cold rooms to maintain the quality of exports. Another key aspect of CUT’s strategy is the development of an export hub to guide other farmers in successful exporting practices.

According to a report by Newsday, Robert Masundire, also a senior lecturer, credited ZimTrade for their pivotal role in acquiring the seeds necessary for the rock melon project. The university’s commitment to sustainability extends to recycling organic waste for animal feed, exemplifying its dedication to environmentally friendly practices.

With these comprehensive strategies, CUT is not only enhancing its agricultural expertise but also contributing significantly to Zimbabwe’s presence in the global market.

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