Forex earnings drop

The Mashonaland West Horticulture Promotion Development said foreign currency earnings from horticulture had dropped from $132, 8 million in 1999 to about $86 million per year over the last five years.

Zimbabwe was exporting 15 000 tonnes of vegetables before land reform.
Zimbabwe was exporting 15 000 tonnes of vegetables before land reform.

MWHPD Executive Secretary, Dennis Matthews, said on Monday that the country had the potential to boost foreign currency from horticulture if a proper framework on the management of horticulture farms was put in place.

“There is need for a proper framework governing the management of horticulture farms across the country. We have potential to develop a strong global competitive position,” he said.

The country exported about 6 500 tonnes of vegetables last year, down from 15 000 tonnes in 1999 before the chaotic land reform programme.

Matthews said the agrarian reform programmes implemented by the former Zanu (PF) government had resulted in many small scale farmers venturing into horticulture.

“There is need to create an enabling environment for the new farmers so that they can meaningfully contribute to the growth of the agro sector,” he said, adding, “Adequate funding was key to the revival of the sector.”

Matthews implored the inclusive government to fully capacitate the new farmers with the provision of expertise, funding and training so that they could break into the export market with the support of the private sector and exporters.

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