Zimbabwe and China sign 5,000 tonnes oranges export deal
In a statement, ZimTrade said a four-member delegation led by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Ringson Chitsiko, sealed the deal in December of last year.
"The delegation was pleased by the readiness of Chinese buyers to purchase 45,000 tonnes of Zimbabwean oranges annually.
"The trip followed a visit from Chinese officials who approved the quality of Zimbabwean oranges for the Chinese market and was facilitated by the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe and the China Industrial International Group Zimbabwe (CIIGZ), which supports local businesses to access China's $23 trillion economy.”
According to bulawayo24.com, ZimTrade Matabeleland regional manager Similo Nkala -who was part of the delegation- said the market value of 45,000 tonnes of oranges is in the region of $18 million.
China spent $242 million importing citrus in 2016, a 45% increase from 2012. These figures and the fact that Zimbabwe has different harvesting seasons to China and other potential citrus buyers should prompt the country to develop a deliberate strategy to increase citrus production. ■