Zim horticulture exports fall
ZIMBABWE’S horticulture export earnings fell to around US$65 million last year, compared to over $70 million recorded in the same period in 2018 mostly due to drought, latest figures show.
The southern African country experienced one of its worst droughts in two decades, which left over 4,5 million people in need of food aid.
According to the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency, the horticulture sector registered US$57,87 million, between January and October, compared to $63,04 million in the previous period.
The country’s horticultural exports had recorded significant growth in 2018, up from $50,9 million in 2017 driven in part by the supply of produce that Zimbabwe was not previously exporting.
Nuts, according to the statistics, were the sector’s largest export contributors recording $12 million between August and December 2019. In 2018 Zimbabwe exported macadamia nuts worth US$15 million, mainly to South Africa and China.
Although Zimbabwe has over 100 flower growers, the flower sector which used to be the largest foreign currency earner around 2000 registered around US$1,7 million in the period under review.
Netherlands and Germany are some of the largest export markets for Zimbabwe’s horticulture sector.
The statistics show a trend in exports decline in some products while others such as apples, carrots, turnips, beetroot, cabbages, cauliflower, onions, shallots, lettuce, and other vegetables were not exported at all in 2019.
Meanwhile there is also a decline in Zimbabwe’s horticulture import bill.
Apples, pears, quinces, apricots, cherries and flowers which were imported for over US$4 million in 2017 declined to around $500 000 in 2019.
This also contributed to the decline in the country’s trade deficit which narrowed by 81 percent to US$474 million between February and December last year compared to the same period in 2018, mainly due to shortages of foreign currency for imports