Latest reports from the International Trade Centre show that, Zimbabwe’s exported value on edible fruits for the year ended 2013 was sitting at $11 million while trade balance for the year was at $1,5 million.
Exported value for flowers, live trees and others was at $573 000 while trade balance was negative at -$574 000.
Exported growth value for edible vegetables between 2012 and 2013 was sitting at 27 percent. Horticulture accounted for 15 percent of formal employment in commercial agriculture and 1,5 million small-scale farmers were involved in horticulture production by 2004, in addition to numerous upstream and downstream benefits accrued from industry service providers.
Making a presentation at a conference in Harare recently, Horticultural producer Mr Stanley Heri said the extent to which the growth can be sustained in the medium to long term depends on increased production from the small scale and A2 resettled farmers, the identification of new markets, improved marketing channels and the alleviation of constraints facing the industry.
In the agriculture sector, horticulture was the second largest foreign exchange earner after tobacco and accounted for approximately 4,5 per cent gross domestic product during the 1999/98 season when it reached its peak. The growth potential of the horticulture sector was demonstrated during the 1992/93 season when exports generated $38 million despite the effects of the most severe drought in living memory.
This was achieved because most horticultural production systems tend to be land intensive and use water more efficiently while remains strategic in terms of foreign currency earnings.
In 1999/2000 exports, the bulk of cut flowers were destined for Holland (85,65 percent), most of fresh produce for the United Kingdom (62,29 percent), while citrus was destined to France, United Kingdom, Germany, and Holland (78,60 percent).