Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
A Gweru-based farmer has secured a lucrative market for horticultural products in Germany.
Mr Tatenda Karimazondo recently attended the Fruit Logistica in Berlin where he says he secured orders of $800 000 of passion fruit and peas to be delivered in July this year.
The Berlin Fruit Logistica fresh produce trade show is held annually in Germany to provide a platform for farmers to showcase their products and clinch business deals.
Mr Karimazondo said he has put 20 hectares under peas and another 20 hectares under granadilla.
He said: “I am hoping to export this coming season and I am focused primarily on peas and passion fruit. I sealed some deals when I attended the Berlin Fruit Logistica.
“We have put about 20 hectares of peas and if we manage to get the prices that we negotiated, if we manage issues of quality then we are looking at $400 000 and we also have passion fruit specifically granadilla and if it works out then we are talking of another $400 000,” added Mr Karimazondo.
He said there was a need for local horticultural farmers to revive associations, which represented their interests and take advantage of such international exhibitions to market their produce.
“The horticulture industry alone has the capacity of turning around the economy if what I saw in Germany is anything to go by. There are countries such as Egypt, which had a strong presence in Berlin where they clinched multibillion dollar deals,” said Mr Karimazondo.
“There is now need to organise ourselves as horticultural farmers and form associations and take advantage of these international exhibitions where we can market our products.”
Egypt realises $2,5 billion through the export of horticulture products. There has been an increased European demand for frozen fruit and vegetables with the main driver being the rising demand for healthy convenience foods.
Germany, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom are the largest importers in terms of value of horticultural products especially from non-European countries.