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Zim farmers open new exports frontier

Agriculture
Dubai International Chamber (DIC)

ZIMBABWEAN farmers are set to increase their exports to Dubai and the rest of United Arab Emirates following strengthened support from Dubai International Chamber (DIC) and ZimTrade, NewsDay Farming has learnt.

The farmers, according to ZimTrade, the body which promotes export trade, are hoping engagements with the DIC will make it easy to land their products into the Middle East economy. According to Edwin Moyo, chairperson of Nhimbe Fresh Exports, which is exporting blueberries to Dubai, there were also ongoing engagements with DIC to increase the visibility of Zimbabwean products on that market.

“We want to make sure we are in that market longer and we understand the distribution channels so that whatever we grow is targeted towards Dubai,” he said.

Moyo said the firm had been supplying other international markets such as Europe.

He said he was confident that Dubai would provide more returns as a market, while it will also serve as a gateway to the rest of the Middle East.

Nhimbe, whose operations are based on three farms 70 kilometres east of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, is emerging as a premier exporter of prepared and premium fruits and vegetables.

Produce from its operations include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and peas, according to the ZimTrade newsletter.

In August last year, ZimTrade facilitated a visit by DIC to farms operated by Nhimbe. Discussions at the time focused on quality and other expectations of the Dubai market.

The chamber’s four representative offices in Africa — strategically located in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Kenya and Ghana — play an active role in assisting African companies with their entry into the Dubai market. It also identifies business opportunities across the continent that Dubai-based companies can capitalise on.

During last year’s visit, officials from DIC toured Nhimbe’s packhouse, blueberry plantations and a solar plant. It was during the engagements that the team confirmed the top quality of Zimbabwean products.

“The market in Dubai is big, they love Zimbabwean products. They have been buying from South Africa, Kenya and so on. But whatever product they get from Zimbabwe has good taste. So, they are looking for Zimbabwean products,” Moyo said.

Moyo said after tasting the strawberries from Nhimbe DIC officials liked them.

They undertook to assist in developing the product.  The newsletter said after the success on the export market, Nhimbe had continued to receive enquiries from buyers. It said Moyo was considering growing other products such as butternuts and garlic for the Dubai market.

“Now we are looking at big numbers — 5 000 tonnes of garlic and butternut, we are looking at a bigger programme where we are bringing other people like out growers who will grow for us so that we will be able to satisfy this market,” Moyo said.

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