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Zimbabwe eyes the Chinese market for blueberry exports

Zimbabwe, recognized as a substantial blueberry producer within the southern African region, is exploring opportunities to penetrate the Chinese market, diverging from its traditional export destinations in the European Union and Britain. At a site in Marondera, roughly 80 kilometers east of Harare, the harvesting of blueberries is underway in May, with workers meticulously picking the ripe berries to avoid damaging the fruit.

Edwin Moyo, a local blueberry farmer, is optimistic about establishing a direct trade link with China following the anticipated approval of a trade protocol between the two nations. Moyo, who currently oversees the production of over 100 tonnes of blueberries on a 10-hectare farm with plans for expansion, expressed his ambition to dedicate a future 200-hectare expansion solely for the Chinese market. "China is a growing market, and it will be worthwhile to export directly from the farm to China," Moyo stated in an interview with Xinhua.

While Moyo currently consolidates his produce for sale in South Africa and Europe, he acknowledges the potential of the Chinese market. As the chairman of Nhimbe Fresh Exports, he revealed that there is a concerted effort among local farmers and stakeholders to boost blueberry production in anticipation of entering the Chinese market, albeit acknowledging the need to meet China's stringent accreditation standards.

Clarence Mwale, CEO of Fair-Mark, highlighted Zimbabwe's competitive edge in blueberry production, noting its early harvest period compared to other producers. This strategic advantage is seen as key to Zimbabwe's ambitions to expand its blueberry exports to China.


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