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Citrus exports rakes in US$33,8 million

Citrus exports rakes in US$33,8 million

Sikhulekelani Moyo,

Zimbabwe’s citrus exports raked in US$33,8 million in 2022 with fresh or dried oranges singled out as the main contributors to exports receipts, the Competition Tariff s Commission (CTC) has said.

In its latest newsletter, CTC said the country’s citrus exports have been increasing over the past eight years with the highest export value of US$33, 781 million recorded last year.

“In 2021, citrus fruit production in Zimbabwe was 138,264 metric tons (MT) and has been growing at an average annual rate of 2,89 percent, according to the World Bank. It exported 57,283 MT of citrus produce to the UK, Singapore, UAE, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and Zambia,” said CTC.

Zimbabwe and China entered into a Citrus Export Agreement (CEA) , a development that CTC said will open new opportunities  to boost  agricultural trade.

Eleven citrus orchards and six citrus pack houses from Zimbabwe were selected to be part of the citrus exporters to China.

Fresh citrus products to be exported include sweet orange (citrus sinensis), mandarin orange (citrus reticulata ), grapefruit (citrus paradisi), lemon (citrus limon and citrus aurantifolia), and sour orange (citrus aurantium).

The commission said the agreement will bring increased demand for agricultu ral produce and improvement in the balance of trade as well as the transf ormation of the farming industry and gaining new markets.

China ‘s import of Zimbabwean citrus produce will increase citrus exports compared to 2022. The CEA facilitates citrus exporters’ access to a bigger market and market diversification opportunity reducing dependence on local markets,” they said.

Given that farmers are complying with General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) standards, this means investment into machinery and processes to ensure that products meet standards. Improvements in local farms and orchards transform the farming industry through innovations and adoption of new technologies.”

According to Trade Map, China imported citrus fruits worth US$594 million in 2019 alone.

China’s orange production has slightly increased over the past three years from 2018/19 to 2020/21, from 7 200 000 MT to 7 500 000 MT, while consumption increased from

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