By Talent Katsande
Harare British Embassy, Market Access and Trade Policy Officer, David Gate has said horticulture is a top priority for the Zimbabwean government because it has numerous upstream and downstream benefits for the as a whole as it boost agriculture productivity in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the UK Trade Partinership Programme ( UKTP) on Thursday, in the capital, Gate said the government is seeking to revive the sector, encourage expansion, create jobs, enhance export competitiveness and to generate foreign currency, which will avert poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
He said UKTP is working with the horticultural sector in Zimbabwe because of its high potential for employment creation and export generation. The sector produces a wide range of crops including vegetables, fruits and flowers.
“In Zimbabwe International Trade Center (ITC) will work with the horticultural sector due to its potential for employment creation and export generation.
” High potential crops selected for the programme include mange tout peas, sugar snap peas, blueberries, Chilli, baby corn, tomatoes, paprika and avocados.
“Some of the crops include vegetables for export and domestic sales and fruits for export and local markets and flowers”, Gate explained.
He added that the outcome of the UKTP programme will be increased trade between Zimbabwe and the UK/EU and this will achieve activated market opportunities and a more transparent business environment for exports.
The Market Access and Trade Policy Officer highlighted that the outcome of the UKTP programme will be increased between Zimbabwe and the UK/EU and this will be achieved by activated market opportunities and increased capacity to export to the UK/EU market.
Speaking on the same occasion, ITC Executive director, Pamela Coke Hamilton, said the UKTP Programme assists farmers and producers suffering from trade disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by unlocking the potential of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Hamilton said the International Trade Centre, through UKTP is working to help build the country’s resilience to shocks such as this one.
“We’re proud to support Zimbabwean businesses to boost exports and create jobs through the UK Trade Partnerships Programme that was launched today will boost Zimbabwe’s horticultural sector, and for smallholder farmers who are being linked to global markets.
“Together with our partners, our efforts will help raise employment and increase incomes through value-addition, high quality products and strong market linkages.
“The unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown measures have resulted in supply-side disruptions and a decline in demand across all value chains in the Zimbabwean economy. Women and youth owned enterprises have been hit the hardest”, said Hamilton.