HARARE – Government says it has put in place initiatives to boost food production and take advantage of international markets as it aims to increase agricultural outputs to US $8.2 billion while growing exports to US$4.2 billion through establishing diplomatic and trade relations.
This was revealed by Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Anxious Masuka, during the United Arab Emirates (UAE)- Zimbabwe Food and Agribusiness Virtual Forum.
Masuka said the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy aims to grow horticulture products.
“We anticipate accelerated exports of tobacco, tea and sugar, among many others. Additionally, we yearn for the export of value-added produce and products,” said Masuka.
He added that the UAE-Zimbabwe food and agribusiness was a timely opportunity to reflect on the accelerated agricultural transformation unfolding in Zimbabwe and the multifarious opportunities it brings to export-facing agricultural enterprises.
He alluded to the need to enhance trade, aspects of competitive pricing, product quality, traceability, and safety.
“To enhance trade, aspects of competitive pricing, product quality, product traceability and product safety have become mandatory considerations, in addition to timely delivery, and consistency in terms of both quantity and quality of produce.
The associated transaction risks require insurance, for which I hope innovative financial institutions will take up to ensure that exports thrive.”
He added that Zimbabwe has substantial comparative advantages and opportunities to transform its agri-food systems. With a uniquely suited agriculturally hospitable and favourable climate.
“Zimbabwe can leverage on the many trade opportunities with UAE to grow its economy, create more jobs, entrench entrepreneurship and sharpen innovation along various agriculture and food value chains.”
Zimbabwe recently created a One Stop Exports Office and is in the process of making e-applications and e-processing possible.
Dubai Chamber of Commerce chairperson, Majid Saif Al Ghurair, said Zimbabwe and UAE have enjoyed trade relations for over a decade.
Ghurair added that the main the focus of the UAE-Zimbabwe food and agribusiness forum was to exchange knowledge forge partnerships between the two nations.
“The main focus of the UAE business community and the interest of the Dubai chamber is to exchange the knowledge and partnership with Zimbabwe and this is also because of the interest shown by the participation of Zimbabwe’s President in our last forum in Dubai which he highlighted the opportunity in Zimbabwe,” said Ghurair.
Trade between UAE and Zimbabwe has increased from US$ 490 million in 2011 to US$ 993 million in 2019.