Export promotion body, ZimTrade, has established 20 businesses in some rural parts of the country over the past year which are already exporting to various destinations across the globe, an official has said.
Chief executive officer, Allan Majuru, said this while addressing delegates attending the exporters’ conference in the capital last Thursday.
He said areas where the businesses have been set up include Rushinga and Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central, Chimanimani in Manicaland, Beitbridge in Matabeleland South, and Mudzi in Mashonaland East province, and they are exporting to the Netherlands and Dubai.
Majuru said they are also planning to work with local universities to venture into export businesses through their industrial hubs.
“As we speak, Chinhoyi University has managed to clinch a deal to export watermelons to Dubai,” he said, adding they are starting with five hectares which will increase to fifty over time.
He said the deal has already been signed and was left with pushing the product starting in December this year.
“The same applies with the Midlands State University (MSU), where citrus products are going to be landing in Dubai next year and the logistics have already been sorted out,” Majuru said.
The Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) has also embarked on a project to process baobab powder for women-led entrepreneurs in Mudzi where construction of the building is being finalised with assistance from development partners.
Majuru said exports of baobab oil and baobab powder will commence to Germany next year from the business venture.
He said the country’s exports of manufactured goods rose by 20 percent in August this year, surpassing the target set in the National Export Strategy to grow by 10 percent.
“We would like to thank our exporters who have remained resilient and supported our vision to make sure that by 2030 we become an upper middle-income economy,” he said.
Zimtrade has also intensified its efforts to connect local exporters and buyers in the region and beyond, recently conducting surveys in Qatar, Nigeria and Senegal as part of moves to expand export markets.
A number of meetings have been lined up next year aimed at taping into those markets, explained Majuru. – New Ziana