Zimbabwe to revive cut flower farming

Zimbabwe is looking to revive the cut flower industry, boosting its potential to earn around $200 million within the next three years, as industry leaders engage with global players.

At its peak in 2001, the industry generated $100 million, firmly placing the country on the global map as a viable cut-flower producer, second to Kenya.

More than a decade of inflationary pressures among other challenges overturned these gains, leading to a drastic fall in production and earnings currently sitting at a paltry figure below $5 million annually.

The script may soon change through an exhibition forum to be hosted in the country next month that will link the sector to global buyers, growers and financiers and setting the tone for a major revival of the beleaguered industry.

Various efforts to resuscitate the horticultural industry have already been outlined through marketing initiatives by ZIMTRADE as well as the 2016 mid-term fiscal policy measure to eliminate export permits in the horticultural sector.

Market linkages through the forthcoming exhibition present another sound opportunity for local growers.

This investment drive marks another milestone in the agricultural sector particularly for small holder farmers, coming a few days after a Swiss-based global coffee producer, Nespresso,  announced that it will be buying 95 five percent of its coffee from Zimbabwe’s smallholder coffee farmers over the next five years in a campaign to boost the country’s output of quality sustainable coffee.