China approves Zim fresh citrus exporters

Dr John Bhasera

The General Administration of Customs of China has released a list of registered Zimbabwean orchards and packhouses for fresh citrus exports to China.

This is a major boost to trade relations between Zimbabwe and China, which has become the country’s largest foreign direct investment source.

The Government of Zimbabwe and China finalised the citrus trade protocol last year that is meant to facilitate exports of citrus products to the Asian country in order to broaden market scope for Zimbabwe.

This was in fulfilment of the process that was initiated in 2015 when the country sought a market for Shashi irrigation scheme smallholder citrus growers.

In an announcement on its official Twitter handle, the Chinese Embassy in Harare released the list of organisations that have been approved to export fresh citrus products.

The fresh citrus products to be exported to China from Zimbabwe include sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), lemon (Citrus limon and Citrus aurantifolia) and sour orange (Citrus aurantium).

“On June 1, 2023, the General Administration of Customs of China released the list of registered Zimbabwean orchards and packhouses for citrus exporting to China.

“Zimbabwean fresh citrus can now be exported to China, which is the largest market of citrus consumption in the world,” announced the Chinese Embassy.

The approved citrus orchards include Bishopstone Estates, BK Cawood P/L, Nottingham Estate P/L and Luhawde P/L from Beitbridge as well as Barry Warwick PVT Ltd, Broadbridge Investments T/A Mazowe Citrus Estate and Forester Estates from Mazowe.

The other citrus orchards are Harleyton Farm/GMR Eastwood, Roslin Farm/Verdun Services from Beatrice, Home Produce PVT Ltd (Makoni) and Corleinor Pvt Ltd (Zvimba).

Approved citrus packhouses are Bishopstone Estates, BK Cawood P/L, Nottingham Estates P/L all from Matabeleland South, Postwood Investment, Broadbridge Investments t/a Mazoe Citrus Estates (Mashonaland Central) and lastly Mashonaland West’s Corleinor P/L.

The Chinese Embassy said that orchards and packhouses that want to export citrus to China must be registered by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement and approved by both the Ministry and China Customs(GACC).

“The registration record must be forwarded by MLAWCRR to GACC for approval prior to the export season.”

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary Dr John Basera said that the release of the list of citrus orchards and packhouses by the GACC marks the successful conclusion of preparations to export into the Chinese Market by Zimbabwean growers.

“Now that the compliance issues have been achieved, all registered growers are eligible to export to China subject to pre-shipment inspections by inspectors from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development,” he said.

“My ministry will provide support to ensure that the long-awaited citrus exports are achieved in line with engagements being done by the Second Republic that have led to the widening of market access to include China.”

Dr Basera also revealed that his Ministry is now working on further export protocols with China on blue berries, avocadoes and chillies.

The country last year exported 57 283 tonnes of citrus produce to Singapore, UAE, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, UK and Zambia.


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