CUT walks the Education 5,0 talk with Dubai rock melon exports

THE Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) has taken Government’s Education 5, 0 model to a higher level after successfully exporting rock melons to Dubai under the national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade’s cluster programme.

Education 5,0 is an innovative five-mission model of teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation, established to move the nation forward towards an innovation-led and knowledge-driven economy. It speaks to utilisation of local resources for social and economic development.

A recent ZimTrade X post (formerly twitter) said: “Exciting news! Happy to see the first export of rock melon to Dubai by CUT, one of the beneficiaries under the ZimTrade cluster programme. This supports export diversification and education 5,0 that will establish avocado export markets for the growers. If in Dubai, look out for the top-quality and tasty rock melon from Chinhoyi.”

CUT general farm manager Mr Oswel Ushe said they managed to export 60 tonnes of rock melon to Dubai in different batches by air or sea.

“We managed to export 60 tonnes of rock melon to Dubai worth about US$120 000. The product can be produced all year round with the exception of frost months of May and June,” he said.

Mr Ushe said ZimTrade assisted CUT with link to the market and export documentation under their cluster programme. “We have chances to increase exports as long as we abide by the good agronomic practices (GAP) and global GAP certification.

“We have seen that it is possible to do it and there is no reason why we can stop the exports seeing that the highly nutritious rock melon is well sought after there,” he said.

CUT undertook their rock melon exports in batches and used air and sea transport. The expensive air transport model was used for products whose expiry date was short while the ship mode of transportation that took about 21 days was used for those whose expiry date was not immediate.

Lack of adequate space in cargo planes also meant the products were transported at different times and using different planes.

CUT produces their rock melon, also called cantaloupe, on the college farm, which has Global GAP certified infrastructure.

According to information sourced on the internet, cantaloupe is a type of true melon (Cucumis melo) from the family Cucurbitaceae. Originally, it referred only to the non-netted, orange-fleshed melons of Europe, but today may refer to any orange-fleshed melon of the C melo species, including the netted muskmelon which is called cantaloupe in North America, rock melon in Australia and New Zealand, and spanspek in Southern Africa. Cantaloupes range in mass from 0, 5 to 5k9.

Cantaloupe melon has many health benefits, including being rich in water, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that could benefit a person’s overall health and help improve certain conditions.


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