ZimTrade is engaging the Europe-Africa Caribbean Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) with a view to assist local horticultural companies to penetrate the European Union markets.

The engagement of the Europe-Africa Caribbean Pacific Liaison Committee comes at a time when government is pushing for productivity within farms with more emphasis being directed towards growing exports with horticulture being one of the targeted sectors.

In an interview on the sidelines of the workshop, COLEACP regional coordinator Ms Yessie Meyer said local firms have a huge potential considering the climate, adding that the European market requires high quality products which are critical for boosting the country’s export earnings.

Your Business Expansion (YBE) partner Mr Bert Van Den Bos said it is critical to have such engagements for market intelligence.

ZimTrade chief executive officer Ms Stembile Pilime said the horticultural sector requires intervention in a number of areas to enhance its competitiveness and such engagements are of paramount importance as they assist the growth of enterprises in the horticultural sector by strengthening the value-chain through capacity building.

Zimbabwe’s horticultural produce has export growth potential in both regional and international markets.

Horticultural exports reached a peak in 2000 with exports of US$143 million which was about 10 percent of total exports.

However, horticultural exports have shown a steady increase from US$71 million in 2012 to US$96 million in 2015, though last year it took a knock to US$83 million.