Zim horticulture produce gaining increased shelf space in UAE markets

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Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwean horticultural produce, particularly blueberries, are gaining increased shelf space in major retail outlets across the United Arab Emirates, as the country continues to make inroads into the UAE market.
Blueberries, which can be eaten freshly picked or incorporated into a variety of recipes, have been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer, and can also help maintain bone strength, mental health, and healthful blood pressure.
For an increasingly health conscious world, such foods are in huge demand.
As evidence of the growing presence of Zimbabwean produce in major retail outlets in the UAE, the Zimbabwean embassy in the UAE tweeted huge stacks of the produce stacked in shelves in some retails stores.
“Much sought after Zimbabwe blueberries continue to gain shelf space in major retail outlets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, great opportunities to export Zimbabwe agro-produce to the UAE,” the embassy said.
Last month, a major fruit and vegetable company from the UAE, Ali Gholami, said it was keen on importing larger quantities of fresh produce from Zimbabwe.
Ali Gholami import purchase manager, Shihad Aboobacker said they were currently importing about 5 tons of horticulture produce from Zimbabwe.
“We recently started business with Zimbabwe. We did not know there are so many horticultural products in Zimbabwe but now we know there are so many horticultural products in Zimbabwe,” he said following a tour of their factory by Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd) when he visited the UAE in October.
“We started with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and other types of berries and now we would like to do some potatoes, melons and some other products. We just started (importing from Zimbabwe) like two months ago and on a weekly basis we import about five tons only, but it will be increased to more than 10 tons soon.”
Zimbabwe has set sights on exploiting the huge appetite for horticultural produce in the UAE as it seeks to diversify its export basket to the Middle Eastern country.
In 2019, Zimbabwe exported $1.63 billion worth of goods to the UAE which mainly consisted of precious minerals such as gold and diamonds.
Between 1995 and 2019, exports from Zimbabwe to the UAE increased at an annualised rate of 37.4 percent from $795 000 in 1995 to $1.63 billion in 2019.
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