This season in Zimbabwe, there is an overall increase in acreage and production under horticultural crops with the area under emerging crops such as blueberries increasing across the provinces.
This is a good sign, with the national government, through the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) also set to revive horticultural production with a focus on exports, as well as improved household nutrition. Horticulture used to be a major export earner, with regular cargo flights to Europe.
A boost to all this will be given through the Zimbabwe Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan, which is targeted at reconfiguring the horticulture industry driven by the private-sector, but paired with a transformative rural sub-sector under the Presidential Horticulture Scheme to benefit 1,8 million households.
According to the Second Crop and Livestock Assessment report prepared by the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Ministry, there is a general increase in area under plantation with the exception of stone fruits where old varieties are being uprooted to plant new improved varieties with better yield and tastes preferred on the market.
“Productivity among the plantation crops is generally low due to poor management and inferior varieties. There are some emerging crops such a pecan nuts and blueberries that are increasing in area across all provinces,” said the ministry, adding that the current area under blueberries is 285 hectares with an estimated production of 1,140 tons giving a yield of 4 tons per hectare.