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Zimbabwe is the leading exporter of Blueberries in the world, according to a new study

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By Business Insider Africa


ACCORDING to a recent report, Zimbabwe is presently the foremost global exporter of blueberries, outpacing all other nations in growth.

The study by EastFruit highlights a surge in blueberry farming investments in Zimbabwe, with exports rising by 63% annually or 1,200 tonnes over the last five years.

The report outlines that new plantations are primarily established by investors from neighbouring South Africa. These investors often diversify or relocate production to Zimbabwe due to highly favourable climatic conditions, access to high-quality water for irrigation, and cost-effective labour.

Furthermore, there has been an uptick in investments from other countries, contributing to the development of new blueberry plantations in Zimbabwe. As per the report, exports witnessed an 85% growth, amounting to over 5,000 tonnes in 2022.

This propelled the country into the top 15 global blueberry-exporting nations, surpassing Serbia in volume, according to Andrij Yarmak, an economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Ministry UN organisations (FAO).

EastFruit experts anticipate continued growth in blueberry exports from Zimbabwe in 2023, projecting a further 30-40% increase to reach 6.5-7.0 thousand tonnes. Given the elevated price levels for blueberries resulting from a poor harvest in Peru, Zimbabwe stands to gain substantially from blueberry exports in the upcoming season.

A significant portion of Zimbabwe’s blueberries is exported to South Africa, possibly for subsequent re-exports. The country also directly supplies fresh blueberries to the UK, EU, Middle East countries, and Russia.