By Alois Vinga
NATIONAL export development and promotion agency, ZimTrade has urged local farmers to tap into the growing potential of organic produce markets which has been given a new lease of life by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The trade agency said the current talk of drinking green tea and steaming responses to coronavirus reflected changing behaviours that are impacting on consumer patterns which are trending globally.
“Local exporters, particularly in the food industry, who wish to remain relevant in export markets must ensure their products offer health-benefits in the most convenient packaging possible.
“A report by the Netherlands-based Centre for Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) shows that European consumers are looking into consuming more fruits and vegetables in different forms,” ZimTrade said in a statement Sunday.
The agency noted that prices of healthy produce were also projected to go up, signalling better earnings for exporters who produce more.
Grand View Research estimated that the market size of healthy foods sometimes referred to as superfoods in 2018 was $137 billion and projected a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of five percent for the 2019-2025 period.
Available data adds weight to this projection as world trade in most superfoods has been on an upward trend over the past few years.
“For example, the global trade value of avocados doubled between 2015-2019 from around US$3.86 billion to around US$7.27 respectively, according to Trade Map. During the same time, world trade in ginger also grew from US$853 million in 2015 to US$1.05 billion in 2019, representing a 23.4 percent increase,” said ZimTrade.
The agency revealed that total global imports of garlic also grew by US$367 million in 2019.
US$2.1 billion was recorded the previous year to US$2.48 billion, pointing to a growing demand of health based foods driven by current medical challenges brought by cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other ailments that boost immunity.
Zimbabwe is a producer of various fruits such as pineapples, bananas, stone fruits, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts and these can be processed by drying or into puree for export purposes.
“Producers in Zimbabwe eyeing the international market, need to appreciate the demands by consumers and invest in value addition as well, as it not only earns them more money, but comes with innovations that consumers are looking for,” added ZimTrade.