21/01/2022 | Zimbabwe

Chinese green light for Zimbabwe citrus

China and Zimbabwe have signed a phytosanitary protocol on citrus fruits. This authorisation to export to the Chinese market will enable Zimbabwe to reduce its dependence on its traditional markets (Europe, South Africa). 
The phytosanitary protocol on fresh citrus fruits was signed by a representative of the Chinese General Administration of Customs and by Minister Ni Yuefeng and Anxious Masuka, Minister of Agriculture. 
Zimbabwe can now export several varieties of fresh citrus fruits to China including oranges (Citrus sinensis), mandarins (Citrus reticulata), grapefruits (Citrus paradisi), lemons (Citrus limon and Citrus aurantifolia) and bitter oranges (Citrus aurantium).
Negotiations between the 2 countries started in 2015 when Zimbabwe was looking for a new market. Then Chinese experts came to Zimbabwe to inspect citrus fields, to check for pests and to check packaging. Negotiations continued on plant biosafety and have now been concluded with the signing of the protocol.  
As part of the protocol, China will also provide technical assistance to improve the country's capacity in monitoring and surveillance of citrus groves for pests and diseases. 
In 2019 Zimbabwe exported 49,358 tonnes of citrus fruits (Valencia oranges, Navel oranges, lemons, mandarins, grapefruits), with European markets receiving 80% of this volume. 
source : allafrica.com, newsday.co.zw, tradezimbabwe.com
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