Zimtrade, a national trade development and promotion organisation in Zimbabwe, has charged farmers to capitalise on the global market by targeting massive exportation.
According to the agency, the global market has expanded to about $2.48 billion from $500 million, in the last two decades.
It said in a statement, “Currently, the interest generated by smallholder farmers, regardless of land size, is an indication that they have potential to contribute more to national exports.
“What is now crucial is identifying crops that are relatively high-value and can be produced by smallholder farmers on a commercial scale Garlic is one of those crops”.
The agency also added that garlic was less complicated in terms of management compared to other high-value crops
It said there was need for the local farmers to take advantage of the global market, considering the growing demands for healthy foods to combat the pandemic and other chronic diseases.
“For local farmers, penetrating regional markets will be easy considering that Zimbabwean climatic conditions are favourable for agricultural produce that is considered to have more quality compared to competitors.
“Apart from exporting garlic as raw bulbs, there are opportunities to value-add and produce products such as garlic powder or mix with salt to produce garlic salt or garlic oil which some of our SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) are exporting to Botswana.”
According to Trade Map, global garlic importation grew by $367 million in 2019 from $2.1 billion made in the previous year.
“For Zimbabwe, figures available on Trade Map indicated that exports of garlic have been insignificant over the past few years, albeit potential to supply and dominate in the regional and international market,” ZimTrade noted.
It, however, disclosed that the number of local smallholder farmers, producing for export, has been growing exponentially over the past few years.