Zimbabwe could join a growing list of Southern Hemisphere citrus exporters targeting the Chinese market.
A delegation of Chinese quarantine officials recently travelled to the African nation to inspect citrus plantations.
Led by Dr Wu Jiajiao, an entomologist at the Guangdong Inspection Quarantine Technology Centre, the delegation was pleasantly surprised by what they saw, according to The Herald.
“This [the inspection] is part of the biosecurity measures that are followed whenever we want to import crops or animals from another country,” Wu told The Herald. “We are concerned with pests and diseases that are not in China."
Wu confimed False Codling Moth was one of the pests the officals were on the lookout for during their inspections.
Should market access be granted, Zimbabwe would look to fill a counter-seasonal gap in domestic citrus supply in China, competing with suppliers such as South Africa and Australia, which have well-established export programmes in place. Wu told The Herald there was still room for Zimbabwe to grow market share.
“We are also interested in investigating the branding and packaging of the citrus fruits," Wu explained. "China has a big market for citrus fruits. We are currently importing from foreign countries and Zimbabwe can also export to us if it meets our requirements.”