Zimbabwe, China Sign Citrus Deal

Zimbabwe and China recently signed a citrus phytosanitary protocol that allows the southern African country to export fruits to the Asian economic giant.

The phytosanitary protocol requires that a cold chain system for the export of fresh citrus fruits to China be put in place for the management of False Codling Moth and other pests.

Unlike the initial requirement for cooling to begin on the farm, this cold chain system is required to begin at the port.

China was represented by the General Administration of Customs of China, Minister Ni Yuefeng while Zimbabwe was represented by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Anxious Masuka.

The Chinese embassy in Harare confirmed the development through a post on the microblogging site Twitter. The post read:

The sweet & juicy Zimbabwean citrus will join the Chinese market as the citrus export protocol have just been signed.

We are implementing President Xi’s pledge that China will open a green channel for the export of African agricultural products. It’ll benefit more Zimbabwean farmers.

Acting chief director for the Department of Research and Specialist Services Dumisani Kutywayo also confirmed the signing of the agreement. Said Kutywayo:

The General Administration of Customs of the Peoples’ Republic of China signed first and we followed suit.

We are now educating stakeholders on the requirements to export fresh fruits to China.

Local stakeholders from the citrus industry have accepted the favourable terms.

China also agreed to provide technical assistance to Zimbabwe regarding fresh citrus exports to the Chinese market.

This will help Zimbabwe in the monitoring and surveillance of citrus plantations for insect pests and diseases.

Varieties of fresh citrus to be exported to China from Zimbabwe include sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), lemon (Citrus limon and Citrus aurantifolia) and sour orange (Citrus aurantium).

Orchards and packing houses intending to export citrus to China have been advised to register with the Ministry of Lands for approval by both the Ministry General Administration of Customs China (GACC).

More: The Herald

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