HARARE – Zimbabwe has potential to increase avocado exports to the European Union considering the favourable climatic conditions to organically grow the crop in the country ZimTrade has said.
The Netherlands is the second largest non-producing exporter of avocados in the world and according to Eurostat, Zimbabwe’s exports of avocados to the European Union member states has been increasing over the years.
Avocados are a crop that most easily lends itself to organic practices because of the relatively low pest pressure, low nutrient demand and low weed pressure when mature.
In 2018, Zimbabwe exported avocados worth EUR5.7million to the EU, with 53 percent of the total exports destined for The Netherlands.
The European market is expected to grow further in the coming years and will remain competitive since importers prefer larger producers because of supply certainty.
The national trade promotion body ZimTrade implored local avocado saying, “Growers should take advantage of the duty-free market access under the interim Economic Partnership Agreement ratiﬁed under the Eastern and Southern Africa countries and the European Union.”
Global supply of avocados is highest from February to September, when prices are lower than during the rest of the year. In periods of low global supplies, especially in October and November, prices of small volumes of ready-to-eat avocados tend to increase their prices to approximately US$15 per 4kg box.
The avocado is popular in vegetarian cuisine as a substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content. Generally, the fruit is served raw, though some varieties like the Hass can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter.
Their potential health beneﬁts include improving digestion, decreasing risk of depression and protection against cancer.