China has expressed interest in importing citrus from Zimbabwe, and a quarantine delegation is in the country to inspect citrus farms to see if they meet the phytosanitary requirements. Phytosanitary relates to the health of plants, especially with respect to the requirements of international trade. During a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made (pictured left), at his Ngungunyana offices in Harare last Friday, head of the Chinese entomology delegation and Guangdong Inspection Quarantine Technology Centre entomologist Dr Wu Jiajiao said the team had visited many citrus farms across the country and were impressed by the quality of the fruits.
"This is part of the bio-security measures that are followed whenever we want to import crops or animals from another country," Dr Wu said. "We are concerned with pests and diseases that are not (found) in China.
"We are also interested in investigating the branding and packaging of the citrus fruits. 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."
Dr Wu said China had different seasons from Zimbabwe and the latter could take advantage of that and supply the citrus fruits when they were in demand in China.
He said China was a big country and required lots of fruit.
"We are concerned with some notifiable pests, especially the False Codling Moth (FCM)," he said.
Another Chinese delegation is expected soon to check on phytosanitary measures concerning animals.
The increasing interest being shown by Chinese provinces and cities to invest in Zimbabwe is a welcome development towards the much-needed economic turnaround.