Africa, Fresh/ Table, Trade/Markets/Prices

From dependency to autonomy: Zimbabwe’s potato success story

Zimbabwe has marked a significant agricultural milestone by achieving complete self-sufficiency in table potato production, according to a news story by agriculture specialist writer Edgar Vhera, published by The Herald.

According to the report, this accomplishment is attributed to the government’s strategic foresight in recognizing the potato as a crucial crop for national food security. Since 2010, an import substitution policy has been in place, emphasizing the preference for locally produced goods over imports. This policy led to the prohibition of table potato imports, safeguarding local farmers from the influx of cheaper foreign potatoes. Consequently, the only potato-related imports now permitted are seed potatoes.

Cairns Holdings, a prominent local agro-business entity, has played a pivotal role in this transformation. The company has shifted its sourcing strategy, now obtaining at least 40% of its raw materials from domestic farmers. This collaboration has not only boosted local agriculture but has also fostered sustainable business practices.

Remarkably, the nation’s potato production has surged from a modest 52,000 tonnes in 2010 to an impressive 599,550 tonnes in 2022. Statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) show that there was a 37 percent drop in the value of seed potato imports from US$9 814 212 for the period January to August in 2022 to US$6 141 750 in the same period this year. In volume terms, seed potato imports dropped 35 percent from 12,900 tonnes to 8,445 tonnes.

Source: The Herald. Read the full story here
Photo: Credit The Herald

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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