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ProAgri Zambia 58

Blueberries are labelled as a superfruit. This fleshy fruit is very popular in developed countries due to its appetising deep blue colour, unbelievable health benefits and the important nutrients it contains.

It is low in calories but high in fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K, and has one of the highest antioxidant levels of the fruit and vegetables we know. Blueberries protect against aging, cancer, and cholesterol damage in your blood. There are also indications that they may lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. It can help maintain brain function, improve memory, and may have anti-diabetic effects.

Zambia is a proud producer of blueberries, and the export value of this convenient snack is huge. China recently became a destination for Zambian blueberries after a three-year application process. The prescriptive temperature control and phytosanitary conditions are tight, but in July 2020, it was announced that Zambia had been granted access to the Chinese market for locally produced blueberries.

The hard work did not stop there, for all the necessary access protocols had to be finalised. In September, the Zambezi Berry Company received an official confirmation that their application was approved for exports to this gigantic East Asian country. The first shipments of Zambian blueberries will leave in 2021.

Honourable President Edgar Lungu also supports this drive and will soon flag-off this exciting break-through during a ceremony at the Zambezi Berry Company in the Chongwe District of Lusaka Province. The slow, but growing trend in the Zambian crops sector has been a gradual shift from crops such as maize, soya beans, rice, wheat, cotton, sugar and tobacco to higher-value items such as macadamia nuts, ground nuts, avocados, blueberries and chillies.

The lucrative overseas markets are driving this decision shift among farmers. Although the northern hemisphere still dominates global berry production, Africa will soon get their slice of the pie. This month we offer a wide variety of articles, from the pecan industry to the rapid growth in the trucking and transport sector.

Farm smartly!

Du Preez de Villiers – dupreez@proagri.co.za

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ProAgri BNZ 14