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EFGAZ re-establishment boosts flower export

Zimbabwe seeks return to glory days

Flowers were once one of Zimbabwe's main export products. In 2001, the country was even Africa's second exporter after Kenya, shipping 86 million dollars' worth of flowers. Political unrest, land reforms and Mugabe's hostile treatment of the white population, then led to a significant decline. Now there are serious signs of the country picking up the pieces again: export is on the rise again, an old trade association is revived, and in autumn, for the first time in nearly two decades, an ornamental trade show will be held again.

photo: HPP Exhibitions

Re-establishment EFGAZ
Zimbabwe's flower growers and exporters were once represented by an association named EFGAZ (Export Flower Growers Association of Zimbabwe). Founded in 1995, one of its tasks was providing members with market information. It also offered trainings intended to guarantee high quality standards. In 2005, the EFGAZ ceased to exist, but now, 13 years later, it will be restored.

EFGAZ Chairman Gorden Makoni: “Zimbabwe has the perfect climate and soil for cut-flower cultivation”. Credit: Gorden Makoni

Finding new markets
Gorden Makoni, a flower grower himself, is chairman of the EFGAZ. In 2014 he started cultivating a native flower named Kangaroo Paw, an exclusive plant that's only supplied by two other growers in Africa.

Kangaroo Paw. Photo:

Looking for new markets for his product, he ended up in Japan, and in order to help fellow growers get into new markets, he's now looking to promote further growth of EFGAZ, together with deputy chairman Andrew. At the moment, the association is still in the start-up stage, and the number of members (30) is still only a tenth of what it once was. Gorden, however, is convinced that EFGAZ will be able to help flower growers become more competitive. “EFGAZ will speak to potential importing countries to get to know what they want and will develop new markets as well as reinforcing ties with existing ones.”

In 2000, the country exported 86 million dollars' worth of flowers. In 2015 this was 72.1 million dollars, which trade organization Zimtrade calls a significant increase compared to a year before, when it was 49 million dollars. Nearly back to the old level, but corrected for inflation the revenue in 2000 was nearly twice as high as last year. At the moment, Zimbabwean flower growers are reportedly exporting 12 to 17 tonnes of flower to Europe on a daily basis (most of it goes to the Netherlands).

HortiFlor Zimbabwe
From October 9 to 11, HPP Exhibitions organizes HortiFlor Zimbabwe. The show, which is held for the first time since 2000, will take place in the nation's capital, Harare. The new edition will be modest in size, although several internationally known breeders and suppliers have already announced their presence.

Organizer Dick van Raamsdonk, who's been organizing international ornamental trade shows for 35 years now, including the last three in Zimbabwe, is convinced the show will be a success. "Zimbabwe has the potential, the history and the name, so why wouldn't it be able to return to the position it once had?"

The information on the re-establishment of EFGAZ comes from an article in Zimunda Farming Magazine, shared by HPP. For more information on EFGAZ, click here. More information on the HortiFlor Zimbabwe can be found here.

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