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South African province starts Qatar Airways flower export

“Each day and each hour we are slowly bridging the gap between the people of KwaZulu-Natal and prosperity.” That’s the sound-bite from KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu shortly after his meeting with the Ambassador of Qatar, Salem Abdulla al-Jaber.

“This is a historic moment for us and I am pleased to announce that over the next few months, KZN will be exporting perishable products such as cut flowers to more than 150 countries using Qatar Airways.”

“My special advisor Mike Newtown and a technical team will be flying to finalize this major export opportunity. It’s been an exciting journey and I am quite pleased to see such a speed and efficiency on the part of the provincial government. This has enabled us to achieve our targets in such a short space of time.”

“We have been looking for opportunities to export high value perishable goods from the Dube Trade Port directly to foreign destinations requiring products from this province.”

“A report commissioned by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs a number of years ago, was undertaken to ascertain which products would be best received in overseas markets.”

“Flowing from this exercise we are streaming ahead with the process of setting up a cut flower hub at the iLembe Agrivillage, for export through Qatar Airways to Doha. Doha is the hub for Qatar Airways, who then fly to some 150 destinations from their base.

“All cut flower from the Province of KwaZulu-Natal which are collected, sorted and packaged at the iLembe Agrivillage will then be flown from the Dube Trade Port Cargo Terminal to Hamad International Airport directly by Qatar Airways, and then be dispatched from the cut flower warehouse to 150 destinations throughout the world.”

“We are determined to establish “agrivillages” as part of agriculture revolution in each district municipality to help stimulate the regions’ specific competitive advantages within these villages.”

“The iLembe District Municipality has adopted agritourism as their strength, and suggested Collisheen as the preferred position for this Agrivillage. The strawberry farm, cut flower facility, winery, brewery (coming soon) and riding trails all add up to an experience which can offer both tourism and agricultural production at the same venue. It is also suitably located adjacent to the R102, and is about 10Km from the Dube Trade Port cargo terminal.”

“Discussions with the team presently providing the service of cut flowers to the local markets, (and a small amount to international markets in England), has shown that there is massive opportunity for growth, and also an opportunity to allow local communities to become involved in the economic wealth of the sector, using models which have been determined by Enterprise iLembe, the Development Agency for the iLembe District.”

Source: Province of KwaZulu-Natal
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