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SA banana export ban hits Zim producers

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MUTARE — Banana producer Matanuska says the sector has been hit hard by an export ban effected by South Africa, one of its biggest markets, as the local market has an oversupply.

Finance director Richard Chiwandire on Tuesday said the embargo, issued two years ago following reports of bacterial diseases on local bananas, had hit sales as the local market had no capacity to absorb the excess supply.

Matanuska also exports to Zambia, but Chiwandire said that market was small.

“We have appealed to the government through the Agriculture ministry to engage the South African government to open up its market,” Chiwandire said.

“The embargo has greatly affected our sales here because we have an oversupply of bananas locally.”

Currently, Matanuska, a unit of agricultural conglomerate Rift Valley Corporation, produces 9 000 tonnes annually and has also engaged smallholder farmers who produce an additional 7 000 tonnes.

— The Source

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