Economic cooperation and trade - Zimbabwe

Economic cooperation and trade

Finding solutions together

The Government of the Netherlands takes private sector development as key to economic success at home and globally. The Embassy supports programmes and organisations working on private sector development with the overarching goal of stimulating trade between the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.

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The Netherlands and Zimbabwe have shared strong trade ties since the 1980s, led by agricultural exports from Zimbabwe to the Netherlands. Given the demand in the Netherlands for Zimbabwe’s good quality fresh produce especially for its peas and berries, Zimbabwe currently holds a trade surplus with The Netherlands. Most recently, Zimbabwe has increased its exports of flowers, peas and berries to the Netherlands, with Dutch carrier KLM Cargo flying three times a week from Harare.

The Netherlands, known for its precision farming technology is taking production to new heights while saving water and reducing the need for harmful chemicals. Because of this the Dutch are the world’s second largest agricultural exporters, shipping EUR90 billion a year across the globe. In particular, The Netherlands is the undisputed international market leader in flowers, plants, bulbs and plant reproductive material. This is thanks to a wealth of agricultural knowledge, fertile soil, innovative technology, and trading expertise.

PUM – Netherlands Senior Experts

Since 2015, the private sector in Zimbabwe has benefited from PUM, a volunteer organisation committed to the sustainable development of small and medium-size enterprises in developing countries and emerging markets. More than 150 missions to Zimbabwe were completed between 2015-2021. Sectors covered include horticulture, processed foods, leather, engineering, furniture, dairy, clothing and textiles. Such support has contributed to the increased exports of horticulture to the Netherlands and EU.

Green Impact Centre

A consortium of seven Dutch companies established the Green Impact Centre at Chibero Agricultural College in 2019, about 40km from Harare. Smallholder farmers receive training and enjoy demonstrations on the latest Dutch agricultural technology and methods. Even in the short time the centre has been open, participating farmers have reported improvements in the quality of fresh food coming off their farms.

Food for Export Masterclass

The Food for Export Masterclass (FEM) is an advanced one year training for women agri-entrepreneurs working in horticulture, dairy, or agri-food processing with an eye on launching or expanding women-led businesses onto international markets. Initiated in 2020, FEM incorporates the best of Dutch and Zimbabwean expertise by bringing five organisations into a single powerhouse consortium. In addition to the Netherlands Embassy, partners incude the Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust, ZimTrade, Hivos, and PUM.

Horticulture Development Council

Through the PSD toolkit, institutional finance was provided for the set-up of the Horticulture Development Council (HDC). The HDC is a business membership organisation tasked with representing the various horticulture associations towards increased exports especially to the EU.