Zambia has flagged off its inaugural export of fresh blueberries to China, becoming the first country in southern African to enter the huge Chinese market.
The export followed the signing of a protocol of the phytosanitary requirements for export of Zambian fresh blueberries to China between the General Administration of Customs of China and Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture on Sept. 7, 2020.
The exports will be done by a local company Zambezi Berry Company.
The ceremony was graced by Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Chinese ambassador to Zambia Li Jie.
Li said during the flagging off ceremony that the export of Zambian fresh blueberries is an important milestone for agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
“It has contributed a lot to the promotion of the bilateral economic and trade cooperation and the development of friendly relations between China and Zambia,” he said.
The Chinese ambassador acknowledged the already fruitful achievements in agricultural cooperation, adding that a number of Chinese firms have grasped the opportunities to invest in the agriculture sector in the southern African nation.
According to him, efforts are being made to promote the export of Zambian agricultural products to China, such as beef and lamb.
Soybean cake is undergoing the access procedures of inspection and quarantine and is expected to be exported to China next year, he added.
He expressed the hope that Zambian companies will take advantage of the favorable agricultural conditions in the country and the huge Chinese market to produce more quality products for export.
On his part, the Zambian leader expressed delight that the country has made an important milestone by being the first country in the southern African region to access the Chinese market with blueberries.
He said the country will be able to compete favorably with other exporters of blueberries to China through improved production and quality assurance.
The Zambian leader noted that the decision by the company to start growing blueberries was in line with the government’s agenda of promoting diversification in the sector, and he urged other companies to start growing high-value crops.