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Sunflowers and Dried Mangoes: Lifesaving crops in Zimbabwe 

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Uncover the significance of sunflowers and dried mangoes in Zimbabwe’s agricultural landscape. These life-saving crops contribute to food security and economic growth.

Sunflowers in Zimbabwe   

One day in Mupindi Village, Gokwe South, more than 400 miles from Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, a smallholder farmer called Bernard Mupindi is clipping the rough, hairy triangular leaves that grow around the stem of a sunflower.   

The flowering golden sunflowers in this 3.5-hectare land area are less than a month away from harvest.   

Sunflowers require minimum rainfall, implying they may be cultivate in any section of the nation. Upon maturity, sunflowers are hand-harvest, which is also cost-effective.   

Cooking oil manufacturing in rural communities relies on rudimentary devices.   

By–products of sunflower oil manufacturing is to be utilize as animal feed.   

A sunflower farmer in Gokwe said: “I planted two hectares this past season, without fertilizer. I only used one kilogram of glyphosate. The crop took 130 days to harvest. I prepare the seed myself and sell straight to customers”.  

Sunflower cultivation is rich. Currently, the average market price for sunflowers is US$370 per ton. Sunflower cooking oil is superior to oil from soya and cotton. Its market price is likewise more significant than the alternatives accessible.   

Dried Mangoes in Zimbabwe  

Mango fruits grow well in Gokwe during the wet season, and processing facilities are implementing possibilities to reduce post-harvest losses by drying the fruits.   

Shipping the packaged dried fruits to cities and towns for sale, the community also hopes to provide work for the unemployed kids.   

Mangoes are dry by ABC using the sun at the processing facility at Gokwe Centre.   

Due to the global COVID-19 epidemic, growers in Gokwe could not go to Kwekwe, Harare, and Bulawayo to sell their fresh fruits. Hence, the production of dried mangoes began in the summer of 2020.   

Due to this, growers are in force to discard rotten mangoes.   

However, Gokwe ABC, which is buying the farmers’ fruits to go under processing into dry goods, has now saved the majority of the farmers.   

In addition to processing peanuts into peanut butter and sunflower seeds into oil, ABC has started growing chillies. Local farmers provide all of the processed crops for sale.   

How Sunflowers and Dried Mangoes of Zimbabwe impact their economy  

With a three-figure inflation rate, Zimbabwe is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, raising the cost of life.   

Many people need help to afford the pricing of essential goods, such as the main crop, maize.   

Drought and lack of rain have devastated subsistence farmers like Mupindi’s family for five years.   

Three-quarters of the people in Zimbabwe are farmers.   

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the country in southern Africa, once the continent’s breadbasket, imported an estimated 1.1 million tonnes of grain last year to fulfil demand.   

Another smallholder farmer in Gokwe South named Savirios Chingura claims that the strength of the sunflower and other drought-resistant crops lies in their ability to endure the dry period for a month. However, some crops, like maize, can only survive for up to two weeks with sufficient water.   

Farmers in Zimbabwe need help to afford inputs due to the country’s shaky economy. However, drought-tolerant crops like sunflowers allow them to produce a large harvest without additional fertilizers.   

Agricultural Significance of Sunflowers and Dried Mangoes of Zimbabwe  

On a little plot of land, I raised sunflowers, maize, and cotton. Bernard Mupindi adds that back then, the area saw better rainfall.    

“We’ve had several heatwaves during the previous five years. Farming of corn and cotton ceased to be profitable. I had to experiment with crops resistant to drought, like sunflowers.    

Groundnuts, Bambara nuts, millet, and sorghum are other drought-tolerant crops that grow in Mupindi.    

In October 2019, the father of three underwent training in drought-resistant crop farming, which has since been crucial to his operation. He claims that the Agricultural Business Centre (ABC) in Gokwe, which helps smallholder farmers have a high potential for revenue generation, is where he received his training.    

ABC is a project sponsor by the European Union organizing the German charity Welthungerhilfe (WHH) with assistance from Empretec Zimbabwe, a program for strengthening capacity run by the UNCTAD trade agency.    

In October, Alleta Muzenda, Mupendi’s wife, also participated in ABC’s capacity-building training program. She recounts how it enabled them to cultivate sunflowers for a career.  

Sunflowers and Dried Mangoes processing  

Mangoes are dried in the sun at ABC’s processing facility in Gokwe Centre before being sold in stores nationwide.   

Farmers in Gokwe had an oversupply of fresh mangoes since they were unable to go to Bulawayo, 300 kilometres away and Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, to sell them due to coronavirus restrictions. However, a dried fruit processing facility that began operations in November 2020 saved them.   

Dried mangoes are prefer during the off-season for the fruit since they sell for more money than fresh mangoes.   

The ABC also transforms peanuts into peanut butter and sunflower seeds into oil.   

When WHH’s experiment concludes in December of this year, according to Thomas Heyland, leader of the project, ABC working with farmers will continue to make enough money to at least cover the business’s operating expenses.   

Farmers will have the opportunity to direct the actions and determine with the other shareholders how to reinvest revenues since they will be shareholders through the Farmers in Action Cooperative, he tells Euronews Living.   

The majority of his eight hectares of land is to cultivate drought-tolerant crops like sunflowers, according to Mupindi, a smallholder farmer.   

As part of his commercial farming endeavours, he says, “In the upcoming season, if I get the support, I wish to grow sunflowers covering three-quarters of the eight hectares of land.”  

Agriculture, Transportation & Logistics

Ukraine’s Blueberries Safe from Frost  

Find out why experts believe Ukraine’s blueberries will not be impacted by possible frosts. Explore the factors ensuring the safety of the blueberry harvest. 

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Introduction 

Ukraine’s blueberry industry has reason to celebrate, as experts predict that this year’s harvest will be safe from potential frosts. Despite early spring’s unpredictable weather patterns, various factors suggest that Ukraine’s blueberries will not face significant damage from cold temperatures. This is excellent news for the country’s agricultural sector, which has seen steady growth in blueberry production and exports in recent years. 

The primary factor contributing to this optimism is the timing of the frost risk relative to the growth stage of the blueberry plants. Blueberries in Ukraine are generally planted and cultivated in regions where the threat of late frosts is minimal. This strategic location, combined with careful planning by farmers, ensures that the blueberry bushes have sufficient time to mature and develop frost-resistant characteristics before the colder weather sets in. 

Additionally, modern agricultural practices and technology play a vital role in safeguarding blueberry crops. Many Ukrainian farmers employ advanced techniques such as protective covers and frost-resistant varieties, further mitigating the risk of damage from unexpected temperature drops. The use of weather forecasting and monitoring tools also allows farmers to anticipate and respond to adverse conditions swiftly. 

These factors, among others, give experts confidence that Ukraine’s blueberries will remain largely unaffected by possible frosts, allowing for a successful harvest and continued growth in the industry. 

Ukraine’s Blueberries  

Ukraine’s blueberry harvest is poised for success this season, with experts suggesting that possible frosts won’t impact the crop significantly. This promising outlook is thanks to a combination of strategic farming practices and advanced agricultural technology. 

One key reason for this confidence is the careful selection of planting regions, where late frosts are less likely to occur. This strategic choice helps ensure that blueberry bushes have ample time to develop their natural resistance to cold weather. Additionally, many Ukrainian farmers use frost-resistant varieties and protective measures, such as specialized covers, to guard against unexpected temperature drops. 

Another crucial factor is the use of modern weather forecasting tools. These tools enable farmers to monitor weather patterns closely, allowing them to take proactive steps to protect their crops if frost threatens. 

Overall, these combined efforts are likely to result in a robust blueberry harvest, reinforcing Ukraine’s growing reputation as a reliable source of high-quality blueberries. 

Ukraine’s Blueberries Under Frost Protection, Expert Opinion 

Ukraine’s blueberry industry is taking comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of its crops, even as experts warn of possible frosts. The blueberry harvest is critical to the country’s agricultural sector, and frost protection strategies are crucial to avoid significant losses. 

One primary method is the use of frost-resistant blueberry varieties, which are bred to withstand colder temperatures. This approach allows farmers to cultivate crops in regions prone to temperature fluctuations. Additionally, many Ukrainian farmers use protective covers, like frost blankets or tunnels, to insulate the plants from sudden cold snaps. 

Experts also point to modern weather monitoring systems as a vital tool in frost protection. These systems give farmers early warnings about temperature changes, allowing them to take swift action to safeguard their crops. By combining these strategies with strategic planting locations, Ukraine’s blueberry growers are well-positioned to withstand the risks posed by frost. This multi-layered approach offers a promising outlook for the nation’s blueberry harvest. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, Ukraine’s blueberry industry has adopted a multi-faceted approach to safeguard its crops from the threat of frost, ensuring a promising outlook for this year’s blueberry harvest. By utilizing frost-resistant varieties, employing protective covers, and closely monitoring weather patterns, Ukrainian farmers are taking proactive measures to minimize the impact of cold temperatures. 

The use of frost-resistant blueberry varieties has proven particularly effective, allowing farmers to cultivate their crops in areas where temperatures may fluctuate unexpectedly. Protective covers, such as frost blankets and tunnels, add an extra layer of security, insulating plants against sudden temperature drops. 

Modern weather monitoring systems play a critical role in these efforts, providing farmers with real-time data on weather conditions. This enables them to act quickly if frost warnings arise, taking the necessary precautions to protect their crops. 

With these measures in place, experts believe that Ukraine’s blueberry growers are well-prepared to face the challenges posed by frost. This confidence is not only reassuring for the agricultural sector but also for the broader economy, as a successful blueberry harvest contributes to Ukraine’s reputation as a reliable source of high-quality produce. As the season progresses, the industry will continue to rely on these protective strategies to ensure a successful and bountiful harvest. 

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Agriculture, Transportation & Logistics

Vietnamese Coconuts: Ready for China Market Access 

Learn how Vietnamese coconuts are on the brink of gaining market access to China. Understand the implications for trade and the coconut industry in Vietnam.

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Introduction  

Vietnam is a country known for its rich agriculture, with coconuts being one of its key products. Exciting news is on the horizon: Vietnamese coconuts are about to gain market access to China, opening new opportunities for both countries. This change could bring a significant boost to Vietnam’s coconut industry. Which has long been a cornerstone of the country’s agricultural landscape. With China being a major consumer market, this development could lead to increased trade and stronger economic ties between the two nations. 

In this article, we’ll explore what this market access means for Vietnam’s coconut industry. We’ll look at the potential benefits, such as increased exports and economic growth. As well as any challenges that might come along. We’ll also consider how this step could affect farmers, businesses, and consumers in both countries. 

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the potential impact of this market access on the Vietnamese coconut industry. And what it could mean for future trade relations. Stay with us as we unpack this exciting development. 

Are you interested in learning more about the Vietnamese coconut industry and its journey toward market access in China? Dive in and explore the possibilities with Fruits Auction BV

Vietnamese Coconuts  

The origin of Vietnamese coconuts can be traced back to the lush tropical regions of southern Vietnam, where the climate and soil are ideal for coconut cultivation. This area has a long history of growing a variety of fruits, with coconuts playing a significant role in local agriculture and livelihoods. In provinces like Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, and Vinh Long, coconut trees stretch across vast landscapes, providing a steady source of income for farmers and supporting the local economy. 

Vietnam has cultivated coconuts for centuries, with traditional practices handed down through generations. These coconuts have not only sustained local communities but have also been used in a variety of traditional foods and beverages, contributing to Vietnam’s rich culinary heritage. 

In recent years, as Vietnam-China Trade has expanded, there has been growing interest in exporting Vietnamese coconuts to China. With their versatile uses and high nutritional value, coconuts have become an attractive product for international markets. As Vietnam and China work to strengthen their trade relationship, gaining market access for Vietnamese coconuts in China represents a significant step forward, potentially opening new avenues for trade and economic growth for both countries. 

Vietnamese Coconuts Trade  

The Vietnamese coconut trade has become an increasingly important sector within the country’s agricultural landscape. Vietnam is known for its high-quality coconuts, which are used in a variety of products, from coconut water and milk to coconut oil and desiccated coconut. In provinces like Ben Tre and Tra Vinh, coconut farming is a way of life for many families, with generations of farmers cultivating this versatile crop. 

In recent years, the demand for coconuts and coconut-based products has surged. Driven by global trends toward healthier and more natural products. As a result, Vietnam’s coconut industry has been expanding its reach into new markets. Aiming to capitalize on this growing demand. 

The big news on the horizon is the potential for China market access. Which could significantly boost the Vietnamese coconut trade. China is a massive consumer market with a growing appetite for high-quality agricultural products. If Vietnamese coconuts gain access to this market, it could lead to increased export opportunities, driving economic growth and creating new jobs in Vietnam’s coconut industry. 

As Vietnam continues to explore new trade avenues, gaining access to China represents a crucial step in strengthening the country’s position in the global coconut trade. The impact of this development could be substantial, benefiting farmers, businesses, and the broader economy. 

Conclusion  

In conclusion, the imminent opening of China market access for Vietnamese coconuts marks a significant milestone in the country’s agricultural and trade sectors. This development has the potential to transform Vietnam’s coconut industry by offering new opportunities for export, economic growth, and job creation. The increase in demand from China, a massive consumer market, can catalyze expansion, innovation, and investment within the coconut trade. 

For the farmers and businesses in Vietnam’s key coconut-growing regions, this breakthrough could mean greater stability and prosperity. It could encourage the adoption of more sustainable practices, boost production, and even foster diversification into different coconut-based products. Additionally, closer trade ties with China could open the door to broader economic collaboration between the two nations. Paving the way for other Vietnamese agricultural products to enter the Chinese market. 

However, with these opportunities come challenges. Meeting the standards and regulations required for China market access will be critical. The Vietnamese coconut industry must work diligently to ensure quality, safety, and compliance. As we look ahead, the focus should be on sustainable growth. That benefits both Vietnam and China while maintaining the high-quality products that consumers have come to expect. 

Overall, the future looks promising for the Vietnamese coconut trade. With China market access offering a path to a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow. If you’d like to learn more about the latest developments in the Vietnam-China trade relationship. And the impact on local industries, stay tuned for further updates. 

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Agriculture, Transportation & Logistics

BLUEBERRY SURGE FROM PACIFIC NORTHWEST

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Photo by Mark Stebnicki

Introduction to Blueberry Surge

According to California Giant Berry Farms, the company expects a bumper crop of blueberry this summer. As long as there is a strong customer demand for blueberries, the producer will continue to produce high yields of excellent quality.

“In July and August, we expect an excellent harvest of conventional blueberry from Oregon and British Columbia as well as an organic harvest from Oregon and Washington. Vice President of Sales Alan Ediger stated, “We’re on the right track to have a really positive year of high-quality blueberries.

California Giant blueberry growers in Oregon are getting ready for the first picking to happen the first week of July, with total supply offering a strong promotable window of conventional and organic premium fruit from mid-July through mid-August.

British Columbian farmers are not far behind. Initial harvests are expected to start only a week after the start of the Oregon season, in early July. Peak levels for conventional supplies from British Columbia are anticipated to occur from late July to mid-August. It is expected that British Columbian organic quantities will continue to produce a consistent volume throughout the month of August.

A light but the consistent supply of organic quantities from Washington’s growing regions will support the company’s organic blueberry program from early July through the end of August.

Conclusion to Blueberry Surge

California Giant uses consumer promotions on Ibotta and Instacart to encourage fresh berry purchases in order to support the anticipated surge in demand for blueberries. A consumer engagement sweepstakes will be introduced concurrently by the brand to increase demand and brand recognition.

The business continues to offer a continuous supply of fresh berries that are sustainably farmed throughout the year thanks to the industry-wide objective to promote major gains in blueberry consumption.

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