Export of horticultural products in Zimbabwe has gone up from USD 23,333 in 2016 to USD 87 996 in 2018 to international Markets but mostly European Union. This improvement is attributed to the implementation of The Fruit Fly surveillance programmes that began in Zimbabwe in July 2012 with the assistance of a project grant from COMESA.
The programme was meant to improve on the dwindling exports of horticultural products to the international markets hence affecting revenue collection for the country. The project received funds from the European Union under the COMESA Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM).
The funds assisted the Government of Zimbabwe as well as individual commercial farmers set up a fruit fly trapping network for early warning against fruit fly with particular focus on B. dorsalis. The pest causes extensive damage to fruits and vegetables resulting in restrictions to marketing in international markets like the European Union.
Zimbabwe is one of the COMESA States with a high-risk potential for different Fruit fly species as it produces wide host range of fruits. These include apples, avocado, citrus, banana, coffee, guava, mango, peach as well as vegetables such as cucurbits, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.
In 2015, Zimbabwe’s horticultural exports amounted to $72.1 million, with its main buyers being the European Union taking up a combined bulk of $57.5 million worth of produce, with the Netherlands ($32.6 million), the United Kingdom ($13.5 million), Germany ($5.3 million), France ($3.2 million) and Poland ($2.9 million), according to trade promotion agency ZimTrade.
It is estimated that out of the 1.9 million tonnes of mangoes produced annually in Africa, 30-35% (up to 760 000 tonnes) are destroyed by fruit flies. The estimated cost of fruit fly eradication programmes is on average.