PLAYERS in the agro-business have been urged to export shelled peas into the South-East Asian market to boost the country’s foreign currency reserves dwindle, ZimTrade has said.
In its newsletter, ZimTrade said the demand for fresh garden peas in Malaysia was increasing and exporters should take advantage of that to earn the country the much-needed foreign currency.
“ZimTrade is urging Zimbabwean exporters to take advantage of the opportunities available to supply shelled peas into the South-East Asian market. The demand for fresh garden peas in Malaysia is increasing,” it said.
“Consumers are also demanding more variety in their foods, becoming accustomed to international cuisines including western foods, and also healthier foods, providing new opportunities for food manufacturers,” ZimTrade said.
Malaysia is ranked 11th in the world on imports of shelled peas after the United States of America, the EU and Vietnam.
Major suppliers of peas to Malaysia in 2016 were China, United States of America and the United Kingdom. The country continues to seek alternative source markets to ensure a continued supply for its consumers. According to the Trade Map, Malaysian imports of fresh peas rose by 29% from $5,9 million in 2014 to $7,7 million in 2016.
Malaysia imports peas for consumption as a vegetable and for its growing food processing industry. Increasing consumer awareness in nutrition value for healthcare has also created a demand for organic vegetables, a trend on the increase globally.
“Diversifying to the Malaysian market offers producers an opportunity to increase production as they penetrate the South-East Asian market,” it said.
Malaysian market requirements for fresh produce are similar to those of the European Union market.
As such, ZimTrade said there is need for exporters to ensure their products meet requirements under certifications such as Global G.A.P.
“These certifications focus on traceability and packaging standards which ensure products are competitive enough to enter the Malaysian market,” it said.