In an earlier article, a tree nursery idea was put forward. Knowing that you should grow tree seedlings is one thing, knowing which tree seedlings to grow is another thing altogether. From a nursery perspective, the key factor for you is the demand for the seedlings. What informs demand, however, are trends and those will require more than a little study to understand what is currently in demand, why and how long will the demand last. That said here are some hot trees to grow for your tree nursery.
Besides being a ridiculously popular fruit that grows very well in Zimbabwe avocado pears also happen to be a very popular export item. You can read a little more about avocado farming in this article on the subject. It is feasible for the demand for avocado seedlings to continue indefinitely as they are not incredibly difficult to grow. However, the key is having the right variety of avocado seedlings.
Another very popular tree-based fruit that has major export popularity are macadamia nuts. As things stand they represent a major opportunity for those who are open to long term farming projects and this is an opportunity for you. They are not difficult to grow from seeds and do very well in our climate even with little attention.
Plums and cherries
These two are fairly similar fruiting trees that enjoy both local and export demand. With the trends around food production since the pandemic suggesting higher demand for fresh produce in destination markets these fruit tree varieties are a good bet to place. They are also popular in food processing such as making jams and baking so they will prove to be very popular.
Peaches and apricots
Peaches and apricots are of the same family so we will group them. You can throw in tangerines for good measure. These fruits are very popular locally and have a huge export market demand. As discussed before with the pandemic persisting food demand will only increase. They are also processed locally and internationally so there is ample demand to keep them popular for a long time.
Blueberries in general and Zimbabwean blueberries, in particular, have found great popularity in several key export markets. Fetching a high price and having a brand name associated with them you can expect blueberries to grow in popularity and hence demand the seedlings will surely do the same.
Blackberries and raspberries
Speaking of berries, blackberries and raspberries have also proven to be very popular in export markets and have the advantage of decent local demand as well. They grow from shrubs that are very similar to the popular mulberry and thus do very well in our climate.
The pandemic has brought the best and worst out of people. Moringas use as a medicinal remedy and its popularity as one predates the pandemic but it certainly has helped to push all medicinal items. As the moringa revolution continues the tree can only become more popular. While it grows very well in our climate the seeds are characterised by a low germination rate so many prefer to buy seedlings.
Whilst we are in the pandemic state of mind we can ignore the big part that citrus fruits play in helping to fight disease and build the immune system. Oranges, lemons, nartjies and limes are all popular locally and have good export market potential. A tree nursery providing these can record some very good business short and long term as they will remain popular whether the pandemic continues or not.
This serves as a shortlist of trees that you can grow in your nursery. Many references were made to export markets and you can find information on which fruits are targeted for export from ZimTrade. With a little deeper market research you can find more trees that are likely to be in demand. We’ve only looked at trees with medicinal and culinary uses but there are also trees with a purely ornamental value that are very popular that you can look into.