ZIMBABWE is poised for improved export competitiveness in the horticulture sector through scaling up capacity building support for farmers with the aim of alleviating poverty in the country.
Executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Pamela Coke-Hamilton, on Thursday launched the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme in Harare.
The intervention seeks to assist farmers and producers affected by trade disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic by unlocking the potential of economic partnership agreements with the United Kingdom and the European Union.
UKTP is working with the horticultural sector in Zimbabwe because of its high potential for employment creation and export generation, said ITC. The sector produces a wide range of crops including vegetables, fruits and flowers.
The launch was attended by Government officials, international organisations, the private sector, farmers associations and small-holder farmers.
Horticulture is a top priority for Zimbabwe and growing this sector has benefits for the economy as a whole. The ITC said UKTP aims to boost the production and export capacity of at least 600 smallholder farmers to create jobs, enhance export competitiveness and to avert poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
In addition, ITC has pledged to work closely with trade support organisations and Government agencies to help businesses access market opportunities through online trade intelligence tools and public-private dialogue.
Tom Hill, director of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (CDO) of the United Kingdom and Dr Sekai Nzenza, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, also attended the launch ceremony.
The UKTP Programme works with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to increase exports from SME suppliers to the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). — ITC News