ZimTrade engages small-holder farmers to boost exports

18 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
ZimTrade engages small-holder farmers to boost exports

The Chronicle

Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
TRADE promotion and development agency (ZimTrade) has embarked on a nationwide exercise to engage small-holder farmers in a bid to equip them with necessary skills to produce quality agriculture produce for export.

This comes as local producers are looking for ways to penetrate the global market by producing top quality, value-added goods and services.

ZimTrade recently met with small-holder farmers from Gokwe and Nkayi for a sensitisation workshop where issues to do with beneficiation and value-addition were discussed.

Farmers who attended included flower and chili producers as well as mango growers who were equipped with value-addition skills. The workshop also focused on how farmers could meet food security standards, horticulture certification as well as requirements to break into the export market.

ZimTrade client advisor, Mr Tawanda Chiware, said opportunities abound in the global market and that farmers only need ensure their commodities value-added and meet set global requirements.

“This is a sensitisation workshop, which seeks to energise local farmers to compete with regional markets. The seminar is aimed at sensitising farmers to adhere to food security standards, horticulture certification and value-adding their products so that they can fetch more on the international market,” said Chiware.

He said some farmers lacked knowledge on what is required on how to penetrate the global market yet there was huge demand for their products.

“Knowledge transfer is key in increasing Zimbabwe’s export market and this workshop is aimed at providing the necessary knowledge about the global market,” he said.

“It’s also aimed at delivering key issues required by buyers in international markets. Famers need to know how to penetrate the export market and key issues needed by buyers.”

Speaking on behalf of farmers, board chairperson of Farmers in Action Cooperative Society (FIAC), a Gokwe South farmers’ body, Mr Onismo Tinofa said the workshop was an eye opener.

“As farmers who are producing from different value chains. This workshop was very critical. We leant good agriculture practices such as the use of agricultural water, reducing food security risk during harvesting and packaging as well as hygiene and health, which also translates,” he said.

The National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 emphasizes on value addition, which is key in the production line in adding both nutrient as well as monetary value in products.

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