By AMOS BATISAYI
FARMERS in Nkayi and Gokwe are set to benefit from a ZimTrade initiative to support them to increase their produce and boost the country’s exports.
This was said yesterday by ZimTrade client advisor Tawanda Chiware at a seminar to sensitise Gokwe farmers on food and safety standards, horticulture certification, and export market requirements.
Farmers were trained on how to penetrate international markets.
“Knowledge transfer is crucial in increasing Zimbabwe’s exports and this is aimed at providing the necessary knowledge about global food export safety standards,” Chiware said.
Floriculture farmer Earnington Wunga told Southern Eye that the workshop provided them with knowledge on quality and food safety standards (certification) of their products, as well as issues of market penetration.
Wunga said small-holder farmers were also apprised on mandatory requirements for exporting horticultural produce. During the training, flower and pepper producers were also trained on how to handle products for the export market.
Board chairperson of Farmers in Action Co-operative Society (FIAC), Onismo Tinofa said the workshop was an eye-opener for good agricultural practices such as worker hygiene and health, safe use of water for agriculture, and how to reduce safety risks during harvesting and packaging of products.
“Good agricultural practices protect business from the consequences of food contamination.
“The smallholder farmers were also taught the importance of value addition which allows them to earn more on the export market while at the same time creating employment,” Tinofa said.
He said value addition was one part of the key pillars of National Development Strategy One.